Grange Rage

Woolies, Coles and Costco are jostling for the honour of selling the upcoming release of 2007 at the lowest price:

The 2007 Grange will be released on Thursday morning nationwide and is one of the most anticipated wine releases of the year.

US discount giant Costco, which has three warehouse stores in Australia, is yet to even receive their allocation of the latest Grange from Penfolds. Costco is believed to have concerns about the timing of the wine’s arrival to its warehouses.

Early investigations before the big launch have found that Dan Murphy’s, the big-box liquor store owned by Woolworths, will look to sell the latest Penfolds Grange release at around $580 a bottle, against the recommended retail price set by Penfolds of $625 a bottle. A Dan Murphy’s staff member confirmed initial pricing but added the price could change.

Not to be outdone, Vintage Cellars, owned by Coles, is looking to match that offer. One of its inner-city Melbourne stores has an internal price of $622.22 slated down for the Grange, but is likely to change the price at the time of its release

Although the 2007 is supposed to be a ripper (but then, when was the last time Penfold’s pushed a “ho-hum, ordinary vintage” into the marketplace?), for Australians, this still is a rip-off. In the US, it’s possible to have Grange, depending on the year, at a fraction of the price.

Booze is not the only thing we pay too much for in Australia, but a good part of the problem is our disproportionately high and complicated alcohol tax regime, which, unlike the cost of an iTunes download, Parliament could do something about tomorrow. Stephen Conroy, call your office!

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