If you have ever wondered about the Government Wine Cellars, you should probably read this response to an FOI request:

“The five most expensive wines currently in stock in the Government Hospitality cellar are:
Château Lafite 1998
Château Cheval Blanc 1996
Château Haut-Brion 1996
Château Trotanoy 1998
and Vieux Château Certan 2005.”

“the wines listed ranged in cost from £78.00 per bottle to £132.00 per bottle.”

“The five most expensive wines purchased for the cellar during 2009 were:

Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2006
Château Lynch-Bages 2005
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2005
Château Léoville-Barton 2005
and Vieux Château Certan 2005″

“the wines listed ranged in cost from £57.00 per bottle to £132.00 per bottle.”

It would appear that the “Vieux Château Certan 2005″ is the most expensive as it appears on both lists so it is probably £132 per bottle.

I found a website selling 8 bottles for £1,050 which works out at £131.25 each.

Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine publish a partial list of the wines you paid for.

They do point out that:

“A demonstration of the level of value for money that the cellar can provide occurred recently over the wines used at the London Summit in April. You may have seen some coverage in the media indicating that the government used £1400 worth of wine at the 8 official dinners and lunches organised on 1 and 2 April. We calculate that, at a conservative valuation, it would not have been possible to acquire those wines directly in the London wine market for less than £6 000, more than four times the actual cost to the taxpayer.”

I am not sure whether buying wine is a good use of tax payers money or not maybe foreign diplomats etc will expect it and the UK will lose out somehow if it is not there but I do feel we need the full facts. Clearly, some wines are a lot cheaper than others so I feel further cost savings could potentially be identified if only we had the full facts.