Blog: UK government spent £73K on ‘Brexit juice’ before Covid – The Drinks Business

The UK government splashed out £73,000 on wine in 2019-20, the majority of which was English and Welsh – jokingly known as ‘Brexit juice’ in Westminster.

As reported by The Guardian, 73% of the total government wine spend from March 2019 to March 2020 was on English and Welsh drops due to Brexit.

A total of £73,000 was spent topping up the government cellar in 2019-20, up from £46,906 in 2018-19.

The average bottle price of the wines bought over that period was £17.25. Among the English wines added to the cellar were 1,440 bottles of Chapel Down Bacchus from Kent.

Photo c/o SmudgeAndSplash

Ministers sipped their way through 4,045 bottles of wine and spirits at official events and functions in 2018-19, compared with 3,336 in 2019-20.

As reported by The Guardian, the topping up of the cellar is partly funded by selling off top-end bottles within the collection.

In 2018-19, the government raised £44,000 from bottle sales, flogging the likes of 24 bottles of Château Margaux 1988 and six magnums of Krug 1982.

A cellar sale last March that was expected to raise £50,000 was called off due to the pandemic.

A total of 613 bottles of English sparkling wine were served at government receptions and events in the year to March 2020, and 163 bottles of local white.

When it comes to red wine in government however, France still rules the roost.

The government wine cellar is housed in the basement of Lancaster House, the Foreign Office building close to Green Park.

As of March 2020, the cellar was filled with 32,921 bottles with an estimated value of £810,896.

A trio of Masters of Wine advise the government on which wines to buy and sell to make the most of the cellar.

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