From left: Astley Vineyard Madeleine Angevine 2018 £12.29 Ludlow Farm Shop; Colehurst Dry White £9.99 Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury; Montgomery Solaris 2018 £20 Derwen Farm Shop, Guilsfield.
One of the big battles UK wines face is the cost v quality conundrum. Generally when people talk about any wine it's a question of them liking what they know and knowing what they like. And most of the wine they know will come from a supermarket and it will have got there often by travelling thousands of miles. The selection on the left, as you can see, cost a pretty penny, with perhaps only the Colehurst Dry White coming within the price range that most people are happy to pay for wine - and then probably at the upper end of their preference. One of the big differences between UK wines and the selection you find in the supermarket is simply the scale of production. Another would be familiarity. People just don't know about local wine production, so they're a little reluctant to take the plunge. On our patch, vineyards like Halfpenny Green and Hencote cover a fair acreage, but others are tiny in comparison. The effort to produce one bottle of Astley Madeleine Angevine is bound to be greater pro-rata, so inevitably that's reflected in the price. All of the wines pictured, were bought from retailers within a relatively short distance of the vineyards that produced them, so at least the air miles were pretty cheap, even if finding them cost a bit in petrol. The Colehurst came from the Battlefield 1403 farm shop north of Shrewsbury, the Astley Madeleine Angevine from the other end of the A49 at Ludlow, while the Montgomery was bought cross-country at the Derwen Farm Shop in Guilsfield. For the moment, I can't give you an assessment about the quality of the wine, although spending £20 on the Montgomery Solaris did make my eyes water just a little. That's the trouble with contactless, it feels kind of painless, doesn't it. Anyway, the website bibendum-wine.co.uk have produced a handy guide to the cost of wine production, which I've reproduced in a slightly different form below.