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Dry January and wine prices

February 11, 2019 Tags: 0 comments
Dry January has not been dry at all. Despite all advertising and effort, according to newspapers, the month of January has seen an increase in alcohol consumption, and considering that I have never seen wine so cheap, it is not difficult to believe.

Simply open your Facebook feed and if Facebook knows that you like wine as it does for me, one out of two adverts you’ll see, is about wine and every single one of them is offering wine at a very ridiculous price, an average of £4 per bottle, supermarket’ wines in comparison are expensive if we consider that these wines will be delivered with many of the offers include freebies such as glasses and more free wine.

And it is not just Naked Wine, that at the same time is running another advert telling people that in a 5£ bottle of wine there are just pennies worth of wine and make you question whether their marketing department knows what is doing, selling wine at less than £4 per bottle, but everyone else, including historical wine merchants and the likes of the Sunday Times wine club. And consumers bought and will continue to buy cheap wine and no wonder they forgot about Dry January.

The wine industry is going through a rough time and consumers are benefiting, but are consumers really buying great wines at great prices or just buying wines that are, at the most, worth the price they are paying for? If consumers were buying great wines, wineries and wine merchants would be out of business within one vintage to remain in theme. Reading users’ comments on the different adverts, if we exclude Naked Wines where every comment seems to be negative, all other adverts and wine merchants have a mixture of positive and negative comments, and not having tasted the wines, it is difficult for me to comment on them.

However, having been importing Italian wines for almost 20 years and having made wine before that, I can honestly say that at those prices there are no profits but only losses, and the size of the loss depends on the quality of the wine, the lower is the quality, the smaller is the loss. How can a bottle of wine cost less than the cost of the grapes used to make it or, if we exclude VAT and Duty, cost less than a bottle of mineral water?

Each wine has a different price, a different taste, a different use or purpose. There are wines that are made to be drunk “within 6 months” otherwise they become vinegar, these are the cheapest wines, made with whatever grape is left on the vines, these wines contain alcohol and pretty much nothing else, and there are wines that are made to be enjoyed, sipped, wines that are good now or in a few years, wines that contain alcohol and much more joy. Wines made only with the best grapes.

I love cooking as well as wine and the dish always reflect the quality of the ingredients, I can choose cheap ingredients but need a lot of herbs and spices and salt to give some flavour to the food, or I can choose the best of the ingredients and I barely cook them. Wine is exactly the same, ripe, healthy grapes make outstanding wines, poor quality grapes need a lot of sulphites and will never make a great wine it doesn’t matter what.
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