Cost of Living Australia: Wine Prices

Your quick guide to Australian wines.

Personally, I don’t drink wine. I haven’t mastered the art of sipping, my mouth only seems capable of the gulp. So quite rightly, I stick to beer.

On the other hand, Mrs BobinOz does enjoy a glass of wine as previously mentioned. So this article relies heavily on the opinions of my wife. She claims not to be an expert, but trust me, she is!

If comparing beer prices was difficult, comparing the price of wine in Australia to the price of wine in England is almost certainly an impossible task. So today I am going to do things slightly differently and hopefully achieve the same quality of result I have previously achieved in my Cost of Living in Australia series.

I am sure each of you will have a different interpretation of that last statement.

Here is a collection of five of my wife’s favourite wines here in Australia.

Five favourite wines

Five favourite wines

Deakin Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Australia)

“Fresh and luscious, brimming with gooseberry and tropical flavours”.

This is the wine my wife drinks most often; it’s a fresh dry white that she tells me compares well to her old favourite back in England, Pino Grigio. The full retail price of this wine is $8.99 but you can pick this up for as little as $6.30.

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

“Elegant assertive wines with glorious fruit flavours”.

A dry white for special occasions which compares well with one of the better Chablis. This wine retails at around $20.00 but you can buy this wine for $14.00.

McWilliams Inheritance Shiraz Merlot (Australia)

“Spicy Shiraz and soft, fruit driven Merlot characteristics combine with a touch of oak”.

This is an excellent quality budget light red wine which has a retail price of around $7.00 but can often be bought for around $5.00.

Jacobs Creek Cabernet Merlot (Australia)

“You’ll love the dark berry and chocolate flavours, and the soft, fine tannins of this medium bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend.

A very acceptable red wine, great for dinner parties where the above $5 red just won’t cut it. This wine has a full retail price of around $10.00 but can often be purchased for as little as $7.00. (That’s if you think your guests are worth the extra couple of bucks.)

Sirromet Sparkling PV (Australia)

“PV is handcrafted by our winemakers and delivers a wine style superior in colour, balance, structure and finesse”.

A sparkling red wine, served chilled, which is ideal for special occasions. We visited the Sirromet Vineyard the other week, it is our local winemaker and is only around 25 km from here. It’s the winery mentioned in a Sunday afternoon out. This wine retails at $20 per bottle is but can be bought for $18.60.

I should explain that the variations in prices are because most outlets give discounts for purchasing six bottles or more. Whoever wants to buy less than six bottles? These discounts range between 10% and 30% depending on the store and the kind of offer.

The 30% discounts seem to be available on a regular basis, so if you choose your store carefully and buy at the right time, you will always get the lowest price.

Champagne.

Currently, the best value (in our opinion) for champagne in Australia is Cattier Non Vintage Champagne 750mL at a standard price of $42.00. But again, you can pick this up with a 30% discount and get it for $29.40. This is a genuine champagne from the Champagne region of France.

Alternatively, you can buy Chandon Vintage Brut, which is a classic sparkling white wine for any occasion produced here in Australia by the very same Chandon people who produce Champagne in France. Standard price is $40.00 but you can get it for $28.00 with a discount.

You won’t even have to buy 6 bottles of champagne to get this discount, just add a bottle or two to your basket when you have bought enough of your standard wine bottles to qualify for the reduction.

How does this compare with UK wine prices?

Let’s go to Sainsbury’s.

We, (that means my wife) do not think the Sirromet Sparkling PV or the Chandon Vintage Brut compare with anything in the UK, so we will leave those out of the equation.

  • Sainsbury’s Garganega Pinot Grigio 75cl   £3.98
  • Chablis, La Chablisienne 75cl                 £8.99
  • Sainsbury’s Beaujolais Villages 75cl         £5.99
  • Chateau David Bordeaux 75cl                £5.00

  • Sainsbury’s Champagne, Extra Dry 75cl   £16.99

The results.

Four bottles of wine plus one bottle of champagne in the UK costs of £40.95, but you can deduct 5% for buying more than six bottles. So that becomes £38.90.

In Australia, a similar selection cost $60.30. Now to convert the UK cost to Australian dollars; £38.90 times 1.817 AUD to the pound, slightly better than last week, equals $70.68. The Australian wines are currently $10.38 cheaper than the wines in England.

So England’s wines are 17% dearer than wine in Australia.

