The Corner

A Tale of a Fruit Based Alcoholic Beverage (and the EU)

Visit the website of English winery Chapel Down and you will find an offer of:

11 Bottles of Chapel Down English Rose 2010 and a free bottle of our fantastic ‘fruit based alcoholic beverage’ made from Argentinian Malbec grapes in conjunction with Wines of Argentina to celebrate Malbec World Day on the 17th April 2012.

Fruit based alcoholic beverage?

Here’s the explanation:

Last April, to celebrate World Malbec Day it was revealed that Chapel Down would vinify Argentinean Malbec grapes to make, what would be termed, a “Kent Malbec”…The grapes, air-freighted to the English winemaker by Wines of Argentina from the Gaucho estate near Mendoza, were fermented slightly cooler than is traditional in Argentina before the wine was matured in new American oak for nine months. The result is a sublime ‘big red’ wine (abv 14%) with a blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberry nose, silky tannins and a long finish of berry fruit and garrigue herbs.  It’s a great match for a grilled Argentinean steak or a lovely bit of English lamb – whichever takes your fancy….The wine, called “An English Salute”, has an official launch day of Tuesday 17 April (World Malbec Day).

But we have run into a few problems…According to the EU, we can’t say that what they have produced is wine, but instead need to refer to is as a fruit based alcoholic beverage. What’s more, Chapel Down isn’t even allowed to sell the bottles it made according to EU laws.

Is there nothing the EU cannot ban?

At least Britain’s euroskeptic UKIP (now running at third place in the opinion polls, incidentally) is objecting.  Never somebody to shirk a tough task UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage can be seen drinking some fine Kentish ‘not-Malbec’ here. He’s invited Chapel Down to set up a stall at the EU parliament.

Good for him.

H/t: The Spectator

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