Health, fitness and Food

With Wine a Little More Goes a Long Way… You Get What You Pay For, or Sometimes Less.

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Today wine is big business. Our appetite for wine seemingly insatiable. And so too is the competition to win your wine pounds. 3 for £10 or £4.99 is common.

So how good is this wine?

Here’s a little food for thought. Every bottle of wine that is imported into the country has a number of costs associated with it.

So let’s go buy a £4.99 bottle of plonk. How much wine am I actually getting?

  • – Duty (charges by HMRC on each bottle of wine under 15% alcohol) £1.96. This charge applies no matter how much the value of the bottle.
  • – VAT on our bottle. £0.98
  • – Winery labour and shipping costs £0.60
  • – Margin for the seller £1.30
  • – Wine quality £0.15!!!!!!!

Pretty scary. Very inexpensive wine has been found to have more sulphites which can cause headaches and even migranes.

Here’s the good news though. Spend £6.99 and you get £1.27 worth of actual wine. That’s over eight times the value of wine you are getting for just £2 more! Treat yourself to a £9.99 bottle and almost one third of the cost is for the wine itself.

Does this mean any wine is better if I pay more?

Unfortunately not. It’s a good place to start though. There are some terrific wines that are still underpriced because they are not as popular as others and you can grab yourself a real bargain if you know what you are looking for.

You don’t have to drink inferior wine just to fit a tight budget. There are some great wines available that are consistently cheaper than others because they are simply not as well known or are made closer to home.

Italian wine has an enviable reputation around the world, producing some of the world’s best and has hundreds of wine varieties to offe

In the white corner…..Gavi.

It’s from Northern Italy in the Piemont region about 100Km South East of Turin, produced from Cortese grapes and grown on a small strip of land around the town of Gavi. It has a fresh and aromatic wine with a touch of tangy lemon and a freshness to the wine that is brought about by lovely mineral notes.

It’s not the same as a Sauvignon Blanc but I have converted many a Sauvignon Blanc drinker onto this. Additionally, you can pick up a bottle from as little as £5.00. This wine punches well above its price.

Try it with a pesto pasta.

…And in the red corne

The big boys are Chianti, Valpolicella, Barolo and Montepulciano to name but a few. However one of the most widely planted grape in Italy is Barbera. Century old vines produce deep complex wines with great tannins (that mouth puckering feel). Maligned at times for its high acidity, it has now been softened with better wine making techniques and adding oak or a little Cabernet Sauvignon (Sauvignon meaning savage). Available in many stores for around £6 and change. It’s a truly great buy – great to drink on its own or with a pot roast.

These are just two wines from one country. The beauty of wine is there are so many options. Next time you are in need of a bottle get some advice from your local wine merchant. Tell them your budget and what you are drinking it with, and you may be in for a pleasant surprise.


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