Christmas ruined! Britons face shortage of favourite alcohol weeks before festive season

Martin Lewis' tips for saving money on Christmas shopping

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The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) says members have reported imports are taking five times longer than a year ago. Forty nine businesses, including Moët Hennessy UK and Laurent-Perrier UK, have urged Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to take urgent action, the WSTA said.

WSTA CEO Miles Beale said: “There is mounting concern amongst our membership that unless urgent action is taken, we will fall deeper into delivery chaos.

“We are already seeing major delays on wine and spirit delivery times which is pushing up costs and limiting the range of products available to UK consumers.”

Wine wholesaler Daniel Lambert Wines says they are right to be very concerned.

Owner Mr Lambert told BBC Radio Wales: “The supermarkets and national retailers plan Christmas as far back as May.

“We have been experiencing significant problems with supply of wines since Brexit started.

“The wines that need to be in the UK already are simply not here and I think we have run out of time to get them into the UK.”

He added: “Supermarkets will have all their Christmas stocks in their warehouses by October.

“This year this simply hasn’t happened due to the fact they have been firefighting all year to actually maintain the demand that they have experienced.”

Majestic Wine told MailOnline the UK’s largest specialist retailer it had stockpiled 1.8 million bottles to anticipation of any potential issues over the festive period.

A Majestic Wine spokesman said: “We are aware of broader market issues with supply from Europe, particularly with the movement of freight from some key regions which is affecting supplies from the continent.

“We do also anticipate challenges in some New World areas; particularly the UK’s favourite wine producer – New Zealand, due to the difficult harvests the country has faced.

“Our availability overall currently remains very good, however, and we have been planning ahead for months.

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“As the UKs largest wine specialist we have had the ability to bring in over 20 percent more stock than last year.

“That includes over 1.8 million bottles of wine which are now in three additional warehouses – held ahead of the crucial festive period.

“In response to these issues, this may be the year we see other regions rise in prominence in the face of shortages in certain areas.

”For instance, we are anticipating record South African and English Sparkling sales – in place of New Zealand and Champagne respectively.

‘With the extra stock we are bringing in, and the focus on intuitive sourcing from up and coming regions – we are confident this will mean, at Majestic at least, our shelves will remain full.

“It might also be the year our customers discover a host of new regions and wines we are sure they will love.”

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