… is a Soviet-era word which means, as its English equivalent (deficit) implies, a shortage of something. Russia is currently suffering a wine deficit.

Kostia and I are red wine drinkers and we probably drink a bottle every three days on average. When we are students in heavily-taxed Sweden, alcohol will be all but unaffordable for us, so we were looking forward to our last few months of indulgence.

When wine started disappearing from the shelves last week, we were unconcerned. Kostia’s theory was that it was all bought up by high school graduates preparing for the all-night graduation party last weekend. Although this didn’t sound likely to me, anything’s possible in Russia.

But now all of the shelves are bare, waiting for the new import tax stickers to be printed, and we’re forced to drink beer. Which is OK in moderation, but…

(Masha Gessen also has a nice piece about this terrible problem.)