When the tomatoes are too sweet for comfort, restaurants add more cream or butter; when they're sour, some cooks neutralise the excess tartness by loading the gravy with sugar, which is as blasphemous as chaptalisation
of wine ( or adding sugar to balance a wine's excess acidity).
, the addition of sugar, is forbidden by law.
In an opinion adopted on 12 December on the reform of the common market organisation (CMO) for wine (497 to 109, with 89 abstentions), the European Parliament rejects the automatic liberalisation of planting rights, limits grubbing to three years, maintains chaptalisation
(the addition of sugar for enrichment) and aid for must, reinforces promotion, enlarges the national budgetary envelopes, rejects the transfer of funds to rural development, and calls for stricter rules for designations of origin and labelling.
Voted against European Commission's plans to ban chaptalisation
and abolishing aid for using grape must;
Many vineyards had a record yield and good alcohol levels, with rising average temperatures removing the need for chaptalisation
(addition of sugar) in some cases.
As for the very sensitive questions of banning chaptalisation
[the process of adding sugar to the fermenting vat], the use of must aid for enrichment and the liberalisation of plantation rights, they will be broached at ministerial level.
The practice of adding sugar to wine for chaptalisation
would also be banned, with producers being forced to use just grapes and unsubsidised must.
The Commission proposes authorising chaptalisation
by using only grapes produced in southern countries of the EU.
France, whose view on chaptalisation
is less black-and-white than that of other member states, suggests that different enrichment processes should be combined in the future.
On the question of the addition of sugar to enrich wines (chaptalisation
), the rapporteur shares the opinion of the EU executive that this practice should be banned, although several MEPs from Northern Europe have called for a better north-south balance on chaptalisation
and enrichment using grape must.
On scrapping must aid, the commissioner signalled she backed a parallel scrapping of chaptalisation
(adding sugar) in northern Europe.
On the question of the ban on chaptalisation
[the process of adding sugar to the fermenting vat], which was brought up during the Agriculture Council on 26 September in Brussels, the division between the north and the south of Europe is still strongly present.