'George takes half' when you buy wine

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association is highlighting the fact that when you buy wine, 'George' takes more than half of the price as tax.

In all, 57% of the price of an average bottle of wine goes into HM Treasury's pockets, and WSTA are urging Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to take action on this in his upcoming Budget speech on March 19th.

Miles Beale, chief executive of WSTA, says: "The Alcohol Duty Escalator is bad for the economy, bad for business and bad for the consumer.

"It is vital to spell out clearly to the Chancellor the significant contribution of a great British industry to jobs and growth in the UK."

When you buy wine, the alcohol duty you pay is largely fixed, unless it is a very low-alcohol wine, for example.

That means that if you can afford to spend an extra pound per bottle, the wine in that bottle will typically be a full pound's worth better quality.

As such, it is generally a good idea to buy the best wine you can afford - so a greater percentage of the bottle price goes towards the drink itself, and not towards lining HM Treasury's pockets.