EU Rosé rules to change
The European Commission plans to allow producers to make rosé wine by mixing red and white wine together rather than be restricted by the current method of leaving crushed red grapes to soak with white grapes while they macerate. The EC believes that this specialist technique is holding back French, Spanish and Italian producers in new markets such as China. Blending is currently illegal in Europe except in the Champagne region where the base wine is blended to make pink Champagne.
But winemakers say that for still wines it is sacrilege to simply blend the two together and they fear the market will be flooded by poor quality rosé.
The EU plan will be put to a final vote on 27 April 2009.
Meanwhile here in the UK, rosé wine has replaced the wine box as one of the key grocery items that are tracked for the Retail Price Index. Changes to the average 'shopping basket' of goods, used to calculate retail price inflation, are made on an annual basis to reflect consumer trends and as a broad rule only goods that we spend at least £100 million a year on are included.