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Russians may be forced to dine sans wine. Hope not.

on 13/06/12 at 1:18 pm


Russians may find themselves forced to moderate their wine drinking habits, as the country’s wine market is set to be held up for several months if authorities fail to clarify a new classification system.

Wine dealers and manufacturers are anxiously anticipating July 1, when new rules are expected to come into force – but Russia’s State Duma has failed so far to provide any guidance on how the new rules will be used.

The country’s wine market may be paralyzed for several months if deputies fail to clarify the new system, warned Russian Grape Growers and Winemakers’ Union president Leonid Popovich.

Starting next month, all wines be classified in one of four categories – sparkling, fruity, liqueur and natural – with the rest being labeled as “wine-type” drinks. Each category will require a special license, hitting wine makers and dealers and as a result pushing up prices.

Popovich sent a letter to Duma Deputy Viktor Zvagelsky, who is also a member of the committee handling economic policy and entrepreneurship.

“We still remember how complicated the re-licensing procedure was last year,” he told Vedomosti.