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Off limits: EU bans 'foreign-made' sangria

George Mills · 14 Jan 2014, 17:16

Published: 14 Jan 2014 17:16 GMT+01:00

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Anyone hoping to sell a non-Iberian version of the fruity wine beverage will now have to resort to the distinctly less exotic term "aromatized wine-based drink" when labelling their product.

Those foreign producers will also have to clearly label where their blend of the hugely popular punch-style drink is made.

And the same tough rules apply to clarea, or sangria blanca, the white wine version of the beverage.    

The legislative changes are part of a European Commission overhaul of the "definition, description and presentation of aromatized wines, aromatized wine-based drinks and aromatized wine-product cocktails".

The rule changes are designed to help signify Common Agricultural policy, the Commission said in a background document on the new rules.

They have been warmly welcomed by Spain's Wine Federation (FEV) with a spokesperson saying they were "delighted".

Sangria is a popular drink among tourists in Spain, and is usually sold in one-litre pitchers.

There is no one standard recipe for the tipple, and there are regional variations but standard ingredients include wine, lemonade, fruit and a sweetener. Spirits can also be added, with brandy being a popular choice.

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Although sangria is generally thought to have originated in Spain, some believe the drink was invented by the English in the Caribbean and made its way to Spain from there.    

The EU now accounts for about 90 percent of world production of aromatized wine products, according to Commission figures.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

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