About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cost of wine follow-ups

I saw a recent post in Harpers Online about the BBC Watchdog programme in which the redoubtable Oz Clarke attacked the so-called bargain prices available in many supermarkets. So I decided to look back at some of my posts on this topic, including one from January 3rd, 2011, where I highlighted certain "bargains" available in Tesco. It's worth noting that Elizabeth seems to be on half-price even now, nearly 2 years later!
Oz questioned whether any of the wines in question were ever really on sale at the stated full-price and got some substantial support from Allan Cheesman who really knows this industry inside out. In the articles linked above the point is made that consumers assume that if the supermarkets can then anyone can sell at a so-called 50% off. This just isn't possible.
My understanding is that one store has a bottle of wine which was "bought" at the alleged full-price with a till receipt as proof but that stock is not available in any other store until the "sale" starts - this is used to show, if questioned, that the wine was on sale but this does not show that any consumer could have bought it!
There are a number of sales like this where wines are stocked in specially to be sold at some nominal "lower" price. The 50% off is a real joke since, if the vendor is still making a profit, this means the original price was at a vast profit.
I then looked back at my piece after last year's budget which saw a €1 increase in Excise Duty. Recently the Journal.ie ran an article in relation to an extra €45 million raised from this measure - but note that in my blog last year I calculated that the target was €90 million! I wonder if they'll fall equally short next year? The fact that the Goveernment still hasn't introduced Minimum Pricing is shocking. This would have got around the VAT refunds to supermarkets selling at a loss and achieved a positive health benefit. More than likely the gains, in both real income and reduced health costs, would far outweigh the small gain made by imposing higher duty rates.
Then again, if I'd wanted incisive and lateral thinking, I wouldn't have voted for any politician!

1 comment:

firstpress said...

Noone bothers with trivia like till receipts any longer. Superquinn's recent French Wine Sale (one of the supposedly good guys out there) introduced about twelve New wines to its shelves. These arrived just in time for the 'Sale' and had never been sold before in Ireland. They were still given a fake real price that they were then 'discounted' back from!
Possibly even worse though is that in order to get a real looking Sale price they have to make up a high fake real price. As Minister Noonan raises retail prices the fake real prices are rising also!! Its such an incredable joke. Apparently the Rare Vineyards range had a 'Real' price of €9.99 reduced to €6.99 in 2011 and a 'Real' price of €12.99 reduced to €7.99 in 2013. Nothing adds up there at all - and they know it.