Living in this city has always been an expensive endeavour. From paying for food items to daily necessities, it seems that nothing comes cheap. It is no wonder that Singapore retained its position as the world’s most expensive city to live in, as concluded in the findings made by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). We even managed to edge out cities like Paris and Hong Kong. No competition! Do you know that food and housing in Malaysia is an astounding 60% cheaper than that in Singapore?
Despite accepting that our cost of living is much higher than neighbouring countries, it is quite hard to stomach the exorbitant prices of wines, especially good grade wines, in Singapore. Ever been to a word-famous winery in Europe and found out how much cheaper wines in European countries are?
Well, here’s why wines are so expensive. Like almost everything else, our wines are imported into our country. This incurs transport, storage and distribution costs as the wines are shipped from the winery to the shelves of the retail store you frequent. This goes for beers too. That is why imported beer from foreign labels like Guinness and Heineken cost more than our local brand, Tiger beer.
And don’t forget the tax! 😖 All alcoholic drinks are subjected to both GST and liquoe tax. In 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam declared that the liquor tax will be raise to $88 per litre of alcohol content for wine and spirits. That’s a really heartbreaking 25 percent increase from the previous price of $70/litre!
Now that we understand the reasons behind the sky high charges, we should learn how to look out for good deals.
If you are really on a wine budget, try Cold Storage. It has the best (relative) wine selections among all the supermarkets in Singapore, including Giant, Fairprice and Sheng Siong. Cold Storage also offers the occasional promotions so it's worth a trip down to take a look at what they have to offer.
If you are tech-savvy, look out for our flash deals on this website(www.vfwasia.com). We have one every week and it is usually a good 25% off its usual price.
If you like bars, try happy hour at Loof! Loof is a very trendy and popular watering hole among the locals. In fact, it is awarded as the best rooftop bar in Singapore. Go early between 5-7pm to take advantage of prices that start as low as $5 for wines and house spirits.
Between 7pm-9pm, you can go to No.5 Emerald Hill for a great time. House wine goes at $10 and the 1-for-1 martini promotion lasts the entire night. There are many affordable options available, such as Prive at Chijmes located at Victoria Street and The Green Door at Dempsey Road (we heard that their sauvignon blanc is especially good!). You just have to take note of their early bird specials.
Due to the implementation of taxes as well as the high transport, distribution and storage costs in Singapore, it is highly unlikely that you will ever find a bottle that will match prices with one sold in Europe. However, that will not stop you from finding hidden gems if you know where to look! 😉