Saturday, September 19, 2009

A bottle of red, a bottle of white, but something on this label doesn’t seem quite right!

"If it says B.C. wine, you would expect it to be local," -- A BC wine connoisseur outlining his thoughts and concerns over signs and labels, that suggest BC local wines but hold a surprise as to what's inside that bottle.

Some rather loose interpretation of what should or should not be considered a BC wine is causing not only confusion, but a fair bit of hostility with wine connoisseurs around the world, and especially for those who frequently trumpet the BC brands of wine.

A controversial labelling strategy utilized by the nation's three largest winemakers and one created in consultation with both provincial and federal officials is being greeted with derision by those that study and offer up recommendations on wine.

The situation even caught the interest of one of the worlds most read and important business magazines, The Economist, which caught a whiff of this potentially fermenting scandal featuring the details in its report for a September 10th article.

The labelling and marketing issue comes about with the fact that low cost California and South African wines are being identified and sold as Canadian products, even though there is nary a drop of Canadian grape within the bottle.

It's the fact that you have to read deep, deep into the fine print of the wine labels to learn that these economically priced brands consist of the rather informative line of "Cellared in Canada from domestic and imported wines"

With not so much as the aroma of a BC grape in the bottles, British Columbia winemakers are crying foul, suggesting that these interlopers are getting a free ride on the hard earned reputation of BC's winemakers.

The wine companies that are producing this faux BC bounty, are raking in the cash, making their product for a low as 21 cents a litre and selling it for anywhere from 9 to 13 dollars a bottle.

Even more offensive to the local industry, is that these brands are being showcased in the BC section of the BC Liquor Stores, a move that has not only the BC industry but observers of it suggesting that it's time for a little transparency in those tinted bottles.

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