Changes to UK Alcohol Duty
read time: 2 minutes
date published: Jul 27, 2023
last updated: Feb 16, 2024
Alcohol duty is levied by HM Revenue and Customs and is accounted for by producers and importers of alcoholic products and included in the prices they charge.
From the 1st August 2023, the previous alcohol duty freeze will end, and duty on alcoholic drinks will rise in line with inflation and according to their alcohol content.
While these changes are meant to simplify duty by removing the separate volume-based taxes on beer, cider, spirits and wine in favour of a blanket ABV based rise across all drinks, we all know this is rarely the case.
For example, the duty paid on most wines (with an ABV between 11.5% and 14.5%) will increase by 44p excluding VAT, but just to complicate things, the duty on sparkling wine will actually fall 19p to keep them in line with still wines! (The Wine and Spirit Trade Association)
The good news for lovers of Pet Nats and orange wines is that the fermentation process of many natural wines means they often have a lower ABV, and wines under 11.5% won’t feel the effects of these rates quite as severely.
The cost of a bottle of wine
These changes are a reminder of what the price on your bottle actually means, and why you still get so much more bang for your buck with bottles from small producers.
According to Noble Rot, despite being shipped in bulk and sold in cheaper packaging, only around 30p of a £5 UK supermarket bottle represents the actual wine, just 6% of the total price. That percentage increases drastically when you choose to spend a little more, and opt for wine from smaller producers. For example, the wine cost in a £10 bottle is around £2.24, 22% of the total price.
While this 20% tax hike on cost prices will unfortunately have to be reflected in the prices of our bottles, and in the coming months you’ll inevitably start to see a few pounds creep on here and there, it’s certainly no excuse for us to stick a few quid on every bottle on our shelves, and these increases in prices will only be where absolutely necessary.
Thanks to the foresight of our amazing suppliers, we’ve managed to get our hands on a big stash of plenty of your faves to stock up before these increases and will be honouring these lower prices until we have to buy again.