At this time of year, I am always posed with stories of people who found a fantastic little wine whilst on holiday at considerably cheaper than a similar wine found at home. The reason why? Well, the UK has the highest tax on wines in
Europe, with excise duty currently standing at £1.90 per bottle, not forgetting
an additional 20% VAT on each bottle. By comparison, in France excise duty is just 3p per bottle.
I recently discovered an “app” for iphones which calculates how much of the
wine’s price is actually tax. It was interesting to see that of a £5 bottle of
still wine with 12% alcohol, that £2.73 is actually tax! That’s more than half of the purchase price. By the time that the glass bottle, cork or closure, label, shipping, distribution costs have been accounted for it really only leaves pence for the actual grapes themselves.
The moral of the story – well twofold; firstly as the £1.90 excise duty is a fixed amount per bottle regardless of the price of the wine, it really is worth spending a
couple of extra pounds on a bottle of wine as that additional money is spent
mostly on the quality of the wine and secondly what better excuse to enjoy your
new wine finds on holiday abroad!