Ianthe Butt: My 'below-cost' booze odyssey

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Related tags: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's

Tesco, Blackfriars The cheapest wine on offer was a £3.63 Italian Merlot, a good £1.60 more than the minimum price of £2.03. FAIL Costco, Waterloo...

Tesco, Blackfriars

The cheapest wine on offer was a £3.63 Italian Merlot, a good £1.60 more than the minimum price of £2.03. FAIL

Costco, Waterloo

Single cans of Fosters and Grolsch weighed in at £1.09, nearly three times as much as the 38p a can minimum price. FAIL

Lidl, Clapham Junction

The number of bright signs highlighting cheap booze in LIDL made my eyes hurt, but I was confident I would succeed. Liebfraumilch wine was £2.78 and Pils lager was stacked high and selling for 75p a can. Vodka was retailing for just £7.99 for 70cl, but this still works out at £11.41 a litre. FAIL

ASDA, Clapham Junction

ASDA teased me with a bottle of Three Mills wine at just £2, but at only 8 per cent ABV it still works out as higher than the recommended cost per unit. FAIL

Morrisons, Woking

Basket still empty, and scared to return to The Publican​ Towers empty handed, I splashed out on a four-pack of Morrisons' 2 per cent Value lager at 99p (Asda also do a 2.1 per cent lager at 94p for four).

Surely a can of lager at 25p, albeit with a low ABV would count? After much head scratching, it transpired even these pocket-money lagers were above the duty+VAT rates. More shockingly, supermarkets could push that price down to 72p if they wanted to! FAIL

Searches elsewhere, including Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Oddbins and various corner stores also proved fruitless.

Related topics: Beer, Spirits & Cocktails, Wine

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