In most instances, your assumption is correct.
Section 3.7.1 of VAT Notice 701/14 states: "You must standard-rate all your supplies of drinks containing alcohol, whether you sell them for consumption on or off your premises. Examples include beer, cider, and perry (including black beer and shandy); wine (including made-wine and fermented communion wine); and spirits and liqueurs." The current standard rate is 20%.
However, your client can zero-rate supplies either exported outside of the EU or dispatched to a customer who is registered for VAT in another EU country. If the latter event occurs, your client must ask for and record the customer's VAT registration number, including the two-letter country code, and show it on the sales invoice. The date of sale is the earlier of the day the goods are sent or the day full payment is received. Because exported and dispatched sales are zero-rated (and not exempted), your client will still include the value of the supplies in his or her VAT Return.
If your client supplies excise goods (goods on which excise duty is payable like tobacco and alcohol) to someone who is not registered for VAT in another EU country, and your client is responsible for delivering (or arranging the delivery of) the goods, the sale is treated as a distance sale in the country to which the goods are delivered, and your client will have to register for VAT in that country regardless of the value of the sales.
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