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Archive for the 'Alcohol & Society' Category

EU Health Commissioner confirms proposals are being developed to ban wine

Apr. 1st 2010

In an interview today with France’s Le Figaro, Airf Lloop, the Dutch EU health Commissioner has confirmed that he is developing proposals to outlaw wine production, sale and consumption in the EU.

The surprise confirmation comes as a number of EU Governments are placing greater and greater restrictions on the sale and purchase of alcohol. The UK for example has seen a recent punitive increase in duty on wine and France has banned its first TV channel dedicated to wine. This is in addition to the vine removal programme already being pursued by the EU.

Lloop justified the move in the interview by saying that the estimated alcohol related healthcare spend across the EU amounted to €35bn whereas estimated tax revenues on alcohol sales was estimated at €27.3bn. “Economically it just doesn’t make sense. As a community, we’re spending much more on sorting out the problems caused by wine than we’re receiving in taxation. Given the current economic climate, something has to change”.

“We need to learn lessons from the successful prohibition period in the US, where alcohol consumption plummeted. Sure, there were some resulting crime issues, but these can be overcome”, Lloop continued.

When asked about the fate of the millions of grape growers across the EU, he said EU officials had been working with the main global commodity exchanges, such as Liffe and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on developing markets in Rectified Concentrated Grape Must (RCGM).  This would allow grape growers to sell their grape juice on the open market and gain great prices for RCGM, in some instances better than the returns on a bottle of wine. “I see RCGM being traded as successfully as Pork Bellies or Coffee. The exchanges are very excited about this.” said Lloop.

In outline, Lloop’s proposals amount to:

  • The production of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2012
  • All wine imports from outside the EU to be stopped on the same date
  • The sale and consumption of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2014
  • The development of a global RCGM market from 1st April 2011
  • EU transitional relief for grape growers and wine makers will continue until 1st April 2015

Lloop also confirmed that no decision has yet been made on the fate of other alcoholic drinks, but he expected similar proposals to be developed for these too. “Transitional markets are more difficult to develop for other raw materials, but we’re actively working on options” he confirmed.

So far, major wine producers have declined to comment and are awaiting further details from the Commissioner.

Lloop is expected to make a further announcement about this at 12:00 BST today.

Read the full Le Figaro interview with Arif Lloop.

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society, Wine Comment, Wine News | Comments Off

Wine can make you fat – FACT!

Nov. 23rd 2009

Another "Wardrobe Malfunction" at West Mount WineThe Government last week announced that they have underestimated the number of calories we can consume in a day by up to 16%. That could allow up to another 400 calories per day for a reasonably active man.

We all know that wine contains calories. But how many and is it responsible for all too often seeing sights like this on British high streets?

But what do these precious 400 calories mean to the dedicated wine drinker?

Well, I’ll let you do the sums for yourself, but to calculate the number of calories the following formula comes in handy:

% ABV of wine x size of glass in ml x 0.054 = Approximate number of calories

So, for example:

13% alcohol x 125 ml glass x 0.054 = c. 88 calories.

We can therefore expect up to four small glasses of Aussie Shiraz extra per day to use up our new calorie intake. Oh, but this would be 7 units of alcohol – and that would be binge drinking.  So, not only can we expect our waistline to expand, but our liver to deteriorate too.  

Ah well, all the more reason to maintain the moderate drinking. It makes sense.

Or better still, drink something low alcohol, like these gems:

Dr Loosen Berkasteller Lay Riesling Kabinett 2008 - 54 Calories per 125 ml glass

Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2008 - 61 Calories per 125 ml glass

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society, Wine Comment | Comments Off

How to calculate units of alcohol

Sep. 9th 2009

We’re often asked how many units of alcohol are in a particular drink. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s straightforward enough to calculate.

Multiply the alcohol by volume (abv) by the volume of drink in litres (one standard bottle of wine would be 0.75 litres for example, a standard glass would be 0.125, etc).

So, for example, drinking one glass of wine at 13.5% alcohol would be 0.125 x 13.5 = 1.7 units.

Or, a whole bottle of wine at 14% would be 0.75 x 14 = 10.5 units.

Or a pint of beer (0.568 litres) at 4.5% = 2.6 units.

Easy and really, really helpful…

And please don’t forget the Government’s recommended maximum limit is 3 -4 units per day for men and 2 – 3 units per day for women. And in some circumstances such as driving, operating machinery and pregnancy, it is better not to drink at all.

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society | Comments Off

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