Tuesday 1st August 2023 saw the biggest single alcohol duty increase in close to 50 years, but as well as that, the reform has seen an overhaul in how duty is calculated. For wine, whereas previously still wine and sparkling saw different rates of duty, the reform sees duty move to a new ABV based system. Simple sounding perhaps, with the more alcohol in your wine, the more duty you pay.
From 1st August 2023 to January 31st 2024, there will be a temporary fixed rate for all wines between 11.5%-14.5%, and a sliding scale either side of these ABVS. This means that for a 75cl bottle of still wine between these percentages, you will now pay £2.67 duty per bottle, a whopping 20% increase. For a 15% bottle, you will pay £3.21 a bottle, and for a fortified bottle at 20%, you will now pay £4.28, a 44% increase. Yup, you read that right. Ouch. We can hear your sighs from here.
However small a saving it may be, with the scrapping of the separate categories for still and sparkling, you will now benefit from a saving of 19p a bottle on all sparkling wines. Previously paying £2.86 a bottle, you will now pay the same as still wine, of £2.73. And hey, at Swig towers, it's any excuse for a celebration and a reason to crack a bottle of bubbles!