Brexit Panic Buying?
Apparently Felixtowe is the busiest container port in Britain. There are currently a few weeks delay in ships docking and some boats have been sent to Holland to unload rather than face the wait. Their containers can then be unloaded onto trucks and come across the channel via ferries on the back of lorries. There are some questions as to why this is happening just now but there are some obvious factors in play.
I saw an excellent article on the BBC website about the fact that the government had ordered some extra PPE for the winter. These 11000 containers are just arriving now. Yes, that was eleven thousand containers. I have a feeling that they were either on “buy 10 get one free” or else the government are panic buying (think toilet rolls).
Another elephant in the room is Christmas just around the corner. There is an obvious upsurge through the port of “stuff” that is neither needed nor vital to our good selves (or should that be elves?). We also need to be mindful that although the government is running adverts to “get ready for Brexit”, we don’t actually know what to get ready for. We don’t know what paperwork we are going to have to fill in to import wine yet. I have a feeling that the lines of trucks waiting on paperwork may well be extensive so there might be a bit of pre-Brexit hoarding going on.
Should we care if we run out of wine or coffee?
There has always been a debate as to whether or not wine is a vital necessity or a luxury product. This debate has stretched back for centuries and is in no way been put to bed. This debate has also raged on about Coffee, coming to a head in 1675….
“In the 1670’s, coffeehouses were appearing everywhere. They were becoming extremely popular. Of course, with popularity for most things, there is usually opposition. The same applies to the coffeehouse explosion. In 1675 King Charles II made an attempt to shut down coffeehouses with an edict. King Charles II stated that coffeehouses “have produced very evil and dangerous effects,” and were also a “disturbance of the peace and quiet realm,”. This edict put an end to the sale of coffee, tea and chocolate in coffeehouses and in homes as well. However shortly after this went into effect there was too much of an outcry from the public that King Charles II had to back off and allow coffee and such to be sold.”
Being a wine merchant, I am biased about the necessity of wine and would do more than just “outcry” if it was banned. It is woven into the very fabric of society. Fortunately not all wine coming into the UK comes in through Felixtowe; otherwise I would be starting to get jittery.
I don’t think that there will a genuine issue with wine supply, however I have ordered an “extra wee bit” of stock in pre-Christmas, just in case there are long queues at the ports. It certainly won’t go off, and in some cases will actually get better anyway.
I know this year is going to be a weird one. For example, I’m going to be doing a “Facebook Live” virtual tasting of my Christmas wines at 1pm as a warm up for the Queen and you are very welcome to join me. This will be the first tasting I’ve ever done on Christmas day in 31 years of the wine trade. Weird times indeed, as long as they don’t get in between me and my wine.