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The Evolving Advice for UK Wine Buying

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The UK’s wine market is undergoing a transformation, influenced by factors like the cost of living crisis, Brexit and new alcohol duty regulations. David Williams, a wine writer for The Guardian newspaper, has some advice for navigating this shifting landscape.

David says the new baseline for a good, everyday bottle is £8 rather than £5.99. The range that offers the best value for your money has also changed. While it used to be between £8 and £12, the new sweet spot is £12 to £15. In this price range, you’re not just covering the costs of duty, VAT and logistics and instead paying for quality.

If you’re after quality wines, independent merchants are the way to go. These smaller retailers often offer better prices than their larger counterparts, especially when you buy a case of 12 bottles, where 10% discounts are commonly available.

Mediterranean countries like Portugal, Spain, and increasingly Greece, along with Chile and South Africa, continue to offer excellent value, particularly for wines priced under £10.

David’s Recommended Wines for 2023:

  • M&S Found Alicante Bouschet, Alentejo, Portugal 2022, Price: £8, Available at: Marks & Spencer
  • Gros Manseng Orange Wine, Vin de France 2022, Price: £8.25, Available at: Asda
  • Co-op Irresistible País, Itata, Chile 2022, Price: £8.50, Available at: The Co-op
  • Domaine de Vavril Gamay Noir, Beaujolais Villages 2022, Price: £14.25 (or £12.65 with a case discount), Available at: hhandc.co.uk
  • Quinta do Ameal Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2020, Price: Starts at £11.45, Available at: Multiple suppliers including ndjohn.co.uk and winedirect.co.uk
  • Van Niekerk Vintners Rebellie Grenache, Bot River, South Africa 2020, Price: £23.50 (or £20.95 with a case discount), Available at: leaandsandeman.co.uk