Wine trends for 2012

Expect to hear more from Swartland and natural wine producers – as well as rising prices.

An American friend of mine is fond of paraphrasing an old hippie slogan about marijuana. “Wine,” he says, “will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no wine.” That’s not likely to find favour in the Department of Health, but you get the idea: a glass or two of wine is a relatively cheap pleasure in economic tough times.

This year, however, even that small comfort is going to be more expensive, and it’s hard not to feel aggrieved about the principal reason why: the Duty Escalator. This is Treasury shorthand for the punitive annual duty rises on wine of 2% above the rate of inflation. Instigated by the last Labour government, it will continue until at least 2015.

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