Drunken logic: new tax on Ontario wine meant to raise sales of Ontario wine

Drunken logic: new tax on Ontario wine meant to raise sales of Ontario wine

A taxing situation hits Ontario wine sales (Image: Derek Purdy) 

In its far-reaching attempts to promote fully local Ontario wine, as opposed to partially local blended plonk, the provincial government has left no stone unturned: an aggressive pro-VQA marketing campaign to clear up the confusing “Cellared in Canada” labels, and now, contradictory logic. A new tax on blended wine that will go into effect on July 1, equating roughly 62 cents on an $8 bottle, is intended to nudge customers into buying more expensive wines, like VQA selections, which cost around $14 a bottle. In other words, the government is hoping that the stinginess of wine customers will motivate them to buy pricier wine.

Those able to resist the temptation to spend an extra $6 will still be helping the local wine industry, as revenue from the tax will be funnelled back into promoting Ontario vineyards.

Critics of the move have noted the obvious: that a tax on blended wine, which contains a minimum of 30 per cent local content, will merely result in customers buying cheaper, completely foreign wine, like Fuzion. “It will be catastrophic,” two of Canada’s largest wineries declared in a letter to grape growers in February.

Aren’t environmental bragging rights enough to prompt people to buy local? Oh, right.

New tax on cheap wine puts Ontario vintners in a sour mood [Globe and Mail]