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World’s most expensive cities to buy wine

Last week The Economist compiled its twice-yearly cost of living report comparing more than 400 individual prices for varying services and products  – including wine.


Published for the past 30 years, the survey allows for city-to-city comparisons taking into consideration more than 50,000 individual prices across hundreds of products and services to determine a city’s overall cost of living. This includes everything from a loaf of bread, pint of milk and bottle of wine, allowing for comparisons between the priciest spots in the world to live.

Overall, Singapore retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for a third year in a row, “but its lead over the next two cities in the ranking has nearly evaporated”, the report said.

“Zurich and Hong Kong follow closely in joint second place, with Hong Kong climbing seven places up the ranking in the last 12 months. London, New York and Los Angeles also move up the ranking to 6th, 7th and 8th place, respectively, displacing Sydney, Melbourne and Oslo from the ten most expensive cities. New York and Los Angeles move up the ranking because of currency headwinds rather than significant local price rises. In fact, the opposite may be true. With the falling cost of oil and a strong US dollar pushing down prices, local inflation has been relatively low across the US. Despite this, New York is in its highest global position since 2002 and has risen by some 42 places up the cost of living ranking since 2011, when it was barely among the 50 most expensive cities, let alone the top ten.”

Here, we round up the most expensive cities in the world to buy a bottle of 750ml table wine in the off-trade.

Click through for the countdown…

10. Geneva


In Geneva a bottle of wine will cost you $8.06, a relatively affordable £5.61. Despite its reasonable wine prices, Geneva is overall the fourth most expensive city in the world.

“The unpegging of the Swiss franc from the euro, coupled with structurally high income and price levels, means that Zurich and Geneva will continue to vie for the unenviable title of Europe’s most expensive city”, the report notes. “Neither city has suffered from Eurozone austerity or economic fallout from falling oil prices to the degree of their EU or Norwegian peers.”

Current: $8.06 (£5.61) for a 750ml bottle of average wine in the off-trade

Last year: $8.49 (£5.91)

Percentage change on previous year: -5.1%

9. Paris


Paris comes in as the ninth most expensive city in the world to buy a bottle of wine, and the fifth most expensive overall. “Weak confidence in the euro” means that Paris was also the only EuroZone city to feature in the top 10.

“Despite a weakening currency, Paris remains structurally extremely expensive to live in, with only alcohol and tobacco offering value for money compared with other European cities”, the report said. “Paris is joined in the list of the most expensive European cities by Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen and London—the newest addition— perhaps reflecting that non-euro zone cities have become pricier in relation to their neighbours.”

Current: $10.71 (£7.46)

Last year: $12.27 (£8.85)

Percentage change on previous year: -12.7%

8. Copenhagen


In Denmark’s capital a bottle of wine will cost you $11,57 (£8.06), a drop of 8.6% on last year, representative of a general trend across European cities which have seen their cost of living fall.

“All 28 cities surveyed in Western Europe have experienced cost of living declines compared with their US counterparts, highlighting the difference in recovery between the two regions”, the report notes.

Current: $11.57 (£8.06)

Last year: $12.66 (£8.82)

Percentage change on previous year: -8.6%

7. London

London skyline

London is now the sixth most expensive city in the world overall, but sits at number 7 in terms of the cost of its wine. The cost of a bottle actually fell by 9.9% in the past year, meaning an average bottle of wine in London will cost you $12,47 (£8.68).

Current: $12.47 (£8.68)

Last year: $13.84 (£9.64)

Percentage change on previous year: -9.9%

6. New York

new york

New York places sixth in terms of its wine, but the 7th most expansive city in the world overall. Here, a bottle of wine will cost you $14.03 (£9.77).

“Over the past 12 months the city has moved up from 22nd place in the ranking to 7th. This reflects a rollercoaster ride for the Big Apple, which was regularly ranked among the ten most expensive cities, peaking in 2011.”

Current: $14.03 (£9.77)

Last year: $12.74 (£8.87)

Percentage change on previous year: +10.1%

5. Zurich


Zurich is the fifth most expensive city to buy wine, with the average bottle costing $14.17 (£9.87), and second most expensive city in the world. There is some consolation in the fact that it is also the fourth safest city in the world.

Current: $14.17 (£9.87)

Last year: $15.93 (£11.09)

Percentage change on previous year: -11%

4. Hong Kong

hong kong

Hong Kong is the the fourth most expensive city in the world for wine and joint second (with Zurich) most expensive city overall. Here, a bottle will set you back $16.47 (£11.47).

Current: $16.47 (£11.47)

Last year: $15.78 (£10.99)

Percentage change on previous year: +4.4%

3. Singapore

singapore1Singapore is the third most expensive city in the world to buy a bottle of wine, with an average bottle costing $22.39 (£15.59). It is also the most expensive city in the world overall, retaining its title for a third year in a row.

Current: $22.39 (£15.59)

Last year: $25.24 (£17.58)

Percentage change on previous year: -11.3%

2. Los Angeles


A bottle of wine in Los Angeles will cost you on average, $23.53 (£16.38), making it the second most expensive city in the world for wine. Overall, LA is the tenth most expensive city in the world, with American cities having become more expensive in the past year due to the growing strength of the dollar.

“The stronger US dollar and weaker euro has pushed euro zone cities further down the ranking, especially as weak consumer sentiment and depressed commodity prices have undermined inflation in terms of both supply and demand”, the report noted.

Current: $23.53 (£16.38)

Last year: $22.13 (£15.41)

Percentage change on previous year: +6.3%

1. Seoul

City of Seoul Korea

Seoul in South Korea is the most expensive place in the world to buy wine at $25.43 (£17.65). Overall, it is the ninth most expensive city in the world, having enjoyed a stratospheric rise up the ranks compared to five years ago when it was ranked 36th.

“The cost of living in Seoul is now on a par with that of Copenhagen and Los Angeles”, the report said.

Current: $25.43 (£17.71)

Last year: $27.66 (£19.26)

Percentage change on previous year: -8.1%

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