10 November 2016, The Tablet

In the red with Brexit


Price rises and hikes in unemployment were the focus of “Project Fear” in the European Union referendum campaign. The latter has yet to pass, but the former is already on the march and is likely to have an impact on the cost of wine.

Already, the value of the pound has fallen by 15 per cent against the euro and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which was vehemently against Brexit, rates the increased cost of importing wine from Europe at £225 million per year, which, even leaving out probable tariffs, is likely to add 29p to the price of an average bottle of wine in the near future.

Ever the optimist, I can see how this could be turned to advantage. Wine drinkers will be nudged to look farther afield for good wine at no extra cost. Take, for instance, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the smallest but most expensive appellations in the Côtes-du-Rhône. Reputation and limited supply have already raised the price exponentially in recent years, independent of the Brexit vote. But remember that the area encircling the southern Rhône uses the same grapes and makes similar blends.

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