Food Law News - EU - 2008

FSA Press Release, 6 November 2008

WINE - New regulations for reduced alcohol wines

The European Commission will now permit EU wines that use different experimental techniques to reduce the alcohol content to be marketed across Europe.

The decision is part of a wider acceptance of experimental practices that are authorised in one country to be sold in other countries.

Previously in the UK, wines that had been reduced in alcoholic strength using experimental processes in another country (such as reverse osmosis and spinning cone) were not allowed to be sold. Winemakers could only sell lower alcohol wine if they used traditional methods rather than novel processes.

The regulation came into force in mid October and carries a number of conditions. The experimental practice used must be recognised through a resolution passed by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), and the use of the experimental practice must be noted on the accompanying documentation and wine-making records. For experimental processes that reduce the alcoholic content, the alcoholic strength must not be decreased by more than 2%.

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