Independent assessor results on 'Sovio Wine'
Tuesday 4 December 2007
An independent assessor has backed the Food Standards Agency's refusal to allow the sale of 'Sovio Wine'.
The assessor was appointed by the FSA with the agreement of DB wines, the manufacturer of Sovio, to review the FSA's decision to prevent the UK sale of the drink. Sovio was described incorrectly as a naturally light semi-sparkling wine and has been made using an unauthorised technique called 'spinning cone' to reduce its alcohol content. The FSA issued a formal Movement Control Notice to DB Wines in September 2007. The company subsequently asked for an independent review of the notice, and that review has just been published.
The assessor has found that the product does indeed breach the regulations and the order should stand.
Sarah Appleby, Head of Imported Food at the FSA, said: 'The consumer should not be misled into thinking that this product is a sparkling wine. Sovio "wine" uses an experimental technique for the removal of alcohol called "spinning cone", which is currently not allowed to be sold in the UK, according to regulations set down by Europe.
'The FSA is not trying to ban low alcohol wines, but this product does not comply with either the labelling rules or the legislation on wine-making methods. If re-labelled under a different name, not using the term wine in any way that may cause confusion with wine or table wine produced traditionally, it might be able to be sold in the UK.'