How much are you paying for your wine?

How much did you actually pay for wine

How much did you actually pay for the wine in your glass?

We are often asked why we don’t sell any wine for a fiver, so I thought it would be interesting to show exactly what a bottle of wine costs. When I first had this explained to me at a wine tasting, it certainly made me think twice about the wine I was drinking.

The budget each year sees the Chancellor, merrily slap another vicious price rise onto a bottle of wine without anyone seeming to notice, but look more closely and you see how much the Government is actually making from our glass of wine.

So lets look at the figures and see what it really means in terms of our shelf price of a bottle of wine and who actually is making money.

The duty on a bottle of wine is now £1.81 plus its VAT, totalling £2.17, which is what you are handing to the Government just for the pleasure of purchasing the bottle, without actually enjoying any wine yet. You will then pay 20% VAT on the rest of the price of the wine.

Take your desired £5 bottle of wine, 53% of the price is tax or £2.64, when you spend £10 this drops to 38% of the price going into the treasury coffers.

Are you starting to see where this is leading?

To start with, the more you are prepared to spend on a bottle of wine, proportionally, the less you have to hand to the Chancellor.

Next there are some fixed costs associated with producing wine, notably bottling, shipping, storage, bottle, cork, label, packing, transport etc. This all adds up to roughly 80p per bottle. Below is a simple visual which shows how fixed costs and taxation affect differently priced wines.

What are you actually paying for a bottle of wine

How much do you pay for your wine?


What this really shows is that the value of the wine increases exponentially the more you spend on it, which means the quality will be proportionally better. If you double your spend on a bottle of wine, the actual value of the wine itself increase around six-fold, which is quite impressive I think.

In all these calculations, I haven’t actually accounted for anyone actually making a living out of the wine and there is the Vigneron, the Shipper and the Retailer at least, who all need their percentage.

So you can see that for a four quid bottle of wine,

a) No-one is ever going to make money, except the treasury and
b) The quality of the wine is going to be a tad limited.

Now for your eight pound bottle of wine there is a bit more to feed the families and you can begin to assume that there are some carefully tended grapes.

As prices of wine have continued to rise over coming years the heavy discounting of the supermarkets has made it ever more difficult for independent retailers to compete. Last year saw the folding of Threshers, Wine Rack, Victoria Wine group and more recently we watched the sad demise of Oddbins, one of the more colourful shops which introduced a new era of exciting wine.

The good news is that there is a new breed of independent wine merchants and wine producers who are bringing their expertise and knowledge of niche markets to us. Caviste Wines and Fullerton Estates are examples of these and the reason that Chilbolton Stores made a decision, earlier this year, to stop trying to compete with the supermarkets and follow the ethos of working with local companies who have a passion for good products.

So next time you are looking at Wine, think about what you are actually paying for, as for a few pounds more, you could be enjoying that glass a lot more.

Find out about our summer wines at the Chilbolton Stores Wine Tasting on Saturday 9th July from 12.30 – 3.00pm

Salut and enjoy your wine.

We do.

Based on an article written by Xenia Irwin for Cornwall Today

Wherwell Family Hero Makes Hampshire Life Book of the Month

Rogue Male by Roger Field and Geoffrey Gordon CreedThis is the untold story of one of the most lethal and successful soldiers of the Second World War – a highly decorated hero as well as a self-confessed rogue. He is also the Father of Wherwell resident and Grandfather of Mila, who worked in Chilbolton Stores.

In the tank war in the desert of North Africa, Major Geoff, as he came to be known, quickly showed himself a soldier of superb athleticism, unwavering will to win and almost superhuman instincts when it came to survival and outwitting the enemy. Almost incredibly he won the Military Cross on his very first day in action. He fought alongside the SAS in its early days and was with them while they were forging the ruthless fighting techniques that have made them feared throughout the world. He played a decisive role in the Greek resistance to German occupation. While in Greece he also became involved in some of the dirtiest hand to hand fighting of the war. To the men with whom he fought shoulder to shoulder he was ‘Saint Geoff’, to his enemies he was the devil incarnate, a man who would stop at absolutely nothing, and to his critics among the partisans he a was a womanizer, more interested in enjoying himself than killing the enemy.

This is an honest account of winning the war not by fair play but by being more ruthless than your enemy. But maybe what is even more extraordinary than his soldiering – its predatory ruthlessness and amorality – is the frank account of sexual adventuring that went with it. This is how the dogs of war behave when they are let off the leash.

Author Roger Field became fascinated by the untold story of Major Geoff following a chance conversation with Geffory Gordon-Creed’s son and was determined to see Major Geoff’s enthralling story in print. Through Gordon Creed’s sons he was given access to previously unseen journals and letters and the result is a brutally honest account of the merciless tactics employed on and off the battlefields

You can purchase Rogue Male on Amazon

The Village Shop – An extension of your larder

Chilbolton Village Shop is an extension of your larder

We’re here for the essentials and the things you can’t get from Tesco.

One of my clients, who works for a large household name, said to me recently that running a village shop must be extremely difficult, as you can’t compete with the supermarkets. I replied you’re right, but we’re an extension to your larder. He laughed and asked what I meant, which prompted me to write this.

