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Archive for September, 2009

Wine mark ups in restaurants – how to confuse your customer

Sep. 30th 2009

It’s a reasonably well known fact that restaurants mark-up wine. And their mark up will vary considerably, but will usually be at least 200% if not more like 300%. Some even go beyond this – sometimes as far as 450%.

We all know the arguments (staff, glassware, investment in a cellar, etc.). However, have you ever wondered why you can rarely find your favourite supermarket wine on the wine list of your local restaurant?  Well maybe you can, you just don’t realise it. Read on to find out more…

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment, Wine Knowledge | 2 Comments »

What is wine?

Sep. 30th 2009

A simple question you would have thought? We go to the supermarket or preferably our local wine merchant and buy some bottles. We open it up and drink the alcoholic white, pink or red liquid inside and generally enjoy it very much.

We all know wine is made from grapes, but what about elderflower wine? And what about non-alcoholic wine? Are these products really wine?

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Knowledge | Comments Off

How to calculate units of alcohol

Sep. 9th 2009

We’re often asked how many units of alcohol are in a particular drink. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s straightforward enough to calculate.

Multiply the alcohol by volume (abv) by the volume of drink in litres (one standard bottle of wine would be 0.75 litres for example, a standard glass would be 0.125, etc).

So, for example, drinking one glass of wine at 13.5% alcohol would be 0.125 x 13.5 = 1.7 units.

Or, a whole bottle of wine at 14% would be 0.75 x 14 = 10.5 units.

Or a pint of beer (0.568 litres) at 4.5% = 2.6 units.

Easy and really, really helpful…

And please don’t forget the Government’s recommended maximum limit is 3 -4 units per day for men and 2 – 3 units per day for women. And in some circumstances such as driving, operating machinery and pregnancy, it is better not to drink at all.

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society | Comments Off

Château la Tour Blanche Sauternes AC 1996

Sep. 9th 2009

Deep golden colour with amber highlights. A pronounced honeyed nose of Seville marmalade, almonds, citrus and honey. Hugely complex and enticing. The palate is rich and sweet with marmalade, honey and complex, nutty undertones. The very well balanced acidity sets off a long and complex finish. Drinking well now but certainly has 5 to 10 more years in it, when it will gain more complexity. Good to very good, 18.

Posted by Paul | in Wine Tasting Notes | Comments Off

It’s Official! £19.99 is the optimum price for a bottle of wine….

Sep. 9th 2009

Fixed costs such as duty, shipping and bottles account for a considerable proportion of the price of a bottle of wine in the UK. There are considerable variable costs too, such as VAT and wholesale and retail margins, not forgetting the cost of actually growing the grapes. A really good question was recently asked at a wine tasting event; “what is the optimum price of a bottle of wine”?

This got us thinking and we have applied the vast resources of the West Mount Research Labs to answer that very question. The answer is £19.99, but read on to see how we reached that conclusion…


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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment | Comments Off

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