Wine retailers are stocking up on millions of extra bottles in an attempt to soften the blow of Brexit

Wine retailers are stocking up on millions of extra bottles in an attempt to soften the blow of Brexit

Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week starting 18th March 2019

So Brexit day is looming but are our wine supplies assured? Wine retailers have been stocking up on extra bottles since last year, with Majestic getting in an extra 1.5 million bottles of EU wine as part of its emergency planning, while Direct Wines (the company behind Laithwaites and The Sunday Times Wine Club) has an extra 2 million bottles planned. But is this enough to keep up with what is sure to be a tricky time for imports?

Well not everyone is convinced wine supplies will remain unaffected. Majestic reported last month that sales at their Calais stores had increased by 49% year on year, with pre-orders up a whopping 78% compared to February 2018 – the booze cruise is still alive and kicking.

Meanwhile diplomats have been doing some hard negotiating behind the scenes – the UK has signed a deal with the USA to maintain an uninterrupted flow of wines and whiskies with a similar deal signed between the UK and Chile to ensure preferential trading after Brexit.

Buying English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish wines is always an option. But the output of UK wine makers is small compared to the total number of bottles bought.

If the worst comes to the worst then you could make your own wine. If you want to make it from scratch then planting a grape vine at the time of the referendum would have been a good move, because this autumn would see the first useable harvest from the three year-oldish root stock.

But there’s always the fall back position of making wine from a kit. All the rage in the 70s, these homebrew packs have improved in quality markedly – you can now get kits that contain 100% grape juice from a named grape type (from Shiraz to Sauvignon). Beaverdale sell their 6 bottle for about £11 and 30 bottle kits for £40 through home brew shops (search online or go to your local store).

So it’s back to homebrew demijohns then. I’ll just go and dust mine off.

PG Wine Reviews

Tesco Finest Argentinean Malbec 2017
£5 Tesco
Fruity and smooth. A modern Malbec with no heavy mouth-curling tannins.

Romeo Spanish Sauvignon Blanc
£5.95 Iceland
The frozen food store Iceland has a small selection of reasonably priced wines. This one is an unusual example of Sauvignon Blanc – rather than gooseberry flavours it tastes like Key Lime pie with a passionfruit topping. Very aromatic.

Saluti Italian Vino Bianco
£6.99 Majestic
Light lemon, almond and apple flavours.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva 2013
£9.99 Lidl
Cooked plum and chocolate cake. A light example of this type of Italian wine.

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© Paula Goddard 2019