German minister to cross swords with EU

2nd November 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany is to do battle with European Union officials over the designation of Apfelwein, an alcoholic apple beverage from the south-western state of Hesse, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said Friday.

2 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany is to do battle with European Union officials over the designation of Apfelwein, an alcoholic apple beverage from the south-western state of Hesse, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said Friday.

Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer would "do his best" to keep the designation, in the face of a proposal from the European Commission to use the term "wine" purely for grape products, the spokesman said.

"The concern of the Hessians is justified," the spokesman said in response to a journalist's question.

"The minister definitely wants to save the terms Apfelwein and Obstwein, while it should be made clear to consumers that these are not grape products," the spokesman said to laughter at the routine government press conference in Berlin.

He expressed confidence that these terms - Obstwein translates as fruit wine - would be retained.

Apfelwein, also known under various other terms like "Ebbelwoi" and "Apfelmost," is a beverage with an alcoholic content of 5 to 7 per cent, best known in the region around Frankfurt.

The drink is a regional icon, although its sour taste is unpalatable to many unfamiliar with it.

The EU has engaged in regular battles with member states over designations, particularly of alcoholic drinks. Terms like vodka, ouzo, whisky, whiskey, champagne, cognac and armagnac have been the subject of heated debate.

DPA

Subject: German news

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