How to store wine - FAQ

Questions and answers

What is the current rate of duty on wine?

As of the 2010 UK Budget, the duty on a case of wine between 5.5% and 15% was £20.25 per nine-litre case. This equates to £1.69 per bottle

Wines between 15% and 22%, such as fortified wines, fall into a higher tax bracket and the current per case rate is £26.99, equal to £2.25 per bottle

It costs £25.94 to import a case of sparkling wine between 8.5% and 15% alcohol.

How long should I store my wine?

How long is a piece of string? There is no definitive answer.

Of course, most of the wines you buy will be for everyday drinking and you don't need to worry about drink dates. If your wine is designed to be matured, the best way to find out is by tasting it. If you don't want to be disappointed, the best thing is to consult a drinking dates guide - you can find them on or in Hugh Johnson's annual pocket wine book.

Where should I store my wine?

Not in the kitchen or garage! The temperatures are too variable.

If you are going to store it at home, make sure it is in a cool, dark place with a constant temperature. Between 8 and 13 °C is ideal. The wines should be stored lying down and avoid any vibrations. If you don't have a cellar under your house or haven't invested in a fancy wine fridge, the best place to store your wine is in a wine warehouse. These cost around £10 per case per year and your are assured of the ideal conditions. It also stops you being tempted from drinking a bottle at the end of a heavy night and regretting it the next day.

What is 'in bond' price

Wines that are sold 'in bond' have not had the duty and VAT paid on them.

They must be stored in an authorised bonded warehouse.

If and when you want to take them out of bond, you pay the duty and VAT on the original price paid for the wine. If you sell wines in bond to another customer who wants to store them in bond, they are transferred without any duty or VAT being paid.

If the wine is stored in bond, you are almost certainly guaranteed they are stored in the right conditions, which makes them more enjoyable for the drinker and more attractive to buyers if you are selling them on.

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