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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Thursday, September 24 2009. 17:00

UK Body to Debate Low Alcohol Wines

With a growing demand from wine consumers for wines with a lower alcohol and the UK government advocating lower imbibing of alcohol, WSTA plans to organise a lower alcohol wine forum in London on October 1, by bringing retailers and producers together.

After concluding a successful annual conference on September 16th, The Wine and Spirits Trade Association wants to now focus on the issue of low alcohol wines and look at the potential for this category in the forum being planned on October 1 at the Mayfair Conference Centre, in Marble Arch, London.

The well-known author and journalist Jancis Robinson MW will chair the event which will include the most influential wine buyer Dan Jago of Tesco and Jeremy Beadles, CEO of the WSTA, who will start with an update on current industry laws and situations.

The forum will discuss the latest market research from California-based TFC Wines & Spirits and the British PLB Group-the biggest independent family firm in the UK, selling 6m cases and turning over around £70 million a year. TFC specialises in low alcohol wines and calls its products "New Generation Wines". These are lighter in style and alcohol level, but still promise in every other respect the enjoyment factor of conventional wines.

Amanda Walker, Marketing Manager of the PLB group will talk of the Consumer research into low alcohol wine category, followed by David Stevens, VP & Technical Director, TFC Wines, who will present a Winemaker’s view of how various wine making techniques and new technology can be used to lower alcohol in wines.

On-Trade view of the potential for low alcohol wines will be presented by Andrea Ruggeri, Director of Purchasing in Matthew Clark, UK’s iconic drinks wholesaler, while Dan Jago, Director of Tesco  will share the view of the off-trade.

The timing for the forum is right as the EU has recently passed laws that remove some of the barriers preventing sales of wines made using new generation winemaking technologies, like reverse osmosis.  

The forum will consider the opportunities for lower alcohol wine, particularly in the light of ongoing sensible drinking campaigns and also reflect on some of the challenges still faced, including technical legislation and marketing rules.

Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of the WSTA says, “Given the prevailing public agenda around healthy living it’s timely for the trade to share information and expertise about lower alcohol wines.  Some of the biggest names in the business are taking part and I hope this event will stimulate a lively debate.”

WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 320 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits. They campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad, including excise and customs duties, retail policies etc.

DelWine and Indian Wine Academy have been advocating the cause of low alcohol wines for around 4 years now. Many people claim that the high alcohol is due to the personal liking of the most influential wine critic on the planet, Robert Parker. There are many winemakers who believe that due to the temperature rise caused by global warming the higher levels of alcohol are inevitable but the integration and balance of alcohol is the key factor.

The forum will hopefully address the issue of balance and intake of alcohol in the system and the negative health effects of higher alcohol.

If you are in London around October 1, you might want to call +44 (0)20 7089 3874 or write to Louise Vaux for more details. The forum is free for the WSTA members but if you give a reference of this totally independent article, you might get an invite for this morning event to be followed by light lunch.


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