Getting wine back on people's lips

03 October, 2008

You reported in the last edition (OLN Sept 19) that the UK wine trade has hit back after a TV documentary exposed ingredients added to wines without consumers knowing. While I understand why the industry would want to refute tabloid journalist Jane Moore's claims in Channel 4's Dispatches, I actually want to praise Moore for making a programme that has got the general public talking about wine.

The average consumer knows very little about wine and the longest they'll spend thinking about it is when looking at a price list in a restaurant or grabbing a bottle from a supermarket shelf.

The documentary made wine a topic of conversation and hopefully got consumers to research just what flavourings, additives and preservatives are allowed in the winemaking process. The more enquiring people are, the more interesting something gets

and, ultimately, interest equals sales.

Yes, the winemaking process is governed by strict health and safety regulations and therefore Moore's claims have little substance, but

that doesn't mean the programme shouldn't have been shown. The documentary was picked up by all the top newspapers (many rightly pointing out the flaws in Moore's argument), thus making the UK's wine industry a hotly debated topic. It's this kind of interest that we need to be generating more of if we want consumers to continue to buy wine.

Lilly Mann,


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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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