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Sustainable pricing

Did you know in the UK the fixed average cost of a bottle of wine excluding the wine itself is £4.75-£5.00 per bottle? This cost includes all associated costs, tax on wine, shipping and distribution, and the cost of the glass and the labelling. So, a bottle of wine you pick up for £5.00 gives you just 25p worth of wine, at most. At this level, the producer is losing money, clearly desperate to shift stock. It`s not sustainable. The cheapest bottle on our shelves nowadays is £6.99, a little above break even for many of the volume producers, though barely. And quite frankly, we struggle not to dip into mediocrity. We are obliged to travel to poor Moldova to buy our Pinot Grigio, which, to be fair, is pleasantly crisp and refreshing; and there are parts of Spain where the inexpensive Pardina grape grows plentifully, which blends nicely with a little Chardonnay to produce an easy-going rounded white wine with an attractive tropical fruit character. It can be done, but there`s limited scope and variety.  At retail £7.99 per bottle it`s easier, a wider range of flavours. It`s inevitably still high-volume produce, but the category is what I call “commerce friendly”, and quaffable to boot. Our best-selling Pasquiers Rosé at this price point is brilliant, a great summer party wine. But it`s by a rigorous deselecting process I have been able to find so many decent wines at this price, because all too many are still poor, I`m afraid, either short on flavour, or worse, confected, like bubble-gum. At £8.99 and £9.99 per bottle we enter territory which can be altogether more joyful, though still in need of sieving through, truthfully.  I`m delighted with my ranges, currently, not least because the wines are sustainable. It`s where, as a shop, we start to really excel. As for the over £10 per bottle category: well, the world`s your oyster. This is where life, and wine, becomes fascinating; and it`s where wine is enjoyed for more than just a drink. Cheers everyone!

 

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