Wine Glut An EU Emergency

Wine may become a worldwide drink of choice just for its improving dollar value.

On top of Australian grape growers announcing a bumper crop that may further depress that nation's wine over-supply, a glut of European wine has caused the European Commission to call an emergency meeting to figure out what to do with the surplus.

The EU says there is a surplus of 4 billion bottles of wine, and it could grow if competition from what it calls "new world wines" continues cutting into European wineries' sales.

According to the London Sunday Telegraph, the 150 representatives at the summit will be asked to present options to avoid the unpopular practice distilling millions of bottles of cheap table wine into industrial alcohol in an effort to reduce supply and boost prices.

Some 3 billion bottles of wine last year were processed into industrial alcohol, but the price remained depressed, officials said.

European taxpayers subsidize the wine industry each year by up to $1.7 billion, the Telegraph said.

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