How you can buy wine from all over the world

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Whether you buy wine online or from your local independent wine merchant, you might sometimes marvel at the fact that you can buy wine from as far afield as South America or Australia - and until viticulture reaches Mars, it doesn't get much further away than that.

The BBC's recent festive special Christmas Supermarket Secrets gave a glimpse of how this is achieved en masse, and it may have been surprising viewing for some people.

Gregg Wallace visited one of the big supermarkets and witnessed how they import wine in huge airtight plastic bags, with around 3.5 million litres of wine on a single tanker, delivered via Manchester Ship Canal.

Once it has arrived, the wine is drained from the bags into huge tanks, before being bottled here in the UK - this reduces the weight that must be brought thousands of miles from overseas, as well as cutting the risk of broken glass bottles during transit.

When you buy wine online or from your local independent wine merchant though, it may or may not have been shipped in this way.

Some fine wine companies understandably retain control over the bottling process - so if you're spending a little extra, there's probably a better chance that your wine was bottled on site at the vineyard where the grapes were grown.

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