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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Still have a couple more Ubud posts to go, including one on the unforgettable panel discussion with the immensely charming Anita Desai. Just the kind of author you always want to meet.

But I'm going to take a bit of a break to find out - What makes vodka vodka?

Actually, that's the question that isn't quite plaguing me, though it sure is troubling European Union agriculture ministers. They are trying to decide what the illustrious drink must include to deserve the name.

Current holder of the EU presidency Finland, where vodka is almost as popular as in neighbouring Russia, has the support of fellow Nordic nations.

They are demanding that only spirits made from grain and potatoes be called vodka, enraging south European countries that make the drink from wine.
According to the Finnish proposition, vodkas produced with other products, including grapes, should mention the fact in large letters on the bottle.

The European Parliament is due to give its first opinion on the matter next March.

As the spirited debate to get to the truth in the bottle continues, take a look at the Russian take here: