By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
New tariffs to hit Italian cheese, French wine, Scotch whiskey
10042019 TARIFFS 1.jpg
Don Waara cuts into Parmesan and Piave cheese on Thursday, Oct. 3, at his shop, Vine and Cheese, on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. Italian cheese is about to become more expensive as new tariffs on a variety of European goods take effect this month. - photo by Nick Bowman

Date nights everywhere are about to get a lot more expensive.

Responding to new subsidies for European aircraft manufacturers from the European Union, the Trump administration announced a 25% tariff for a long list of products produced in Europe, including some upscale dinner table favorites like French wine, Italian cheese and Scotch whiskey.

The products could be subject to the tariff as early as Oct. 18, which would raise the cost of hundreds of agricultural products in the United States that are coming from Europe.

The owner of Gainesville’s Vine and Cheese, a wine and cheese shop on Thompson Bridge Road specializing in European goods, is expecting to see big increases in the cost of some of his wares.

“It’s just sad, it’s real unfortunate,” said Don Waara. “My cheese customers are more fanatical than my wine customers. If they say they like something, I make a note and I call them (when it comes in), and they come right away.”

Waara was preparing for a wine tasting on Thursday, Oct. 3, and was cutting into wedges of Parmesan and Piave — two Italian cheeses that will become more expensive once the tariffs hit.

He also expects the tariffs to ultimately be more expensive for the end consumer given the number of middlemen involved in importing wine and cheese into the United States.

“That 25% gets worked into the markup,” he said. “If it’s 25% higher to them — everybody marks it up.”

The domestic cheesemakers, Waara said, will probably increase the price of their own cheese to match tariff prices. There’s “no aggressive pricing now,” he said.

One of Waara’s suppliers expects the tariffs to in some cases double the cost of cheese for consumers.

“To put this into perspective for the general consumer, currently at retail stores, imported cheeses range from approximately $15-$30, but if the tariff is put into place this means the range will increase to approximately $25-$50,” states a September newsletter to retailers from World’s Best Cheeses. “That means sprinkling on some Parmigiano-Reggiano onto your favorite Sunday sauce is now going to cost you double.”

Waara said he has already put in a large order of cheese to his suppliers after the hot Georgia summer prevented him from ordering new stock, noting he’s thinking about placing another order in the hopes of getting in before the mid-October cutoff.

10042019 TARIFFS 1.jpg
Like French wine? It's about to get at least 25% more expensive because of new tariffs taking effect in mid-October. - photo by Nick Bowman
Regional events