The Italian Almanac

rose' wine

No Blending

Italy welcomed the European Commission`s decision to drop plans to permit the making of rose` wine by mixing red and white wines. ``We are glad to hear that Brussels has given up plans to authorise the blending of red and white wines to produce rose` wine,`` Italian Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia said on hearing of the decision by European Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel. ``This is the Europe we want, one based on the respect of identity, quality, food safety and tradition,`` he added.

Spain joined Italy and France in their strong lobbying to have the EC reverse its decision to lift a ban on producing blended rose`, in which a small amount of red wine is used to color white wine. Traditional rose` obtains its color by allowing the juice of crushed black grapes to remain in contact with the skins, which contain natural pigments, before fermentation begins.

In explaining her decision to backtrack on the reform, Fischer Boel said ``it`s become clear over recent weeks that a majority in our wine sector believe that ending the ban on blending could undermine the image of traditional rose``. ``It is important that we listen to our producers when they are concerned about changes to our regulations. I am always prepared to listen to good arguments and that is why I am making this change,`` she added.