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The political history of British boozing

Choosing whether or not to drink imported wine was once a political decision. With Brexit looming, it becomes one once again

By Barry Smith   January 2018

Once the world’s biggest wine import market, the wine trade in the British Isles exerted a hidden hand on the planting and decision making of wine growers in France and Portugal. Bordeaux supplied the almost insatiable demand for Claret—the name the British gave to the red wines of the region, although the word almost certainly derives from Clairet, a pale, rose-like wine.

When England and France were engaged in interminable wars, the canny Scots became France’s major ally against the Auld Enemy and the Auld Alliance was born. As a result of…

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