Swiss Air Force Causes Scandal Over Italian Wine

The Swiss Air Force is coming under fire for gifting its staff bottles of Italian wine
Swiss Air Force Causes Scandal Over Italian Wine
Wikimedia Commons

This is the kind of stuff that causes a national incident in a peacetime country.

Switzerland, known as a uniquely neutral power, whose army knives gain more notoriety than its actual army, has found itself in an awkward situation thanks to its air force. The Swiss National Air Force — which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary — marked the occasion by gifting bottles of Italian wine, instead of Swiss wine, to staff members. Now that’s what you call a national party foul.

The fermented grape culprit in question was a 2009 Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore that was given to Switzerland’s Patrouille Suisse aerobatic display team. The bottle has images of the team imprinted on the label and carries the tagline "Patrouille Suisse 2014.” The Air Force has assured the public that the gift was internal, and will not be released in stores.

"It’s like if for a big event we would go and get the Patrouille de France [French aerobatics team] or the [Italian team] Frecce Tricolori. It’s a scandal,” said the national councilor for the winegrowing region Yannick Buttet.

Meanwhile, the winemakers themselves are fairly nonplussed.

"The wine isn’t being served in an official capacity, so we don’t have much to say about it,” said Thierry Walz, the vice-president of the Swiss wine and grape growers' association. “Just that we regret that they haven’t chosen a Swiss wine; there is enough of it and very good ones, at that."

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi