Outpouring of ire over wine price rise

Wed, Dec 5, 2012, 00:00

It seems we’re up Jacob’s Creek without a paddle and the off-licences here have drawn a Sauvignon Blanc for Budget 2013.

A quick skim through Twitter reveals what really shook people this year.

Property tax? Child welfare cuts? An end to unvouched TDs' expenses? Not a bit of it. A large measure of the Twitterati are aghast and annoyed at the €1 levy on a bottle of wine that will apply from midnight.

The budget cuts may have been white noise for many until news of the vino price hike filtered through, a reaction which has done little to dispel our image as nation is fond of a drink.

The average Irish drinker drinks the equivalent of 125 bottles of wine a year or 2.4 a week – in vino veritas. Overnight they will €2.50 worse off per week, or €120 a year. It would drive you to the stuff if it wasn’t suddenly so expensive.

We were curious to see if the change would prompt a reaction. And although queues were reported in the drinks aisles of suburban supermarkets this evening, Dublin city centre branches of Dunnes Stores and Tesco reported little or no increase. However, Twitterpics suggest there is a minor "run on the wine" as people stock up before the changes.

The news prompted one Dalkey-based wine retailer “On the Grapevine” to tweet – “Anyone want to buy a wine shop?”

Perhaps it is for sale tomorrow because with the addition of a mansion tax the poor denizens of Dalkey will surely be stocking up on Chateauneuf du Pape tonight. 

Predictably, the news led to speculation we’ll be crossing the Border to shop like the halcyon days of 2008.

Car parks in Newry and Enniskillen are likely to be filled with southern reg plates and who could blame them when the old reliables of petrol and diesel didn’t increase.

With a €250 increase to student fees, sorry, contribution, the hard pressed students can at least take comfort that there were no major increases to the price of Jager Bombs or Fat Frogs as the cost of spirits will rise by 10 cent.

If you studiously drink ten pints, you’ll be paying €1 more - another reason for wine drinkers to be cheerful.

So put a cork in it wine drinkers and share the pain, we may have turned a corner.