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Christmas Wine

Discussion in 'off topic' started by eternumviti, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    I’ve just ordered a load of wine from Portugal and there’s a local tax charge on the invoice, think it’s about 7% and Spain also charges around the same, IVI tax I think it’s called but the tax is included on the bottle of wine/hotel room.

    I only check the bottom line so it doesn’t bother me ie a bottle of red wine @ two euros plus delivery of one euro however the invoice breaks down the whole cost of the wine ex delivery charges.
  2. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    It looks like I was wrong when I replied to you last night, @fama. This morning I found this, from


    Excise Duty
    Excise duty is due when buying online alcoholic beveragestobacco products a European Union Member State.

    It is the responsibility of the seller to pay the Excise Duty due in the Member State where the goods are being sent to. For that purpose, he has to be registered, as far as Excise Duty is concerned, in the Member State of destination of the goods. In most Member States the seller needs to appoint a tax representative in the Member State of destination who ensures the duty payment in the latter.

    Excise Duty must be paid regardless of the quantity and even if the goods are a gift.

    You should therefore expect the price you pay to reflect the payment of duty. If the price is very low, duty has probably not been paid.

    If the seller does not pay the Excise Duty the goods can be seized by customs on arrival or you as the buyer may be held liable to pay the excise duties. Therefore verify with the seller if he ensures the excise duty payment in the Member State of destination.

    So either (1) every other EU merchant I have imported from has already included UK excise in their advertised price (not possible, unless all countries’ rates are harmonised), or (2) I/they have been in contravention of the regulations, or (3) I still don’t properly understand the situation. If (2), I don’t know why I, or anyone else I know who has done the same, have never come across this before.

    Further addition: I have now found a website suggesting excise is payable when you import wine from Italy, but not some other EU countries (eg France and Spain.) As I’ve only ever imported from France that would explain why I have never paid excise, but I’m not sure how reliable this information is. Frankly, I’m confused.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
  3. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    As far as I understand it private consumers are permitted to personally import wines, beers and spirits for personal consumption only, with taxes paid at source rather than destination. Customs and excise, incidentally, can arbitrarily decide that you are carrying excessive quantities for personal consumption, and either seize the goods or charge UK duty & VAT. 'Personally import' implies that the goods are carried with you when you come into the country. There is an apparent grey area in which you might 'appoint' a third party to carry the goods on your behalf (which would be the seller or their carrier), but as I recall this is actually expicitly forbidden in the rules. I know that people do seem to manage, as MB has testified, but I don't think it complies by the rules. If it did I would expect half of the county's wine drinkers to be importing directly from the domaine, and all of the UK's wine merchants would have offshored their distribution to Calais.
  4. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    That makes perfect sense, but then I read this on a Portuguese exporter-merchant’s site (UK still in EU for their purposes)...

    I live in a country that is in the European Union. Is there any additional tax to be paid when I receive the package?

    The orders to be delivered in the EU countries include the Portuguese VAT (13% on table wines and 23% on fortified wines) and also the alcohol tax.
    In most countries we can guarantee the door-to-door service without any additional tax applied to the clients. For now, the only exception is Ireland, where local duties are demanded.

    Assuming ‘alcohol tax’ is local (Portuguese) duty, no mention of excise there...

    Oh well, it’ll all be irrelevant in a few months anyway.
  5. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Sixty-bloody-four. I still can’t believe it, I never imagined being sixty-four. Fortunately no-one has had the gall to sing me Paul McCartney’s blasted comedy song - I imagine the baleful glare and loaded catapult I’ve been sporting today have acted as sufficient disincentive.

    Still, there it is. I have a birthday and that is an excuse for a birthday bottle. And I must be brutally honest - in decline, should be finished off quickly, astringent, looking rusty round the edges and close to downright unpleasant, with a definite whiff of corkiness and sulphur. I admit all that, but old age is still a good excuse to open something a bit unusual, so I thought of this...


    ...simultaneously the oldest and one of the most recently arrived bottles in the ancestral cellars. Bruno Sourdais supplies L&W, and, the story goes, recently discovered a small amount of this hidden away. It comes from a small holding full of iron ore (hence the name) that makes extraordinary wine in extraordinary years. The bottles were offered to L&W. As 1989 was a mythical year in Chinon (I had some Joguets that were sublime, long gone) I couldn’t resist buying three, despite my suspicion that L&W had me in the folder marked ‘sucker.’ They sold out the same day, and mine arrived about five weeks ago.

    I’ve pulled the cork to give it a couple of hours’ air and had a quick snifter. Tasted PDG with a load of tannin still obvious. I’ll go for it with the BBQ steak, dauph and home-grown petit pois soon. I might come back later. Or tomorrow. Depends how much of the bottle I can bear to leave...
    eternumviti likes this.
  6. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    Happy birthday, @Marchbanks hope the Chinon went well with the steak!!
  7. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Happy Birthday MB. Pretty serious looking catapult there !
    Normal Chinon is 'light and fresh' and would not last 30 years or need 2 hours aeration. Must be a special bottle indeed.
    Have you read Richard Kelley on the Loire ? He seems to rate Sourdais above Joguet, at least this century !
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  8. fama

    fama pfm Member

    Where's the Big man?He pulls stuff out the bag then leaves us hanging.
    A 30 yr old Chinon!
  9. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    It was wonderful. Despite looking even older and rustier than me it was spectacular. The strongly tannic edge at the end was over an hour or two softened by something akin to sweetness at the sides of my tongue. That probably sounds pretty unpleasant, but it was just the opposite. I can’t remember tasting anything quite like that before. The pencil boxy taste was well to the fore, and the whole thing was full of body - it was every bit a match (and more) for the 1990 Joguet Dioterie that I had last Christmas, which similarly had shown no signs of old age. I’m really looking forward to the second half in an hour or so. As long as we still have this sort of thing, together with Madiran, at a halfways affordable price, I don’t really care that Bordeaux has become just an investment commodity.


