Available down your local Aldi. But not in pint bottles
So it should surprise no-one to see the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph telling readers today “Hopes that EU ‘hangover’ will be cured with pints of sparkling wine … Ministers are pushing for a return of the imperial measurement for fizz favoured by Winston Churchill and vintners alike” under the by-line of deputy political editor Lucy Fisher. One wonders if Ms Fisher volunteered to write this drivel, or was volunteered.
Because this is yet another example of the kind of “journalism” that would, in the old days of the Tel, have ended up on the spike. It starts badly, with “Before the UK joined what later became the European Union in 1973, it is claimed that 60 per cent of all champagne sold in the country was in imperial pint-sized bottles”. “It is claimed”? YOU DON’T KNOW.
And it gets worse. “Upon accession to the Common Market, however, the UK was forced to fall into line with an existing Brussels ban on the glass container, as well as other uses of imperial measurements”. Why then, pray, can I buy Newcastle Brown Ale in a pint bottle? Or Carlsberg, Heineken and Stella in pint cans? Why, all through the 70s and 80s, could I buy other beers in pint bottles, especially Guinness? And, indeed, who is going to provide Champagne in pint bottles now? The answer is a nice round number.
“The development is good news for Rathfinny Estate, which produces sparkling wine in Sussex and laid down 800 pint-sized bottles in the wake of the UK voting Leave, although the winemaker had been campaigning for the return of the ‘modern pint’ long before Brexit”. Who is this “modern pint” of which the Tel speaks? Ready for the let-down?
Here it comes: “the modern pint, which holds 50cl”. THAT’S NOT A PINT. 55cl, the Newcy Brown size bottle, is as close as makes no odds. Strictly speaking, a pint is 56.8cl. Worse for this lame Brexiteer propaganda, the only source of this “modern pint” sparking wine is a producer in the UK. So, by definition, it is NOT CHAMPAGNE.
So why this lame rubbish? Here’s your two clues. One, “An ongoing review into ‘hangover’ EU laws has been taken on by Liz Truss”. Lame Telegraph article promotes equally lame Tory leadership candidate no shock horror. And Two, “Brexiteer MPs have also welcomed signals that the Government is preparing to scrap the EU ban”. Guess who that means?
“Mark Francois, chairman of the European Research Group, commented that ‘if you are an optimist, you go through life believing the glass is half full, rather than half empty’, but urged ministers to allow British vintners to go ‘even further and offer to make the pint glass full to the brim’ with sparkling wine”. He didn’t personally take out half a dozen Jerry pill-boxes in storming the Normandy beaches just to have litres imposed on himself.
Whatever Liz Truss, Mark François (note cedilla under the c) and the Tel’s credulous hacks say and do, there will be no pint bottles of Champagne any time soon, if ever.
Nor will there be any Brexit benefits for the vast majority of voters. Sad but true.
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