Wine and binge drinking
December 8, 2007
The solution the government is suggesting is to increase the duty once again. I don't think this is the correct solution. The end result of this policy is to put out of business small merchants selling quality wine and to help big supermarkets like Tesco in selling cheap wine and make even more money. There will always be, does not matter the rate of duty, a place where it is possible to buy a bottle of wine for £2.99. This was 7 years ago when I first came here and this is today and the duty has constantly increased budget after budget. For me the solution lies in two areas, education and intervention in the cheap wine sale, what has now started to happen in Scotland. A moderate consumption of wine is healthy, this has been proved by several studies and a nice glass of wine is also a pleasure, too many is a no. They damage our health. This is the first message the government should send out. The second area in which the government should intervene is the sale of cheap wine which is the cause of binge drinking. I would like to invite everyone to think that, paying a bottle of wine £2.99 or even £3.99, taking off the VAT and the duty, the wine becomes cheaper than a branded bottle of mineral water and the last comes in a plastic bottle and does not require any additional work if not bottling it. A bottle of wine is the result of at least 12 months spent in the vineyards, under the rain or the hot summer sun, and in the cellar. If on the other side, the product is sold at a price below cost, this cost is normally borne by the producers which then opens a lot of ethical issue in a world that has, rightly, become so concerned about ethic and fair trade. How can we be happy to buy local to sustain the local economy paying more and then buy a £2.99 bottle of wine without thinking of the people behind it, they are not near us but they exist. Will we be happy to give the produces of our gardens, the result of our hard work, at less than what they cost us? I won't. In Italy we have this old say, I was told you have the same here, you get what you pay for and this is more than ever true. This applies to everything, not just wine.
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