As a village shop we can never compete with the supermarket’s buying power to drive their suppliers to provide them with products, so cheap that dairy farmers are selling up in the UK. What we can be is an extension to your larder, the place you turn to when you run out of those essential ingredients; an onion, a leek, salt, rice, pasta. We’re also the place where you can just pop in on a Sunday morning and pick up your croissants, bacon and eggs with your papers.

But we also supply those other goodies which you can’t get with your weekly run to Tesco or Waitrose. The local cakes for tea with your Mum or Grandparents, free range sausages, smoked trout, locally cured meats and cheeses for lunch, freshly picked strawberries (it will only be a couple of weeks) and fresh bread first thing in the morning.

We’re here for the things you can’t get from a supermarket as well as the items you forgotten to buy.

And like your larder its conveniently not far to go.

Postcards from a village friend

Picture of Chilbolton and WherwellI recently received a postcard from an elderly lady who used to live in the village. Due to ill health she recently moved to live with her family. Finishing her lovely note were the words “they don’t even have a village shop here!”.

This got me thinking about how lucky we are in Chilbolton and Wherwell. Not only do we have a village shop (an outstanding one, in my opinion, but I may be a little biased), but we have two exceptional pubs, a school and even a hairdressers. Visitors often comment on how we could live in the ‘perfect’ village.

Thank you Rosemary Morton for reminding me.


New weekly shop delivery Facebook and Twitter

Social Networking logosSocial media hit Chilbolton in a big way on Tuesday with the a great impromptu evening of Blues in the Abbot’s Mitre. Jo was on Facebook, when I walked in the door and she suddenly picks up the phone, whilst typing with the other hand. We’re going to the pub, she calls and I’m just rounding up the troops.

What she meant was that Dave had posted on Facebook that they had a great Blues Trio in the pub and it would be good to see everyone. Jo quickly ‘liked’ this on Facebook and also picked up the phone to our village friends. Half an hour later we’re in the pub and people people are coming in for what was great evening of music and general chat with friends. Don’t worry Scott and Jamie, Jo will forgive you if you buy her a drink 🙂

Now there are those in the village who may have heard of Facebook and Twitter, but thought that it was something for the youngsters and was full of stalkers and you could get a virus. Actually Facebook is used by all ages and is growing in popularity with parents and grandparents, as a way of keeping up with their children and grandchildren.

Within the village Facebook is a great way of keeping in touch with other people and hearing about events, viewing photos and just generally chatting. Wondering who else is going to the pub tonight, or what specialities we’ve got in the shop? Just check on Facebook or start following us on Twitter.

Chilbolton is a community and the internet is a great way of extending this beyond the physical boundaries of dark winter nights and wet days. For those in the village who are housebound, setting up a Facebook account and following people in the village on Twitter has been a great opportunity for them to be part of the community, without needing to arrange a lift into the village.

Chilbolton Stores delivery service

This brings me on to the other item in the title, our new weekly deliver service. If you’re struggling to get into the village at the moment, or find it difficult to carry your shopping back, then let us help with our weekly delivery. Deliveries will be on a Friday and orders should be made by Wednesday. This means that we can include your requests for fresh fish, Greenfields free range pork or fresh meat, at supermarket prices on your order. You can also follow all our announcements through the Chilbolton Stores website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Christmas at Chilbolton Stores

Well another Christmas has been and gone and as always Christmas comes creeping up and suddenly it arrives and we are into the last few days. This year was no exception and the snow and ice made a usually busy time even more busy.

Thanks to everyone in Chilbolton and Wherwell, this December has been one of the most successful, helped by the increase in Christmas orders we received. In fact we received orders from as far a field as Southampton, Newbury and Whitchurch, a testament to the quality of local food produced in and around the village. Smoked Trout from the River Test Smokery, Christmas Puddings and Cakes from Emma Way (Taste) and speciality pies from Cottage Savouries were all well received by customers far and wide.

This year we added Free Range Turkeys from Noah’s Ark Farm to our traditional Christmas fare and it was fantastic that so many people chose this option as well as the traditional turkey option, which has proven a great success. Personally I thought it was one of the best turkeys I have ever cooked and eaten, but judging by the numbers of comments we’ve received I’m not the only one. In fact Jo was flagged down in Village Street last Monday, by a customer who had to tell her how good her turkey had been.

This feedback is really important, as Jo and I both want to support other local suppliers and will be passing on this to Sue and Paul at Noah’s Ark Farm. I knew we had made a good choice when I collected almost 40 turkeys on the 23rd December. Noah’s Ark Farm was a ‘real’ farm, not a ‘factory farm’ and the care that is given to the turkeys is evident in the quality of the meat. As one customer commented the turkey smelt fresh and was beautifully presented, no plastic wrapping in sight. I can guarantee we will be using Noah’s Ark Farm next Christmas.

After delivering almost 80 orders between Jo’s parents and I, we were glad when Christmas Eve arrived, together with our customary visit from Father Christmas and the Christmas post. I don’t know how he gets time to fit everything in, but he didn’t stay long, as he had a busy night ahead of him.

New Year is now rapidly approaching and we are all feeling positive about what 2011 will bring. 2010 was a tough year for all, but we are looking forward to 2011 and we both are grateful for the support and friendship that the villages provide us.

All that remains is to say Happy New Year to all from both Jo and I and we look forward to seeing you soon.

All the best

David & Jo