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Life is too short to drink bad wine!

I came across this article on BBC website recently, called: “Drink a day ‘raises cancer risk”. The article was warning people that “A glass of wine each evening is enough to increase your risk of developing cancer”. This statement was supported by a research conducted by Cancer Research UK,  which showed that: “Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases – mostly breast cancer – among the UK women each year.”

The wine in the UK issue has been bothering me already for a while. It is expensive and on top of that the quality of the popular and affordable wine sold in the UK leaves much to be desired! I knew something was fishy about the wine and I started my investigation.

Before you do your next wine shopping:

  • you will know the actual cost of a bottle of wine (you can see who is actually making all the money),
  • you will be aware HOW the supermarkets manage to sell you cheap and bad wine and make you feel great about your purchase,
  • and you will know why you really shouldn’t buy a £5 wine!

First, lets have a look at a price of a bottle of wine.

Lets imagine a wine merchant buying a case of wine from USA for the price $50 per case of 12. According to the current exchange rate it costs him £2.71 per bottle. Could he retail it for £5? Probably. But look at the horrendous UK taxes and you will have to double the retail price!

OK, lets do some maths now.

Lets add 40p per bottle shipping cost = 3.11
UK excise duty for wine – one of the highest in the world – is 1.81 pence per bottle.
Plus 5 pence for the wine from outside the EU = 5.42.
Now lets add the VAT 1.08 = 6.50.
The average supermarket’s margin is 40%. 6.50 + 40% = 9.10

And what if the supermarket buys the wine from the reseller? Than his margin and his VAT will have to be included…

Let me guess what you are thinking! Mmmm This is exactly the kind of wine I usually buy! The only thing is Im lucky to find great offers in the supermarkets, like 3 bottle for 10 pounds or 50% discounts for the £10 bottle of wine.

Let me explain you how it works:

Firstly for these offers to qualify legally as a genuine half price deal, the wine has to have been on sale at one branch for at least two weeks at it’s “full” price. What they do is: they keep this wine for 2 weeks on a bottom row out of sight in some remote store at double price. So that in 2 weeks they can offer you a great half price deal.

If the supermarket price is £5 after all the taxes, shipping, labeling, bottling, shop margin… the real cost of this wine in some cases can be as little as 5p. Obviously this is not a good wine but cheap plonk full of chemicals.

Would you eat a 5p. meat?

Going back to the article reporting the Cancer UK research results. This article really pissed me off. I was very tempted to pick up the phone, call Cancer Research UK and ask: a glass of WHAT wine causes that? Is it a glass of amazing Negroamaro carefully grown on the Italian vineyards? Even the smell of this wine fills you with happiness. Every time you sip it your body says THANK YOU! Or is it a glass of cheap stuff good enough for a school chemistry lesson?

Dont get me wrong, I am not a snob. I don’t spit out wine at the wine tastings. No. I just want the wine to fill me with happiness, not to poison me.

Bad news: Because the UK excise duty on wine keeps going up (it is going to be increased 2% each year till 2015), the supermarkets keep mastering their skills to sell more wine.

Good news: its up to you where you shop for wine and how much you pay. You can always find wine societies on-line or go to the independent wine shops which often will offer you better quality wines and good advice. Pay a bit more.

Life is too short to drink bad wine, Ladies and Gentlemen!