As is typical of Latin Europe there’s a refusal to learn the basics of economics:
The grapes are tended with loving care for months on end before being picked and pressed to produce the fine wines for which Europe is renowned.
This year, however, hundreds of millions of litres of wine could end up as industrial alcohol and sold to pharmaceutical and cosmetics firms.
The prospect will break hearts across the continent, according to one producer, and yet the consensus is that no other solution exists for a sector facing a crisis of historic proportions.
A combination of President Trump’s tariffs, Brexit, a trade deal between China and Australia and the coronavirus pandemic has left vineyards in France, Spain and Italy with their cellars full of unsold bottles.
Many smaller producers say that their only option is to distil the wine into alcohol — a procedure which requires authorisation from Brussels.
The answer is to lower the price. For lower prices increase demand, that’s just how us human beings work.
Mr They added that if producers put all their unsold bottles on the market when the lockdown ended, prices would collapse. Distillation was a better option, he argued, although “it will break our hearts”.
Yes, quite so, that’s the way prices work.
Quite why, after all these millennia of working out how things do work, they’ve still not got it is uncertain. Perhaps it’s the garlic in the diet, it clouds the mental facilities or something?