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Rip-off before take-off? Not if you know where to shop!

A few years ago, before the refurbishment of Faro airport, I wrote a pretty scathing article here about the then so called “duty free” shops located in the old departures lounge. For wine, they were a complete rip-off, with extortionate prices designed to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists who had no idea of the true retail price of the wine they were buying to take home with them and hence, happily parted with as much as double the price they should have been paying.

Even after the refurbishment, I have always given Faro Airport’s wine offerings a wide berth.

For those of us who live here, taking a few nice bottles of Portuguese wine when visiting friends or relatives abroad is always a pleasure, but with most of us taking only hand luggage when making a short trip, stocking up at the supermarket is not an option.

So, until recently, we either had to accept being ripped off or turn up empty-handed. But now, thankfully, things have changed as long as you know where to shop!

After passport control, on the left before the main departure lounge is the Taste of Portugal shop shown here. We had some time to spare when flying to London with ‘Squeezyjet’ recently, so I decided to have a look, fully expecting to be confronted with the rip-off prices I have seen in the past.

Most of the wines on display here are priced slightly higher than in supermarkets, but this is understandable considering the high rent the retailers must be paying here. But there are many wines on special offer and I picked up a real bargain paying €20 for a bottle of the superb Baga Clássico 2011 from Aliança (less than I have seen it at any supermarket), plus a bottle of Esporão Reserva red for a very reasonable €16.50 and an Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto white at €13.70 which would usually cost around €12 in a supermarket.

Squeezyjet, according to the friendly young lady who assisted me, allow a passenger to take up to three bottles on board in a plastic bag, in addition to the hand luggage allowance. And hence, dinner that night at my relatives’ place back in Blighty was washed down with some very nice Portuguese wines.

All good and well and kudos to whoever operates the Taste of Portugal shop for offering passengers a very decent selection of wines at reasonable prices. My only gripe would be that I would have liked to have seen more local Algarve wines on offer.

But venturing on into the departure lounge, I noticed that the Portfolio – Made of Portugal shop also carries a selection of wine and here, sadly, we are back in ‘rip-off-before-take-off’ territory.

I saw one premium wine that should cost around €40 or maybe €45 in a good wine shop priced at over €70, and a humble white wine that should cost no more than €8 priced at over €15. So, beware!

If buying wine to take on your flight, look no further than the Taste of Portugal shop.

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Buy wine here
There are many wines on special offer at Taste of Portugal