French senators are to begin drafting legislation to legalise alcohol publicity on the web, and prevent free wine tastings from being outlawed.

"We will prepare amendments to the proposed new health laws, in consultation with a representative from the Minister for Health," said French senator, Gérard César, who will lead preparation of the amendments and is president of the senatorial study group "Wine and Vine".

A Paris court effectively outlawed online alcohol promotion in France earlier this year, ruling that France's Loi Evin, which has governed alcohol publicity since 1991, makes no allowance for the internet.
 
As they stand, the proposed new health laws, aimed at reducing alcohol abuse by young people, would make free wine tastings illegal, and officially ban alcohol-related web promotions such as spams and popups.
 
The new legislation is due to be passed early next year.
 
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot has said she will not oppose an amendment allowing limited alcohol publicity on the internet.