Arsenic, Little guy beats Champagne, Smuggling

Sense at last

Good news, the lawsuit claiming that some Californian wines had dangerously high levels of arsenic has been dismissed. However, it may not be completely over, as the judge gave the plaintiffs leave to appeal.

One for the little guy

After a two-year battle with the moguls of Champagne, an English sparkling ale producer has won the right to call his beer Champale. The argument between the David and Goliath was based on the word “champ”. The French said it was a familiar term for champagne and in common usage. But it was argued that in England “champ” is short for champion.

Up the tax, up the smuggling

The UK continues to increase taxation on alcohol. The revenue comparison between the first halves of 2014 and 2015:

  • Beer: 2014 £2,248,521; 2015 £3,884,893
  • Wine: 2014 £2,202,267; 2015 £2,402,929
  • Spirits: 2014 £1,391,440; 2015 £2,816,781

It could be argued the UK customs and police are becoming more efficient. Perhaps they are. Our point is that if you keep increasing taxation on alcohol it will attract more criminality. We can see consumers slipping into cellar doors and asking if there are any unlabelled goods for cash only.

Big and fast

Accolade Wines has added another bottling line to its facility at Accolade Park in the English city of Bristol, bringing the total to six. The cost was put at £8.5 million ($16 million). It’s an impressive operation, said to be capable of handling 1200 bottlings a minute.

It’s on

After sitting on its backside for a decade lamely watching Aldi take market share, Woolworths has risen to  the challenge and is to scrap its dowdy, downmarket looking Homebrand. They are to move most of the range to the Essentials packaging, which they say looks more upmarket. One report said the Homebrand brand had been around for 33 years.

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