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FSA bans second lower-alcohol wine in two weeks

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Sovio, a semi-sparkling Spanish wine, bottled at 8% abv, is the latest lower-alcohol product to incur the wrath of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The FSA's Wine Standards Branch has imposed a movement control order on the product, because the wine has been subjected to spinning cone treatment - a device which strips out alcohol - a practice that is illegal in EU countries.

An FSA spokeswoman told Harpers: "The issue this hinges on is the issue of re-engineering wines and wines that have had their alcohol level artificially lowered. They are not legal in the UK, and we have to enforce EU regulations."

But a spokesman for DB Wines, which distributes Sovio in the UK, said that the company had asked for a meeting with the FSA "to seek a rapid and amicable negotiated solution which will enable us to move forward".

He added: "We continue to have great faith in the quality and integrity of our product. Sovio has been subjected only to a subtractive process to remove alcohol, and has undergone no dilution of any kind."

Just two weeks ago, the FSA demanded Tesco withdraw 20,000 bottles of the Plume wine range from its shelves, due to the wines having undergone reverse osmosis, a decision that was branded "quite ridiculous" by the southern French property which makes the product.

For more on lower-alcohol wines, go to [l=][/l]