The UK government increased the duty on still wine by 20% in August this year to a record €2.67 per btl (according to the UK Wine & Spirit Trade Association). That's equivalent to €3.07 at today's rate! The Duty rate in Ireland is currently €3.19 per btl - PLUS VAT!
To make you jealous, I should mention that the French pay just £0.03 in duty on a bottle of wine, the Belgians pay £0.48 and the Dutch pay £0.57. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Greece and various other countries do not impose any duty whatsoever.The UK market is different from ours though, in that they buy a much cheaper (less quality) wine more often - the average price of a 75cl bottle of still wine in the UK retail market is £6.37 which is shockingly low. When you remove all the costs and duties, VAT etc, only 29p now goes on the wine itself !
Holy God tonight!
If our neighbours traded up to a £10 wine, they'd get around seven times more wine (£2.10)
If they splashed out on a £20 btl, they'd get nearly 22 times more wine for their money (£6.33)
These are UK figures but our Duty is a little higher, and our VAT rate is also higher (23% v 20%) but the principle applies - pay a little more for a much better wine ... and buy the cheapest at your peril.
And remember, it's against the law to sell Alcohol below cost so, if it's a cheap wine on the shelf, it's a dirt cheap wine in the vineyard!