How much do you pay for a bottle of wine online?

How much do you pay for a bottle of wine online?

Outline:

I was reminded recently of a comment that we received on an old Facebook post that really made me think that maybe I should address it here. While I don’t have the exact wording, it was along the lines of “Why would I line the pockets of the cowboys who are selling wine at an exorbitant mark up? Sure the same Wine bottles in Spain are less than half the price”.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and I agree, cowboys are cool but I’m pretty sure this person was using it as a pejorative term.

My problem with this isn’t that this person hadn’t thought out the comment or even that they were incorrect. My issue is that I’m not sure anyone has made it clear why there is such a vast difference between Ireland/ the UK and the rest of Europe.

Let’s talk about tax! (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type)

Anyone who has ever hopped in the car to drive up North for shopping knows that Ireland has a higher rate of standard VAT than most other countries in Europe. In fact, when compared to the traditional wine-producing countries, we pay the most (tied with Portugal). That’s 23% of your wine bill.

The tax that no one talks about or campaigns on which really hurts though is excise duty. To you and me that’s €3.19 on every bottle of wine that has between 5.5% and 15% alcohol. Multiply that by two and you have the excise duty for sparkling wine.

 Oh and don’t forget that that is also subject to 23% VAT!

When we compare our excise duty on each bottle of wine with the rest of Europe we begin to see how prices can be so drastically different.

The Price comparison chart: Tax per Wine bottle to the rest of Europe:

Austria

€0.00

Italy

€0.00

Belgium

€0.56

Latvia

€0.83

Bulgaria

€0.00

Lithuania

€1.24

Croatia

€0.00

Luxembourg

€0.00

Cyprus

€0.00

Malta

€0.15

Czech Republic

€0.00

Netherlands

€0.66

Denmark

€1.13

Poland

€0.29

Estonia

€1.11

Portugal

€0.00

Finland

€3.16

Romania

€0.00

France

€0.03

Slovakia

€0.00

Germany

€0.00

Slovenia

€0.00

Greece

€0.00

Spain

€0.00

Hungary

€0.00

Sweden

€1.87

Ireland

€3.19

UK

€2.51

 

It’s astonishing to think that we pay more than any other country in Europe, and that 15 of the 28 countries above have no excise duty on wine.

Culture and preconceived notions play a major factor when it comes to pricing.

The common idea when it comes to taxing alcohol is that it’s unhealthy so we should tax the hell out of it so people drink less. The state can and does use this to increase revenue to the detriment of industry. From my (admittedly anecdotal) experience there is a better way. It starts with education and culture.

I believe that the greatest factor in reducing alcohol consumption has been the rise of the craft beer movement. When people start paying more for higher quality goods, trying new things and investing time in appreciating what they’re drinking they, oddly enough, binge less.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, encouraging tasting over drinking will do more good than any tax.

Kind regards and drink up,

Neil

 

 

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