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Government Wine Cellar

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many bottles of (a) wine and (b) other alcoholic beverages there were in the Government wine cellar, managed by his Department, in each of the last 10 years; and what his estimate is of the value. [122847]

The Government wine cellar contains a mix of fine wines, beverage wines and spirits and liqueurs. Stock levels vary but generally the cellar contains approximately 37,000 bottles, of which fewer than 700 are spirits or liqueurs. There has been no significant variation in the stock levels since 1993. It is not possible to give a break down of the ratio of wines to spirits, etc over the last 10 years without incurring disproportionate costs.Fine wines are bought young and then stored until ready for use, enabling aged wines of excellent value to be used by the Government for their hospitality needs. The value of the stock is subjective and bears no relation to the purchase costs. The current value of the stock is estimated to be in the region of £1.7 million.