The United Kingdom wants to lower the alcohol level of wines to promote its production abroad

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The British government wants to lower the alcohol content of wines. A measure aimed at promoting British wine on the local market and abroad, but which worries wine producers.

Bad news for wine lovers in the UK. The British government is preparing to change the law on wine classification, which would allow an alcohol content of 4.5%, much less than required by European legislation, which authorizes the designation “wine” for drinks with fermented grape base with an alcohol content between 8.5% and 15%.

A measure which would allow imported blended or sweetened drinks to be included in the “wine” category, and sold as a “British product” on the local market.

Steve Barclay, UK Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, explains: “Today’s announcement concerns the labeling of wine produced in the UK, which will allow consumers to have more easily able to buy British wine.”

But some British wine producers fear the changes could create confusion among consumers.

“I think the labeling of wines should be very clear where these grapes come from. So if they were imported, then it should be very clear which country these grapes come from… it should have no reference “England, Britain in general on these labels” says Tamara Roberts, Managing Director of Ridgeview Estate.

Until January 1, 2024, drinks with an alcohol content below 8.5% had to be labeled as a “wine product”. This new legislation, which further lowers this percentage, is part of the government’s efforts aimed at promoting British wine on domestic and foreign markets after Brexit, and would, according to London, reflect the growing demand for alcohol-free wines.

This article is originally published on fr.euronews.com

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