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Monday 6 July 2015

Andy Murray’s hotel serving wines at huge markups

23rd June, 2014 by Neal Baker

As Andy Murray today serves up the first shots of his Wimbledon Championship defence, it has been revealed that he is serving up something a little less impressive in his newly-opened hotel — where the selection of wines are being poured for guests at up to six times their retail value.

Andy_Murray_ForehandThe Daily Mail reports that the Cromlix hotel in Stirling, which the tennis ace bought in 2013 and opened in April this year, has been criticised by wine industry insiders for its eye-watering drinks prices.

It is revealed that one bottle of sweet wine is being sold at around six times its high street cost, while the most expensive wine on the menu is available at a five-star London hotel for £800 less than at the Cromlix.

A bottle of Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill 2000 – a predecessor to the newly launched 2002 vintage that the drinks business recently reported on – comes in at £425 at the Cromlix, but is just £275 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire 14 miles away.

Maggy Smith, owner of Edinburgh Wine School and a committee member of the Scottish Wine Society, said: “These prices are very high. They are obviously using his celebrity, which is a shame.

“A markup of about three times the retail value is quite common, but some of these are just over the top. Maybe if Andy doesn’t know about it this will draw his attention to the prices and they will change them.”

Murray bought the hotel after it hosted the wedding reception for the marriage of his brother and fellow tennis player Jamie Murray to Columbian actress Alejandra

Andy told CNN recently, “It wasn’t something I’d thought about but I came here for my brother’s wedding and about six months to a year later we were told that the hotel was going out of business,” Murray told CNN’s Open Court.

“The property was for sale and it’s five minutes from my house — I thought it would be a nice thing to do.”

Responding to the revelations, Graeme Green, general manager at the Cromlix, said: “We offer guests over 350 wines selected from eight suppliers to cater for a variety of tastes and prices, with house wine available from £7 a glass or £24 a bottle.

“Our restaurant offers fantastic value, with three course lunch at £26.50 and three course dinner for £29.50. Prices, along with customer feedback, are regularly reviewed by the team.”


4 Responses to “Andy Murray’s hotel serving wines at huge markups”

  1. Robert Dale says:

    Surely it’s not necessary for an independent on-trade outlet to carry ANY wines which can be found in the High Street. By doing so, they are simply inviting criticism and making them appear greedy.
    Independent restaurants and hotels should stick to Independent Wine Merchants, and ensure that their selections do not include anything which their customers might find in Supermarkets and/or High Street outlets.

  2. John Brownsdon MW says:

    Robert Dale is right, but £24 a bolttle for house wine is very much over the top irrespective of the luxury of the venue.

  3. I am a wine importer and broker with almost 48 years’ in our wonderful albeit competitive trade. I have not researched the Cromlix Hotel’s wine list in Stirling but I visited the venue some twenty years ago. Robert and John are absolutely correct with their respective comments. They are trade colleagues with much sagacity and experience in this field. It is easy to purchase or even ship pallets of mixed house wines and therefore at considerable saving to the hotel. Attractive red, white, and rosé wines from individual estates should be priced at no more than £15 per bottle and still showing a favorable return on cost. £24 per bottle for house wines is a huge disincentive especially on the catering front for functions, weddings, etc. Andy, please look into this as a matter of urgency with your sommelier! Good luck all round for the future! Mark Harrison

  4. It is also possible that the house selection has been chosen with quality in mind: there are many luxury establishments that simply do not sell anything under £20.
    You may not agree with the policy but you must realize that a wine sold for £15 in a restaurant buys you very little wine and a whole lot of unwanted accessories: taxes; packaging; transport costs; margins for producer and restaurant…
    I personally rather go out less often and enjoy a proper glass with my meal.

    P.S. I do agree with the catering comment though – but I’m sure they have a separate line of beverages for banquets

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