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Wine and War

I don’t want to write this post.

I really don’t want to write this post.

Mere thinking about the war unfolding right now in Ukraine literally gives me pain. What started on February 24th is pure, unthinkable, unfathomable madness. Brothers were sent to kill brothers. All on the orders of the egomaniac who lost his mind and belongs in jail or a mental institution – at least I wish this was the case. In reality, it was all well thought through and calculated, so the ruler of Russia really belongs in jail as a war criminal. The country that was a subject of merciless, unjustifiable aggression 80 years ago became a merciless, unjustifiable aggressor itself. Unfathomable.

Of course, wine has nothing to do with the war. At the same time, everything has its role in the war. Here is how.

Instead of bottling the wines, Ukrainian wineries are bottling “Molotov cocktail” and helping in any way they can – wine writer Lyn Archer wrote an excellent piece detailing what is happening at the wineries in Ukraine and beyond.

Speaking against the war in a totalitarian regime is an act of courage that almost guarantees to land you in jail. Nevertheless, a group of top Russian sommeliers wrote an open letter to Putin, expressing their strong opposition to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Russia is not the biggest wine market in the world, but from 2015 through 2019 was consistently the fastest growing one at about 15% growth every year. As multinational conglomerates declared their exit from Russian markets, it is still a very difficult decision for the majority of the wine producers – but a necessary one. La Rioja Alta, one of the best Rioja producers in Spain, suspended its trade relations with Russia.

To protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden’s government-owned liquor stores Systembolaget stopped selling any types of Russian-made alcohol. A similar boycott was announced by Finnish stores Alko. Also, Russian-made vodka was removed from the shelves of many wine stores in the USA.

The world doesn’t need war. After 2 years of the pandemic, the war is absolutely the last thing we need right now. I don’t know how, but I really, really want it to be over. Now. Before it is too late.

  1. March 10, 2022 at 3:40 am

    Think of you and your family my friend

  2. March 10, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you Anatoli for this heartfelt post. We’ll eventually get through this, hopefully soon.

  3. March 11, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anatoli. The article you mentioned is without a doubt the most important one I’ve written to date. If only words were as mighty as weapons right now. #tolife

    • March 11, 2022 at 11:27 pm

      You wrote a good story, Lyn. It is definitely a difficult time…

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