Why is wine in pubs/restaurants so expensive?

WSB Posts: 102
First Anniversary First Post
edited 29 January at 9:13AM in Going out deals
Why is wine in pubs/restaurants so expensive and has anyone started a campaign to do anything about it?

I understand that draft beer requires some TLC. Correct cellar temperature, clean pipes and even pouring skills, so although not 100% happy, can accept the usual price charged.

But for a large glass of wine out of a bottle that can be brought for a fraction of the cost is so expensive. 
Just requires a fridge at the correct temperature and that's it. 

So why is it so damn expensive and why haven't people been up in arms about it?
Or have they and I've missed it?

Thanks for your responses in advance. 


  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,305
    Photogenic First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Because they can.  

    I know that some places you need to look at what a bottle costs versus a glass.  I went into one place a few years back and a glass of wine was £4.50 and the bottle was on special for £5.  No brainer.  (& we had no brains after a few....)

    There was a place I used to frequent years ago and far away (across the pond) who made a point that a bottle of wine was the local regulated price (government run alcohol distribution shops) plus $2.  It stopped people from loading up before going out and upped their take from people coming in to drink and have nibbles instead of a meal. Basically the $2 was "corkage".
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • If you want to start a campaign then not buying the wine would be a good place to begin.

    Like anything people charge what they can and people buy what they can.
    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid

  • WSB
    WSB Posts: 102
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    Thanks for the comments so far folks. 
    Understand all that stuff but just feel that things are a bit skewed in particular when charging high prices for wine. 
    Would understand if the prices were increased relative to other drinks. 
  • Veteransaver
    Veteransaver Posts: 332
    Name Dropper First Post
    Arguably beer is more marked up than wine. Eg £6 bottle of wine from a supermarket might be £18 in a pub, whereas a pint of beer in a supermarket is under £1 Vs £5 or £6 in a pub!
    With pubs it's more to do with the vast rents pubs have to pay to the owners, which are really just property portfolios now extracting excessive rents, and no longer actual pub chains.
    It's why Wetherspoons is cheaper, they are more like a traditional pub co, who own their properties themselves rather than package the properties up as investment vehicles.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,429
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    It is not unusual that restaurants run on a fine margin for the food main courses.
    It is the "up sell" items - starters, deserts, drinks where the venue can make a profit.
    The alternative to high drinks prices is higher prices for the main menu.
    One way or another, the restaurant needs to cover all the costs plus make a profit.  Doing so on an "optional" part of the package is probably the best of the options.
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,254
    First Post Name Dropper
    For the same reason that McDonalds make huge mark up's on their meals. Costa Coffee and Starbucks on their drinks. To survive in business. We all have choices when we go out. As to what we spend our money on. 

    Believe that a pint of lager at the London Stadium where West Ham play is now £7.40p . 

  • Cloth_of_Gold
    Cloth_of_Gold Posts: 701
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    The markup on wine & beer is nothing compared to the mark up of fizzy drinks from the pump.

    I was about to say the same - and generally they don't have much fizz by the time  the soda water and syrup have been mixed and fired into the glass. If I were going to have a fizzy drink in a pub (which is unlikely) I would get something like coke out of a bottle, as at least it wouldn't be nearly flat.

    With regard to the OP's point, it's the same with pretty much everything you buy in a pub/restaurant. If you were to add up the costs of the ingredients of a typical pub/restaurant meal it would be a fraction of the cost of what they charge for the meal but, as others have pointed out, they have to make a profit and if everything were sold at even cost price x 2 they wouldn't survive. Huge numbers of pubs have closed in recent years and there is a great deal of 'churn' with restaurants, so it's obviously not a very easy way to make money.
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