Sam Owens, owner of drinks shop Thirsty, on what Brexit might mean for the world of wine
At the time of writing, no-one knows what will happen to the UK after 29 March. Will it be off the cliff with no deal, will the government keep kicking the can down the street, or will politicians miraculously seize victory from the jaws of defeat?
I’m not here to talk politics, but I can tell you for sure that a no-deal Brexit will have significant consequences on the drinks business, and consumers will end up paying more for their tipple. Most of the wine we drink comes from across the Channel. At present, as part of the EU, the UK uses the EU’s Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS). This enables a supplier in one country to log a shipment electronically and for it to pass pretty seamlessly across borders to the end destination. This will all stop if we exit the EU without a deal – and probably even if we somehow manage to cobble together an agreement.
Couple that with the likelihood of a further fall in sterling (making everything from abroad more expensive to buy), the introduction of tariffs and general gridlock at ports on both sides of the Channel, it seems a sensible idea to stock up on your favourite drops now.
We’ve always been very Europe-focused with our range of wines at Thirsty. I used to live in France and still own a wholesale distribution business in the Alps so I have a fondness for it. Here’s a trio of fantastic European wines on the shelves at Thirsty this month, including at our fab new site Thirsty & Hungry on King Street.
Bruno Bouche Etre a l’Ouest 2017 – a fresh, juicy Chardonnay from the foothills of the Pyrenees, this one is unoaked, unfiltered, unfined and unbelievably tasty (£15).
Principio Moristel Somantano 2016 – a delicious red from indigenous Spanish variety Moristel, with only 12.5% ABV (£12.20).
Arndorfer Handcrafted Gruner Veltliner 2017 – a funky white from Austria, also unfiltered and unfined, with the juice being left in contact with the skins to add texture to the wine (£16.40).