Wine prices could go up by more than 29p a bottle due to Brexit

Natasha Clark
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Fall Harvest Underway At Napa Wineries
Should you be worried about the price of your alcohol? Some experts think so (Source: Getty)

Wine from the EU could increase by an average of 29p per bottle as a direct result of Brexit, drinkers have been warned.

The latest statistics from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that an average bottle coming from within the EU could go up by 29p, and those from outside the EU could go up by 22p.

Figures out today showed inflation was up to one per cent this month, a jump from 0.6 per cent in the last release.

This is terrible news! Why? Should I stock up?

99 per cent of the 1.8 billion bottles of wine are drunk in the UK every year are imported, meaning that if a trade deal is not secured post-Brexit, it could be subject to tariffs.

British wine merchant Naked Wines, which is part of the Majestic Wines family, said last week that they would be raising their prices by five per cent as a result of Brexit and the dropping pound. They encouraged their customers to "fill yer boots" of "pre-Brexit prices".

Managing Director of UK wine importers, Hatch Mansfield, Patrick McGrath warned that there appeared to be little prospect of a return to pre-referendum values.

“The importers are having to meet the increased costs, which is already having a significant impact on profitability,” he said.

Read more: Now is the time to buy up some fine wine

“In the immediate aftermath of the Referendum we were covered forward for foreign currency. However this “cushion” has now run out. This will mean that we will be forced to increase our selling prices.”

Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat EU spokesperson, has faced a backlash for saying that food prices would take a hike after the UK leaves the EU.

Others have suggested that Brexit should, in fact, slash prices.

Who is right then?

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said consumers should be under no illusions: wine prices are on the up.

“This is of grave concern to the wine industry and it is vital that Government come out in support of the trade which generates £17.3bn in economic activity.”

He warned against any potential increase in alcohol duty ahead of the Autumn Statement next month, saying that it could have “dire consequences” on Britain’s wine trade.

“It is not only consumers who will feel the impact of price rises, but also by more than a quarter of million employees in the world leading UK wine industry,” he added.