Low Alcohol Wine is not Wine, according to Community law…..
R (on the application of Sovio Wines Ltd) v Food Standards Agency  EWHC 382 (Admin)
The High Court recently upheld the decision of the Food Standards Agency to seize a consignment of partially de-alcoholised wine which was manufactured using an unauthorised oenological process and was labelled as Spanish semi-sparkling wine. Rebecca Haynes, acting for the Agency, successfully defended a judicial review brought on the principal ground that since the Sovio product did not satisfy the definition of semi-sparkling wine contained in the Community Wine Regulation (having an alcohol content of less than 8%), the Agency had no jurisdiction to take action in respect of it. The Court held that the Wine Regulation clearly applied to goods purporting to be wine products and applied a prohibition of the use of the “wine” or “semi-sparkling wine” denomination to any product which failed to meet the Community definition of wine terms. The Claimant also failed to persuade the Court that the Agency was bound by a statement of another public body, Cheshire Trading Standards, erroneously indicating that the labelling was fully compliant with relevant labelling legislation.
For the High Court judgment, please click here.
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