Wine prices to rise £1 a bottle

pouring wineLuca Bruno/AP/Press Association Images

Majestic Wine has warned that terrible grape harvests in some of the most productive regions of the world are going to push up prices at the beginning of next year.

So what can you expect, and what can you do about it?



At the end of last month, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine revealed that the harvest had been the worst since 1975. There were exceptionally low yields from the main European producing counties - only Portugal and Greece bucked the trend. Italy and France saw particularly big hits to the harvest - as did Argentina where production fell 22%.

Producers were scuppered by the cold winter, which killed off many plants, and the wet summer, which meant fewer grapes. Thierry Coste, chairman of the European farmers' union working party on wine, said: "This years' harvest is estimated to reach 144 million hl, which is 10% down on last year's levels, with sharp declines seen in all the main producer countries. In Italy and France, such a low harvest has not been experienced in the past 40-50 years. This was a result of drought in southern countries and cold, wet weather conditions in other Member States. Wine production is also set to decline worldwide"


At the same time demand has been rising, which is going to end up meaning higher prices. Majestic Wine told the Guardian that around February or March, the price of a £5 bottle could easily rise to £5.50 or £6.

So what can you do? There is an argument for buying more wine while prices are lower. However, that relies on you having the space and conditions to store wine without it spoiling.

Alternatively, it's worth keeping your eyes open for bargains. The supermarkets regularly hold 'wine events' and specialists offer deals on cases. At the moment, for example, if you order before the end of the year, you can get 500 bonus Clubcard points on your first Tesco Wine order when you use the code XXNKKL - which equates to £5 - or £10 in a double-points event. Asda, meanwhile, is running its popular offer of three for £10.

With a bit of planning and shopping around it should be possible to keep your spending down, without resorting to turning the spare room into your own wine store.

But what do you think? Will the rise in prices put you off? Will we see a resurgence in beer drinking? Let us know in the comments.
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