Airport duty free – be afraid, be very afraid

I’m betting that whenever you’ve looked at Australian or New Zealand wine at an airport duty free shop, you’ve wondered whether it was such a good deal. But in that last minute rush, you buy something – it can’t be that far out can it?

I’m in Australia at the moment so I’ll be checking what’s on offer at the airport on my way back, but I can tell you this about buying at Changi on the way down (and I honestly don’t know the name of the duty free store).

2007 / Penfolds / Koonunga Hill / Seventy Six / shiraz cabernet on the shelf “duty free” at S$39 a bottle.

Hang on a minute? Isn’t that exactly the same wine that I just bought retail from Wine Exchange in Singapore at S$32 (OK, S$34 for a single bottle). Yep, sure is. So not only is the “duty free” price at least S$5 higher than what I can buy it for retail, it doesn’t include duty of S$7 a bottle that my retail purchase does.

Unless my maths is screwed up (highly likely!) then that makes the “duty free” price S$12 out of whack. In a S$34 bottle. Ouch!

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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907