In a recent strategic move to boost the country's health, Russia is encouraging its citizens to drink more wine, in place of stronger alcoholic drinks such as vodka.
Alexander Tkachyov, head of the Russian Ministry for Agriculture has warned that strong alcoholic drinks such as vodka and moonshine, “not only rob people of their health, but also of their lives”. But drinking wine, he added, “could see the country's health and demographic problems change for the better”.
The state has also announced its plans to increase support for domestic winemakers. This move is emblematic of a wider shift in Russia towards wine-making, highlighted by a growing community of wine enthusiasts in Siberia, as well as an announcement in August last year, that the Russian Orthodox Church had plans to start producing its own, for ceremonial, and according to speculation, commercial use.
So as not to get too carried away, Tkachyov wisely acknolwedges: “Of course everything has to be in moderation: You can die from drinking a bucket of water. Wine must also be taken in moderation, even though the majority of Russians don't understand that.”