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An outcry went through the wine world, for different motives depending on the continent. For the American wine producers it was a jubilation of victory, they had won their interests in the WTO negotiations with Europe. Now it can also dawn on us, the brave new world of wine as imagined by the big wine factories in the land of unlimited possibilities. Everything that is now also to be allowed in Europe (and practically has to be) has long been common practice in the USA.

We got a small foretaste of this some time ago. Quite inconspicuously, practically through the back door, must concentration came into use with two methods - at first clandestinely, pioneered by France, but soon legalised. With two methods, inverse osmosis and vacuum evaporation, must can be concentrated. Even then, opinions differed, and very quickly the vast majority of interested producers turned to reverse osmosis. Certainly not only for financial reasons - only must can really be concentrated by evaporating water under vacuum, whereas reverse osmosis also makes it possible to concentrate wine. Of course, this is not allowed - a rogue who thinks evil. All imaginable arguments and pseudo-arguments have to be used to justify this rather powerful correction of nature. "It is much more honest to remove water from the must than to add sugar," "This is only done to get the rainwater out of a rainy harvest," "You can only concentrate the best musts anyway, because with bad material you also concentrate the negative," "The device is so expensive," etc. pp. This is at best only half the truth, and the last "argument" is a joke in view of the millions of euros spent on cellars and presentation buildings everywhere - a VW Golf is more expensive. The big hulks suddenly appeared even in weaker years, much to Mr Parker's delight and that of those who couldn't chew their fill of these fruity, fruity, chocolaty things. Unfortunately, besides R. Parker, many other journalists and wine critics belonged and still belong to this group. Somehow, it has to be said, things seem to be going quite well. Hardly anyone has yet had a proper taste of concentrated, unripe substances. Yes, such a concentrator is quite something, especially if you then "retouch" a bit, which is somewhat easier with red wines than with white wines. So the first inhibitions fell away years ago.

The other outcry, the European one, was a horrified one - but only from the corner of the quality winegrowers with very specific soils, the burnt children and the up-and-comers who, long after joining the EU, are now speaking out wine-wise. So three states have voted, unfortunately in vain, against the American dictate: Germany, Austria and Portugal. The cry of the "unteachable and happy" enlightened consumers, who see with unease what is coming, is still too quiet - for the time being.

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