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Byline: MICHAEL FRIDJHON
Wine IT IS customary in most wine- consuming countries for imbibers to resent the margins of retailers a result, no doubt, of the suspicion about middle-men which lurks in human DNA. Those who think along these lines don't distinguish between restaurateurs (who apply generous mark-ups) and the off-consumption traders who live off more parsimonious margins. This way of thinking leads to an obsession to circumvent retailers' services. Many punters, in buying directly from the wineries, actually land up paying a premium (cellar-door prices plus small-volume delivery costs) simply to satisfy their need to shop at source.
The one area where this …