Outlaw Wine

To reduce swingeing levels of alcohol, SA wine producers hope soon to be able to add water to their product in a Reverse Wedding at Cana maneuver. Of course volumes will increase as a side effect, a welcome one at that, given the diminutive harvest of 2010. The change in SA legislation required has been proposed by Wine Cellars SA who told Decanter magazine they were “not sure” whether this would be legal within the EU.

 Outlaw Wine

Well chaps, the bad news is that it is illegal and watered down wine may not be sold in the EU, which rather defeats the whole point of reducing alcohol as it precisely these prissy Europeans who are complaining. WOSA (Wines of SA, the exporters’ mouthpiece) should immediately cry foul and accuse EU mandarins of racist behavior against entrenched SA custom. Adding water to our wine has long been a practice in restaurants, where a bowl of ice is frequently served along with the bottle for DIY dilution. Adding the water before the bottle is opened is simply a courtesy and a courteous attempt to not muddy the waters vis-à-vis European ice wine.

So can we expect to see two track brands of lower alcohols for local consumers and full strength stuff for export? Those exporters furious that no marketing levy is charged on WOSA’s Fundi wines (a project which fell short of training 2010 sommeliers in time for the Fifa soccer world cup, funded through the sale of Fundi wines) may find a bit of schadenfreude in the fact that at least WOSA levies will not increase due to water being mixed with the wine.