Obviously you could drive to France and stock up on duty free wine and get more for your money. But a simpler, everyday solution is to pay more for the bottle you take home. If this seems at odds with my self confessed tight-fistedness then let me explain: the ‘fixed’ costs on a £5.00 bottle of wine will be £2.90 – only the VAT element having increased. This leaves £2.10 to be dolled out to everyone involved in making the wine, but importantly it means that you could be ‘spending’ nearly twice as much on the wine approx £1.05 as opposed to 65p. Spend £7 on a bottle of wine and guess what, as much as £2.00 goes on the wine.

In a nutshell, when you spend £5 on wine, you get twice the wine you get for £4; spend £7 and get double what you get for a fiver.  I’m sure there are flaws in this reasoning and exceptions to the rule, but I’d reckon four times out of five that you’d be making huge leaps in quality for modest increases in what you’re willing to pay.

But if you’re determined not to break the £4.00 threshold, what can you do? Probably best to grab a calculator and figure out if a 75cl bottle of wine at 13% abv will get you more drunk than a four pack of beer at 5%. Surely, when all you’re eventually spending on the wine is 65p, it can only be for one reason, and that’s more about getting drunk than about drinking.

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As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 


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