Ireland has the highest rates of wine taxation in Europe. Any bottle of wine, regardless of quality or final price is subject to excise duty of €3.19. This tax is also subject to VAT at the standard rate of 23%, effectively making a bottle of wine €3.92, going straight to the government coffers, just for entering the country. Every facet of wine making must then be added to this price, which is also subject to 23% VAT.
To retail a bottle of wine in Ireland for €5, taxation will account for an eye-watering €4.34! This is why I have never recommended a bottle under €5. Until today.
Shopping in Marks and Spencer in Liffey Valley yesterday, I spotted their Grenache Noir from the Rhône Valley was reduced from €9.80 to €6.40. Deciding it was worth a punt at that price I popped one in my basket. When I got to the till I smugly found it was reduced further- to €4.90. Surely it was worth that?
I’m glad to say it was. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, it is a simple, easy-drinking, every day wine with nice red and black fruit and a touch of spice. The finish is a bit short, but better than many wines twice the price. And although you won’t mistake this for a top Rhône wine, you won’t find another wine as good for this price.
I presume Marks and Spencer are discontinuing this wine, so at €4.90 it won’t last long.
Rating: DECENT 2.8/5
Value: EXCELLENT 5/5