Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Natamycin in Argentinean Wines

This problem - if such it is - relates to a chemical which is widely used in the dairy industry in tiny quantities as a mould suppressant on cheese. Under EU rules because natamycin is not permitted in wine it is therefore illegal. (It is not legal in winemaking in Argentina either!) A new German system of analysis first spotted it and ever since Argentinean shipments have been delayed trying to get the only laboratory in Argentina with the capability of such analysis to certify that there is no natamycin in the wine... The most likely source of contamination is, it seems, oak chips where small quantities may have been used by a supplier to ensure the chips remain biologically 'clean'. Meanwhile all Argentinean wines destined for the EU are subject to lengthy shipping delays. Hence please understand that our stock levels do not currently accord well with demand...

Top Spot

Champagne Heidseick Monopole has, it is alleged, complained to the tiny Old Dairy brewery in Kent about an infringement of the trade mark 'Red Top' - which seems an entirely appropriate name for a beer from an old dairy, yet also seems to indicate a remarkable lack of confidence by the Champagne company in their own product. Is it really something that would get confused with beer? It is true that the champagne is now part of the Remy Cointreau empire, but even so surely noone is going to confuse Champagne Charlie - or are they?