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The big vodka battle?

>> Saturday, March 17, 2007

k763-0007What is vodka? What do you think? Vote in the poll below. There is a debate currently on which rules should regulate vodka production within the EU, in particular what vodka should be made from. Some say that vodka should only be produced from grain and potatoes (nor surprisingly, this view is held mainly by the “traditional” vodka producers in northern and eastern Europe who traditionally use those raw materials). Others say that vodka could be made from other things too – perhaps not too drastic a view taking in to consideration that it’s a spirit that tastes mainly of, well, alcohol (and hardly of potatoes or grain). For the moment EU regulators are leaning towards the more liberal definition. The Swedish state owned company V&S Vin & Sprit, producer of the best selling vodka Absolut, threw it’s weight into the debate with a press release referring to a poll made with the Swedish public: 62% of the respondents said that they thought that vodka was made from grain and potatoes. “This shows that the Swedish consumer has a clear understanding of what vodka is made from” said Peter Luksep, responsible for EU issues at the state owned distiller, who was also the one who had commissioned the poll… He contrasted that with that “only” 24% of the respondents identified g as the raw material for cognac and 34% correctly answered apples for calvados. Could that perhaps be because many more people drink vodka than calvados or cognac? On also wonders why the poll did not ask the question if people thought a law should be introduced that limited vodka to be produced from grain and potatoes… And one also wonders if V&S Vin & Sprit’s conclusion is that it should be allowed to make cognac from other things than grapes. It is fun with this sort of self serving polls, isn’t it?


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