As I explained in the previous article introducing Eurowine (an EU flag-flavoured wine crafted by Domenique), the significance of the wine lies in part in its connotations. While we were having our first taste of the wine last Friday, Domenique suggested that, like the Dutch with weed, the Swedish have set the agenda for moonshine: while most new methods of cannabis cultivation derive from Holland, new methods for the production of moonshine mostly derive from Sweden.
Yet interestingly, it’s for completely different reasons. Rather than the permissive Dutch laws on cannabis cultivation, strict Swedish laws limiting the conventional distribution and consumption of alcohol have fostered an especially homemade drinking culture.
With alcohol limited to around four hundred state-owned alcohol stores and a can of beer costing around three times as much as in other similar European countries, the trend for brewing alcohol at home has led to a host of recipes for producing alcohol incredibly quickly. Indeed, the Swedish have created recipes to home produce alcohol at a strength that would typically take a few months in just a matter of days.
So, thanks to the Swedes, those somewhat reluctant Europeans, we were able drink the European flag just days after Domenique had discussed the idea of making wine out of it. Notwithstanding how appropriate it is that wine made from the European Union flag comes thanks to excessive regulation, this speedy production is also wholly apt, replicating the superficiality of the EU flag and drawing attention to the advantages (and disadvantages) of the European project.
The EU flag’s newness and it’s lack of historical depth are clearly problematic, but at least these characteristics make it fresh and immediate, and at least no one owns the symbols of the EU to the exclusion of all others. Like this batch of Eurowine, the flag’s flavour can react to the needs of the occasion without being overburdened with history. This is something which should be embraced!