Ministers and civil servants drank less wine at official functions last year – because they were busy with the EU referendum.
Consumption from the government’s wine cellar dropped by 12 per cent, according to new figures released today.
More than half the total amount consumed was also English and Welsh wine.
Consumption from the government’s wine cellar dropped by 12 per cent, according to new figures released today
The report, issued by Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, points out that the government wine cellar has been ‘self-funding’ since 2011 – as it sells more expensive vintages in order to pay for stocks.
Some £40,800 of wine was sold off, up from £40,390 in 2015-16.
The Foreign Office also supplied other departments with £16,000 worth of drinks.
Another £45,042 of wine was purchased to top up the cellar, an increase compared to the figure of £15,848 the previous year.
Underling the growing popularity of English wines, Sir Alan said they made up 49 per cent of the total purchases.
English and Welsh wines were also the most widely drunk, at 52 per cent of the total.
But Sir Alan revealed that the overall amount consumed had fallen.
‘Consumption by volume fell by 12 per cent in financial year 2016-17 due to fewer Government events, particularly during the EU Referendum period,’ he said.
‘The wine cellar has been self-funding since 2011/12, through the sale of some high-value stock and payments made by other Government departments for events organised by Government Hospitality.’
English and Welsh wines were also the most widely drunk, at 52 per cent of the total, according to Sir Alan Duncan