The UK is one of Europe’s most consistent importers of wines, bringing in wines of all price points from the likes of France, Italy, Spain and around the European Union in huge quantities. Since the EU referendum last year however, and the rather unpredictable General Election that saw the Conservative Party barely hold on to power, wine prices have been on the rise across the United Kingdom.
As the value of the pound has fallen dramatically against the Euro, importers, merchants and retailers are seeing their profits squeezed on European wines, which are by far the most popular in the UK. As they are left with little choice but to pass this on to consumers in many cases, individual bottles of wine have risen by an average of 29p, according to the WSTA (Wine & Spirit Trade Association).
Given the value of the pound against the Euro, it is now costing an additional £225 million per year to import the current level of wine from the EU, and retailers and importers simply cannot afford to bear this cost on their own. It’s not just supermarket bottles and table wine either, with fine wines now costing UK investors substantially more as the pound continues to be weak against other currencies.
The situation could yet deteriorate too, with a further weakening of the currency after the hung parliament on 9th June, and the prospect of the upcoming negotiations to leave the European Union, which will likely see the UK leaving the single market. In this case, we may expect to see tariffs on wines imported from the EU, increasing the per bottle price even further.
So despite the increased prices, now may be a sensible time to stock up on your European wines, as the future could yet see prices go even higher across the UK.
If price rises don’t bother you however, and you’re still looking for that perfect red to compliment your steak or that sweet white to go with your dessert, check out this beautiful interactive guide to food and wine pairings from Oliver’s Travels. If it doesn’t make you feel better about the price rises, it will certainly take your mind off the General Election and get your mouth watering for those European delicacies!