Wine prices hard to swallow

A reader writes: "I was in Marlborough two weeks ago and so, of course, went to a few wineries. One particular winery was selling its flagship sav blanc for $18. In the supermarket I saw it for $20. A week later I'm heading through Auckland Airport and I see it for sale in a duty-free shop for $26. While in Hong Kong, I come across the same wine on special for HK$99 ($15.50), marked down from its usual price of HK$112 ($17.50). I'm back home in Oz (Perth) and yesterday I saw it at Woolworths for A$16 ($17). What's going on? Further away it is, the cheaper it gets? Economies of scale don't explain this since surely transportation and distribution would add significant costs. The winery also keeps the entire sale price (minus production costs) to itself. And how can the duty-free shop get away with claiming a tax-free price $6 more than the supermarket price?"

Waste not want not? I guess not ...

In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service is pressing criminal charges against three men who took discarded food from the skip behind an Iceland grocery store in London. They've been charged under an obscure section of the 1824 Vagrancy Act. The CPS is going ahead with the charges because "we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals". The men argue that they were taking the food because they needed it to eat and do not consider they have done anything illegal or dishonest in removing from a skip food destined for landfill. The case will highlight how much supermarket food is discarded and show the radical steps people are taking to feed themselves. (Source: The Guardian)


Flotsam and jetsam found

Alan writes: "A number of items have floated up on our little beach in Pt Chevalier. The collection includes an outboard fuel tank, fuel bottle, funnel, an oar, a backpack and a T shirt (Waiheke Island logo). If one of your readers has had a small boat sink off Pt Chevalier beach, I am happy to help them reconnect with their gear. Sadly I must report that the packet of biscuits in the backpack arrived too soggy for consumption." Contact Sideswipe for Alan's details.

When the prune fought back

Diane writes: "When I was a teenager, whenever my father saw me with makeup on he would say, 'It's only a poor soil that needs topdressing.' I eventually found the line to stop him - I told him to 'remember that the prune started out life as a plum.' Forty-five years on, the plum has all but gone ..."

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