I spend a lot of time travelling, usually flying out of Faro, and have long been wise to the fact that the prices of wines and spirits at the so-called “Duty Free” shop (where taxes, of course, are no different to at any shop) are considerably higher than those of supermarkets or bottle shops along the Algarve.
This may come as a surprise to those visiting from other countries where airport prices are usually lower than those to be found outside, but, in all fairness to Faro, the main retail space is no more than slightly overpriced and I would certainly not consider it to be a rip-off.
The same, however, cannot be said about the Dreams Gourmet shop located right in front of security. This small space, run independently from the main “Duty Free”, has somehow survived for many years charging prices that are, quite frankly, astonishing.
Last Thursday I arrived at the airport a little early and decided to spend a few minutes making a note of some of the prices to establish just how much of a rip-off this establishment really is and report on my findings. So here goes!
I will start with Alvarinho Deu La Deu, a humble but very decent white that is priced in shops between €6 and €7 and on sale at Dreams Gourmet for €13.25, around double the usual price. Some differences are less excessive but still exorbitant such as Niepoort’s entry level red wine Diálogo at €15.50, at least 50% more than that at any supermarket I know.
But the sky high award has to go to a 20-year-old tawny port from Messias. This is a nice tawny port but by no means one of the more expensive or highly rated tawnies on the market. The correct retail price of this port is between €30 and €35. And the price here? A whopping €76!
By PATRICK STUART [email protected]