Brits have a taste for cheap plonk

Updated: 

Red wine

Half of wine drinkers in Britain wouldn't pay more than £6 for a bottle of wine at the supermarket, and only 7% of people would be prepared to pay more than £10.

So is this a sign of underlying ignorance, or canny bargain-hunting?

Cheap

The figures come from a survey by Harpers - reported by the Observer - which revealed that 80% of all wine sold in the UK retails for less than £6. It also found that by far the majority of people buy their wine from the supermarket, and almost a third of Brits buy most of their wine in Tesco.

It added that behind the headlines the regional variations were impressive - with only 12% of Londoners prepared to buy wine that costs less than £5 - compared to 41% in the West Midlands. In the North-East only 2% of people would spend more than £10 on a bottle of wine.

Bargains

On the one hand, there's some excellent bargain-hunting going on. The supermarkets regularly use wine as a loss-leader to get shoppers through the door. There are also great case deals, and regular supermarket promotional vouchers offering enormous sums off the price of wine.

Eagle-eyed shoppers can get even bigger bargains. We wrote back in November about how some Tesco shoppers had exploited a glitch which gave them two thirds off the price of a bottle of wine. It meant, for example, that bottles of McWilliams Markview Chardonnay marked at £8.99 were selling for £2.75.

And there are some award-winning wines at this price. In 2012 a red wine costing £3.59 at Aldi (Toro Loco Tempranillo from 2011) won a silver medal at the International Wine and Spirit competition. A year earlier it was the turn of a the Cimarosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from Chile (sold by Lidl for £3.99) which took gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Mistakes

However, there was some evidence from the survey that ignorance may be playing its part too. According to the Daily Mail, a third of people in the survey couldn't name a single grape variety - while only 4% of people could name more than 10.

There's no getting away from the fact that on a cheaper bottle of wine, the cost of the wine itself is an incredibly small percentage of what you're paying. Corksout.com did the calculations, and demonstrated how as you spend more on a bottle, you get proportionally more for your money.

It found that on a £4.99 bottle of wine you are paying £2.83 for the tax, £1.40 for the retailer's profit, 60p for the manufacturing and shipping - and just 16p for the wine. That's just 3% of the price of the bottle.

On a £6.99 bottle of wine that goes up to £1.27, which is 22% of the price of the bottle. On a £9.99 bottle that goes up to £2.98 - or 30%, and on a £14.99 bottle that's £5.59 or 37%.

But what do you think? Do you go for bargain wines? Are you happy with your choices?

Zoopla properties with wine cellars

Zoopla properties with wine cellars