    I was still marvelling at the Chinon and listening to Mingus when I noticed the computer had started switching the lights off - I need to have a back up for my memory - which meant it was well after midnight. I took this as my signal to go indoors, and discovered a text message - ‘didn’t want to disturb your dinner, have left present by door’. I found it, and left it until this morning to open it.


    ‘Didn’t want to disturb your dinner’ my arse. The bastards knew I was armed and dangerous, and didn’t want to risk some painful cracks on the shins!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
    wacko, eternumviti and Weekender like this.
  10. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I think it's accepted that Domaine Joguet lost their way for a decade when Charles retired. But there seems also to be agreement that they are back on track. I hope so, having bought their 2015/16/18s. The 2017 Silènes is the only bottle of red I've tried recently, and that was just fine. I see Richard Kelley's remarks are from 2011, maybe towards the end of their fallow period?

    In any event, I'm still thinking of a Sancerre to Anjou road trip next year - Sourdais will be on the rendezvous list!
    wacko and eternumviti like this.
  11. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I’ve just seen this - are you referring to me? I’ll have you know I am a pleasingly compact 1.75m and a reasonably svelte 75.3kg this morning! And that’s after two pains aux raisins and a mug of coffee.
  12. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    I'm not quite sure how, but this Bruno Sourdais seems to have gone under my radar. Your description of the wine, and just as importantly the proper reverence which you apply to the 'holism' of gastronomy, even of a solitary nature, is refreshing. Congratulations, incidentally. I hate birthdays.
  13. andrew d

    andrew d pfm Member

    "The decanter carafe brings out the best in the wine. When wine is poured into the carafe, it runs through small holes in the integrated funnel and down the inside walls of the carafe. This oxygenates the wine gently, effectively – and beautifully. Also, the large surface of the carafe further contributes to the oxygenation process.
    The decanter carafe holds a bottle of wine and is 100% drip-free."

    Found one of these in the cupboards at home, my wife was given it as a gift at work. I'll try it with a bottle of 2001 Musar tonight.
  14. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I’ve sent them an e-mail to see if I can get have a delivery sent out to me when I’m in France soon. Their rosé seems to be weighed down with awards every year. I’d like to get my mitts on some of that.

    Mmmm. This is my ‘almost certain not serious’ face. I’m not very good at the ‘honeyed quinces grilled to perfection with raspberry stripes but possibly one too many cloves’ kind of thing, and nor do I want to be, but I like to try a little harder than ‘96++ POINTS!!!’ Probably the best would be along the lines of ‘you know what a decent Châteauneuf tastes like right? Well, this isn’t it/just about makes it/is what you are imagining/blows your ideas apart.’

    I see on the L&W website that the Sourdais 2019 Chinon (EP) is bursting with - you guessed it - ‘crunchy red berry fruit.’ I’ve been trying to think of crunchy red berries, but the best I can do is the stones in cherries or the seeds on a strawberry. The 2017, on the other hand tastes of ‘charming red berries’. That sounds better. Oh, hang on, it also has ‘a nice solar character.’ Anyone? No, me neither.

    Writing about wine-tasting is like dancing about architecture, as FZ should have said. I enjoy some of the missives on CT, though. I might start adding my own if I can hit on a suitably irreverent style. This is my current favourite note...

    ‘Dead. Really, REALLY dead. Brown, cloudy and swampy, it had been dead a LONG time.’

    I’ve got two bottles of that one. Can’t wait!
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
    eternumviti and BTC3 like this.
  15. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Is it feasible to try a glass with and a glass without? Probably too late now unless you eat as late as I do...
  16. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    Anyone else ever experienced this?

    Occasionally, whenever I open a bottle of red wine and then pour some wine into a glass to let the wine breath before I drink some the glass of red wine I often find a tiny fly swimming in the wine in the in the glass.

    This is just something I’ve noticed recently in the past year, I don’t think the fly is in the bottle I think the fly is in the room (only seems to happen in the dining room) and is attracted to the wine and it’s never the same red wine either.

    Seems odd to me.
  17. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    Is it the same fly?
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  18. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    No, I doubt it, this is over a period of about a year.

    I had it earlier on tonight so I emptied the glass and left it to the side with the fly in the glass however when I went back later on I thought the glass was empty (of fly) so I poured some wine into the empty glass and there was a tiny fly in the wine, I still don't think the fly came from the wine I think it was the fly from earlier that was still in the empty glass but I probably didn't see it.
  19. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    I think you have a (venerable) fly with a habit, you're just in denial about it.

    Wine is often better for being shared.
  20. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    Is it a daddy long-legless.
    wacko likes this.

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