The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has warned of further tax increases on wine ahead of the spring budget announcement on March 15.

With a new alcohol duty system – which will tax alcohol according to strength – due to come into action on August 1 2023, the WSTA predicts that around 90% of still wine will see a 9% duty rise.

However, the WSTA has highlighted that if the chancellor Jeremy Hunt announces an end to the freeze on alcohol duty, and chooses to increase duty in line with inflation, wine drinkers will see an even greater tax rise of around 20%.

A 20% rise would reportedly see duty on a bottle of still wine go up by 44p, while fortified wines would see an even greater rise. The WSTA described this as the “biggest single increase in almost 50 years” for wine drinkers.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “If the Chancellor goes ahead with a two-pronged attack on wine drinkers by adding an inflationary duty increase on top of the stealth tax already applied when the Government’s new alcohol duty regime kicks in this summer, duty alone will add 44p to a bottle of still wine.

“If alcohol duty rates went up by RPI [with inflation rates], this will be a crippling blow to the UK alcohol industry and consumers who will have to pay the price for tax rises during a cost-of-living crisis.”