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Is Britain dumbing down as a wine nation?

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 07, 2014

Wine

Most of us prefer cheap wine to vintage bottles

Comments (2)

Britain is 'dumbing down' as a wine nation as many of us refuse to pay over £6 for a bottle, research says.

The study, carried out by drinks specialist Harpers, also claims that only one in three Britons can't a single grape variety.

Some 80 per cent of all wine sold in the UK costs less than £6, and just seven per cent of us are willing to part with more than £10.

Reasons for this shift in popularity to cheaper wines includes the five year cost of living squeeze and evidence to suggest that the nation genuinely prefers them to exclusive vintage wines.

A study found that eight in ten people preferred wine costing £4.99 to a similar bottle costing £19.99.

Jeremy Rockett, marketing director at Spanish-owned wine distributor Gonzalez Byass, said: "You go into a supermarket and there’s a wall of products that all look broadly the same."

"There are 900 glass bottles of similar size and shape, but different countries, different grape types – many you’ve never heard of – all with different prices . Where do you start as a young person? It’s really, really hard."

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2 comments

  • North Glos EPC  |  April 07 2014, 4:08PM

    Is it a case of "dumbing down" or are we "wising up"??? Lot of snobbery around the subject of wine. Personally I don't believe a £10 or even £20 bottle is necessarily going to be better than a £5 bottle. Perhaps it's me but I really would have trouble separating cheap from expensive wine by taste, except perhaps for the absolute bargain basement rot gut variety. The good news is I therefore don't need to spend out for a bottle, but admittedly I can't show off to guests by telling them I'm offering expensive, therefore must be "good" wine. Pretentious snobby wine buffs will no doubt say I'm a philistine with shot taste buds, but I can live with that, as I'm sure they can live with the unnecessary spending of their cash.

  • Kay_Powell  |  April 07 2014, 3:27PM

    No, we simply got wise to the fact that there is very little relationship between price and quality. Above £4 per bottle, there are some really nice wines (as well as some disgusting ones, admittedly); and above £6 per bottle, there are still some absolutely vile wines. So, the thing is to know which wines you like and look out for them on special offer. For instance, Isla Negra wine is always good, and is available from between £4 and £10 per bottle, depending on the type of wine and whether or not it is on special offer.

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