Friday 23 February 2018

Katherine Donnelly: Beat the taxman to the deals

We can’t say we haven’t been warned: €1 extra is going on the bottle of wine. Michael Noonan has almost made a virtue out of it, so I regard it as my patriotic duty to continue sipping. If opening a decent bottle helps to get us out of this mess, I’m all for it.

There is the affordability factor, but wine prices have come down and continue to do so. Supermarkets have some blindingly tempting offers, but, even in these hard times, it would be foolish to ignore specialist wine stores and independent off-licences. They offer such a diversity, with many personally selected wines from smaller producers.

Competition has never been keener. Oddbins is now offering 20pc off a case of six, not 12. In the independents, it’s hard not to trip over bin-ends of bottles imported in more prosperous times. More than that, there is evidence everywhere of sharper pricing on regular stock, as wine producers are persuaded to cut better deals in the interests of holding their Irish trade.

I’m all for being virtuous in the national interest, but, eh, not just yet: before the taxman cometh, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to do some stocking up.

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