Gordon Brown, AKA the Chancellor of Predictability

20 April, 2007

Predictably, the Chancellor put duty up on wine in the latest Budget.

Predictably, retailers refused to apply the increase to their prices and predictably the suppliers got upset by this.

Predictably, commentators pointed out that it didn't really matter if wines were sold at £4.99, £5.04 or even £6.71 as long as they were fairly priced and everyone made a modest margin.

And even more predictably than any of this, someone wrote to Off Licence News complaining about how predictable it all was. Do we have to go through this every year? I can predict the answer.

Gavin Smallwood


Rosé, smosé ... so what's all the fuss really about?

Am I the only one who's a little bemused by the rosé revival?

Most of the big sellers are too sweet, bland and in some cases nothing like real wine. The decent stuff is often hard to come by and overpriced. My customers don't really appreciate it because it's drier than they imagined it would be.

I will gladly cash in on this mini-boom for as long as it lasts, but to be perfectly frank I'll put a lot more effort into my beautiful Alsatian wines, the crisp Loire quenchers, the juicy Albariño and the zesty Grüner Veltliner that go down so well.

It's pretty hard, as a wine retailer, to encourage customers to buy wine with as little character as the average rosé.

Phil Smedley


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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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