Whether you’re buying wine for yourself or as a gift for a friend, navigating price tags can muddy the waters when it comes to know which bottle is worth your buck.
There are some very excellent wines for under a tenner, and there are some very terrible wines at fives time that price, and vice versa.
Our Independent Wine Club gurus offer some advice for your next purchase.
Q. How much should I be spending on a bottle of wine?
A. It would be nice to say that there is a bullseye price for a great bottle of wine but the reality is, there just isn’t.
First off, what you spend on wine is of course, personal and if it works for you – that’s what matters. It is interesting to look at where your money could be going when you buy a bottle of wine, and to see if it is actually being distributed behind the scenes in the way that you think it might be.
The price tag of a bottle of wine also includes the cost of transport, duty and tax, winemaking labour and the seller’s margin.
Spend much less than £10 a bottle, there is very little left on the actual wine (some reports suggest as little as 30p at the £5 a bottle mark). As you go up the shelf, you can be reasonably confident that the liquid in the bottle is taking up a larger percentage of the overall cost.
It’s hard to say what the exact sweet spot is, and there are certainly some great wines available under £10 a bottle (Côtes du Rhône springs to mind). In our experience, though, you can find wonderful, artisanal, sustainable wines at around the £20 a bottle mark.
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