Grape debate

29th July 2005 at 01:00
Never mind the small matters of the EU constitution and possible accession of Turkey, what are Euro-persons going to drink during the UK's six-month presidency?

The Blairite MP Andrew Dismore wants ministers to confirm it will be English wine. But Bill Rammell, minister of state at the Department for Education and Skills, has only moderately reassuring news.

"For events and meetings hosted by the Department as part of the UK presidency of the EU," he told Parliament, "we have aimed to keep costs to a minimum and... are generally using house wine. This has included English wine..."

What can "house" mean? Is it House of Commons supplies or does the DfES have its own label? But we fear "house wine" may refer to quality. So it'll be Basic Skills plonk, rather than A* vintage then.

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