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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I am about to open a wine shop in DĂșn Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wine Library and the opinions expressed herein but I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy. From June 2013 until May 2017 I was the Retail Manager for The Wicklow Wine Company. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips and Governance Committees Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cost of wine follow-ups

I saw a recent post in Harpers Online about the BBC Watchdog programme in which the redoubtable Oz Clarke attacked the so-called bargain prices available in many supermarkets. So I decided to look back at some of my posts on this topic, including one from January 3rd, 2011, where I highlighted certain "bargains" available in Tesco. It's worth noting that Elizabeth seems to be on half-price even now, nearly 2 years later!
Oz questioned whether any of the wines in question were ever really on sale at the stated full-price and got some substantial support from Allan Cheesman who really knows this industry inside out. In the articles linked above the point is made that consumers assume that if the supermarkets can then anyone can sell at a so-called 50% off. This just isn't possible.
My understanding is that one store has a bottle of wine which was "bought" at the alleged full-price with a till receipt as proof but that stock is not available in any other store until the "sale" starts - this is used to show, if questioned, that the wine was on sale but this does not show that any consumer could have bought it!
There are a number of sales like this where wines are stocked in specially to be sold at some nominal "lower" price. The 50% off is a real joke since, if the vendor is still making a profit, this means the original price was at a vast profit.
I then looked back at my piece after last year's budget which saw a €1 increase in Excise Duty. Recently the Journal.ie ran an article in relation to an extra €45 million raised from this measure - but note that in my blog last year I calculated that the target was €90 million! I wonder if they'll fall equally short next year? The fact that the Goveernment still hasn't introduced Minimum Pricing is shocking. This would have got around the VAT refunds to supermarkets selling at a loss and achieved a positive health benefit. More than likely the gains, in both real income and reduced health costs, would far outweigh the small gain made by imposing higher duty rates.
Then again, if I'd wanted incisive and lateral thinking, I wouldn't have voted for any politician!

1 comment:

firstpress said...

Noone bothers with trivia like till receipts any longer. Superquinn's recent French Wine Sale (one of the supposedly good guys out there) introduced about twelve New wines to its shelves. These arrived just in time for the 'Sale' and had never been sold before in Ireland. They were still given a fake real price that they were then 'discounted' back from!
Possibly even worse though is that in order to get a real looking Sale price they have to make up a high fake real price. As Minister Noonan raises retail prices the fake real prices are rising also!! Its such an incredable joke. Apparently the Rare Vineyards range had a 'Real' price of €9.99 reduced to €6.99 in 2011 and a 'Real' price of €12.99 reduced to €7.99 in 2013. Nothing adds up there at all - and they know it.