Taking into account the current low exchange rate and the fact that Australian salaries may be up to 31.7% higher, wine here just gets cheaper and cheaper.

Finally, the acid test. The cheapest wine possible. It comes in what they laughably call a cask here in Australia, a wine box in the UK, but is in fact the same as the kind of carton you would get long life milk in.

  • Australia: Orlando Coolabah Dry Red Cask 4 litre is $14.39.
  • England: Sainsbury’s Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon 3 litre is £12.99.

I’ll save you the maths and just tell you that Australian cheapo wine is $3.60 per litre whereas the cheapest I found in the UK was $7.86 per litre. So the English wine is more than double the cost of Australian wine.

Australian wine: sometimes it’s cheaper than bottled water.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Glenn Brummitt February 2, 2010, 4:16 am | Link

    Bob,
    Many thanks again for your time, it is very much appreciated.
    I believe we are now mutually agreed on oz, mostly due to the fantastic earning power my wife potentially may have. There are some great opportunities for GP,s at the moment. I only hope that does not change in the next couple of years!
    So Bob, may I impose on you one last time.We don’t know oz at all and I would dearly like to have your recommendations as to which cities/places to live. So what would be your top 5?
    Again, I am indebted to you, and if I ever get the chance I would gladly have a beer slide down the bar to you.
    With best wishes,
    Glenn Brummitt.

    • BobinOz February 2, 2010, 7:56 pm | Link

      Hi Glenn

      I think choosing Oz is a good idea. But which city?

      And that is the question that will be answered (over time) in the membership area. If you’re not expecting to come over for a couple of years, you will get lots of information over there during that time. It will be open next month.

      I don’t really know Australia well enough to tip the top five cities, but here’s what I know so far. I love Brisbane, of all the major cities I can’t imagine I would prefer any of the others. I really liked Melbourne but I’m not sure I would like the climate so much. Sydney was too crowded for me. I haven’t been to Perth, but I think it’s too isolated. If I didn’t live in Brisbane, I would move to the Sunshine Coast, somewhere close to Mooloolaba.

      But don’t listen to me, I don’t know enough. Join the membership area, it’s free to register, then when it opens you will be one of the first to know. You can join here.

      Oh, cancel all that, just read your last line. Choose Brisbane – I get to claim that free beer!

      Cheers

      Bob

  • BobinOz January 30, 2010, 2:00 pm | Link

    Hi Glenn

    Thanks for the thumbs up on my site, much appreciated.

    I’ll try and answer your question, bearing in mind I have never been to New Zealand. But as far as I am aware, there is no similarity at all between the two countries. New Zealand has a population of around 4 million people, has beautiful lush countryside and the weather is very similar to the UK’s.

    The girl who cuts my hair comes from New Zealand, emigrated here about four years ago. She’d never go back to NZ. Does that help?

    Australia is, of course, bigger, hotter and has more people. But is it too hot to your children? I really don’t think so, my daughter (5) has never complained about the heat and just loves the outdoor lifestyle. If you go south, you will get hotter summers but you will also have chilly winters. West, (Perth) has much milder winters.

    But let’s cut to the chase. As the referee (un-biased of course) I say you should choose……

    Australia!

    We’d paid around £1200 to our migration agent for all three of us, but there are additional fees payable to the Australian government for the application. We think we paid around $1400, but we had to pay extra for a VETASSESS, which is a skills assessment.

    Hope that gives you a rough idea and good luck, whichever country you decide to go for.

  • Glenn Brummitt January 28, 2010, 11:06 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Fantastic site-v. informative, thank you!
    My wife has another year and she should, all been well, qualify as a GP. We are now doing the legwork for a move over to oz or nz. And here’s the question-which one?
    Saleries are higher in oz but houses are dearer on average. Is the climate overall fairer in oz, say south or west? We have 2 kids aged 8 & 5 so have to consider if a climate may be Too hot! Looks like oz wins in terms of wages v. cost of living-over nz.
    I would really appreciate your opinion (un-biased of course) as me and the missus keep going round in circles. Our decision has to be based on : saleries, housing, education and general cost of living. Can you referee this one, or do I continue to take the batterings from she who must be nodded at?
    One last question-sorry. Approx how much would it cost to employ one of these agencies to sort out the visas, work permits etc?
    Looking forward to your educated opinion,

    Glenn Brummit.

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