Bargain-hunters among the wine lists will hate been disconcerted by
Edmund Penning-Rowsell-s dictum in the Financial Tinies of last Friday that 'if it is wine you are after, the dearer classes provide the better value.' Mr. Penning-Rowsell was pointing out what a small proportion of the price of a wine sold in Britain is, in fact, the cost of the wine itself, say, 8d. to Is. on a bottle costing 8s. 6d. retail. The rest is absorbed by transport, storage, bottling, duty and mark-up.
That is why dearer wines are better value, ex- cept possibly for a small group of subsidised wines, those from Chile, for instance. Edward Giddings of Devizes now has a Cabernet from Santiago which is one of the best examples I have encountered. At 8s. 6d. a bottle, it is worth taking advantage of the Chilean government's no doubt temporary generosity.
The whole of the Giddings list is worth scrutiny, with its selection of Beaujolais (a fresh and fruity 1965 at Its.). There are five excellent I964s mostly about 14s., which is about the same as G. F. Grant of 6 Idol Lane, EC3, are charging for theirs. Grants are making a speciality of young, single vineyard Beaujolais such as Fleurie Exclusivite Er entail and Brouilly, vignoble de Perrieux. Taste these and 'bargain' Beaujolais for ever after reveals itself for the fraud it is.