Brits have a taste for cheap plonk


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?


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.


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.


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. 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