Very inexpensive wines could be taxed out of existence in the UK, if proposed changes to alcohol taxation are implemented. Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson wants to cut down on binge drinking in the UK, which he feels has reached epidemic proportions.
His report said the new pricing strategy would set a minimum price of 4.50 pounds ($6.30) for a bottle of wine; a minimum of 14 pounds ($19.70) for a bottle of whiskey, and a base price of 6 pounds ($8.50) for a six-pack of beer. From Cheap booze blamed for British binge drinking
While no doubt there is some price elasticity for alcohol consumption, to me it seems unlikely that a nation’s drinking habits would be changed dramatically even by these Draconian changes. Instead, I’d expect other spending areas to be curtailed and the politicians who supported this concept to be voted from office at the electorate’s earliest opportunity.
In the US, $3 wines are common, if not extremely good, and sometimes prices can be in the $2 – $2.50 range for brands like Charles Shaw and Oak Leaf. As in the US, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are rarely the alcohol of choice for binge drinkers, but wine lovers will pay the price.