Wine cheaper than water in New Zealand

Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand claim that wine in their country is cheaper than water. A standard glass of bulk wine costs in New Zealand often no more than 62 NZD-cents (34 eurocents), compared with 64 cents for a glass of bottled wine, 67 cents for a glass of water of 250 ml and 43 cents for a glass of milk. Wine Prices in New Zealand are under pressure from surplus grapes. The researchers used figures from the New Zealand Department of Statistics. They call on the government to raise taxes on alcohol. “Cheap alcohol leads to binge drinking and alcoholism,” say the researchers. Journalists from the New Zealand news channel ONE News challenge the findings of the researchers. The journalists visited supermarkets and found that water in practice is three times cheaper than the cheapest bulk wine. Remains of course the fact that 60 to 70 NZD cent (32 to 38 cents) for a glass of cheap wine is very low. Researchers from the University of Otago maintain their position that the New Zealand government should tax alcohol more heavily. The study was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Fiona Imlach Gunasekara, Nick Wilson. ‘Very cheap drinking in New Zealand: some alcohol is more affordable than bottled water and nearly as cheap as milk’. In The New Zealand Medical Journal, 15 October 2010, Vol 123 No 1324.