Warning of black market booze

05 September, 2008

The worsening economic situation could spark

a revival in bootleg booze, according to

a Home Office letter to the Prime Minister

leaked to the media this week.

But the letter also predicted

the downturn could put an end to deep discounting, prompting a decrease in alcohol-fuelled violence in town centres.

"In an economic downturn we expect a significant increase in smuggling, in particular of fuel, alcohol and tobacco, but also across a wider range of goods," the letter stated.

Ministers have played down the significance of the letter, stressing it was only a draft and that much of its contents were "blindingly obvious".

But Wine & Spirit Trade Association communications chief Gavin Partington agreed

a recession may encourage illegal alcohol sales.

"Clearly times are tough and people are looking to cut back on spending," he said, "so I suppose one aspect of that may well be an increase in illicit trade.

"You could look back to the growth of cross-border trade in the 80s as evidence of this."




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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