Sovio Wines has begun its case in the UK High Court today (9 February) to challenge a Food Standard Agency (FSA) ruling that banned its reduced alcohol wine.

Sovio argues that the FSA's "conduct and attitudes" fly in the face of government measures to crack down on excessive drinking and the UK's booze culture. Not only that, says Sovio, but the FSA was just "plain wrong" in its interpretation of EU law.

The legality of a Sovio's low alcohol wine will be tested at the High Court from today.

If successful, Sovio could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages.

The FSA ruled in 2007 that Sovio's 8% alcohol wine was illegal under EU law due to the 'spinning cone' method the company used to reduce the level of alcohol in the semi-sparkling wine.

An additional dispute concerns labelling and an EU ruling that a wine with less than 9% alcohol cannot be labelled as conventional wine.

Sovio said it has consulted with Trading Standards who gave written approval of the product and its labelling.

Sovio Wines said it was unsure as to whether a High Court verdict would be reached today.