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Consumers ‘misled’ by wine-based drinks

Shoppers are being ‘misled’ by supermarkets selling “wine based” drinks, which only contain 75% wine but are marketed as wine and sold in the wine aisle.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the likes of Copper Australian Red sold at Sainsbury’s and The Shy Pig Crisp White on sale at Morrisons are “wine based” drinks being sold in the same way as normal wines.

Wine ratings website Wot Wine has spoken out about the practice, accusing supermarkets of misleading consumers and “damaging” the integrity of the wine industry.

“You can sell what you like but you should tell the customer what it is, because it’s not wine. It reminds me of the days when dodgy landlords would tip water into barrels of beer,” a Wot Wine spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

“When something is sold as wine but it isn’t, that is beyond the pale. I don’t think most people buying it realise what it is. Some of the wines were passable, just lacking character and dilute, while others were unpleasant, contrived and manufactured tasting.

“The so-called wine is highly misleading and damages the industry’s integrity,” they added.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine states that to be called a ‘wine based drink’ the product must contain a minimum of 75% wine, though producers do not have to divulge what the remaining 25% is made up of.

Wot Wine described the £6.25 Copper Red: “a poor, bitter and sweet thin drink”, and Copper White “nasty, unclean, pongy, thin and acidic.”

Made by Australian Vintage, the wines are shipped in bulk to the UK where they are bottled.

‘We abide by all legal requirements. It is categorised as a wine based drink as there is an addition of sugar and water in the production process,” a spokesperson for Australian Vintage told the Mail.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson added: “Copper Australian Red is clearly labelled as a wine based drink. With an abv of 12.5%, it is appropriate for it to be stocked within the wine aisle, along with other wine based products.

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