Talking Wine – April 2016

We are fast approaching Budget time and by the time you read this it will be done and dusted. My plea to the Chancellor would be to keep cutting duty rates especially giving a break to our own industry. Whisky, gin, cider, beer and wine are all produced to a high standard in the UK and should be encouraged for many different reasons. In England the average consumer (which probably excludes those who read this column!) pays £333 in tax on booze each year, whereas the same consumption in Italy would attract a tax of just £46. For those interested the tax on table wine is £2.05, sparkling wine is £2.63 and spirits £7.26. However it doesn’t stop there because you have VAT at 20% on the whole cost which includes the liquid, glass, stopper, label, transport etc and also on the duty tax. So you pay a tax on a tax. It’s just crazy!! There is always a fight against the anti alcohol lobby but recent figures have shown that a cut in duty brings greater revenue to the treasury so come on Mr Osborne – you know it makes sense!!

A Scottish based company is launching a grapefruit based beer and has come up with a gimmicky way to entice new customers. Anyone presenting a grapefruit will be offered a free half pint, but with the offer restricted to one half per person the offer seems less than attractive. The grapefruit will be sent to the brewery for use in the next brew. So how much does it actually cost to produce a half pint compared with the cost of a single grapefruit?