Wine is getting more and more expensive…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock ?, you’ve probably noticed wine is getting more and more expensive all. the. time. Back in our parent’s days the most expensive wines were (yes, you guessed it) expensive. But they were NOT impossible.
Today, this is no longer the case. If you want to buy a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti AKA a fancy, fancy, fancyyyyy Burgundy, you can expect to be pulling around $20,000 out of your pocket on ONE bottle. Yup, ONE BOTTLE!
So, Caroline, what is the priciest bottle ever sold?
Currently, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was a 6L bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon from 1992. This pricey wine was sold in 2000 at the Napa Valley Auction for $500, 000. Okay, should I repeat this again…. $500,000!!!! for one big bottle of wine.
Does price really matter?
I get these questions all the time:
Does price matter?
Does it really have an indicator of quality?
Was that bottle really worth $20,000?!
The answer? …. NO!
Look, I’m here to teach you the non-bs surrounding wine and to be real with you while approaching wine in a way that’s accessible to us ALL! And by no, I mean, no. Nothing is worth that much money that you’re going to spend drinking in one evening (or day, I don’t judge ?)
Second question: Is it worth it?
At this point, the market dictates it.
If you ask me: “Caroline, would you ever spend that much money on wine?”
My answer will be: “ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN NOT”!
But, by all means, if you wanna buy me, some DRC I will happily invite you to dinner and chef up the most INCREDIBLE dinner you’ve ever had. After dinner, I’ll invite you to live with me and we’ll be best friends forever and ever all because of a $20,000 bottle of wine!
Let’s be real.
Hell no, I am not going to spend that much money on wine. It’s ridiculous and YOU do not have to.
Quality and price is a complicated and unique situation because it does depend on a lot of different factors. I want you to think about what actually goes into your wine. To educate you on some important wine matters, there are TONS going on in winemaking. From the labour going on in the vineyard, the maintenance of the vineyard, all of the equipment, the facility, the winemaker’s needs, barrels, and of course, the marketing and sales!
Oops, did I forget to mention there are bottles or corks, and logistic channels, which get the wine from the winery, all the way to YOU!
People work hard to make these deals happen between the producer and the consumer. You also have the person who is selling the wine in this mix, whether that’s at a restaurant, in a shop, online etc.
So, yes, a lot of things go into the price of a bottle of wine.
What are common prices for wine worldwide?
Did I mention taxes yet? No? Okay, let’s talk.
Wine includes taxes and there are tariffs. Politics are involved in the process. It’s not as straightforward as you may think.
Wine. is. expensive. in. America. (period).
Personally, I would say, if you’re going for a wine bottle that is under $10USD, that’s tough. Shoot for a tad higher and you will be pleased.
You can find cheaper wine over in the UK, that’s actually really good for less than 10GBP. If you want my advice, if you grab a bottle above 7GBP you’ll be safe.
Over in France, great wine can be on your dinner table for the mere price of 6 or 7 EURO. And I’m talking great, straightforward, and simple wine.
How to shop for good wine!
One way to shop for cheap wine that will still impress your dinner guests is to consider fame ⭐️
Is this place/winemaker/winery really famous?
For context, your money in Napa Valley does not go as far as it goes in Mendoza, Argentina. Mendoza is a famous place but you can get cheaper wine there because it’s doesn’t have a crazy prestige similar to Napa Valley. Napa is $$$$$.
When we think about France, Burgundy is pricey, and Bordeaux is pricey.
But somewhere in Chile is gonna be less expensive. And if you head over to Eastern Spain, it’s gonna be equally the same as Chile.
Is there a conclusion to this madness?
I’m gonna come out and say… NO.
To be real, I think it’s insane and absurd what the prices have gotten too recently for some wines.
The best way to find good value wine is to talk to your local independent wine merchant. Or your local independent wine merchants who are more likely to buy wine from independent distributors and importers, and are more likely to buy wine from families, or small producers. When you buy a bottle of wine from an enormous corporation, the majority of your money is going into that enormous corporation where some rich person is making a lot of money off of you. But when you buy your wine from independent winemakers, nobody is making that much money.
I really encourage you to find your local and independent wine merchant and support them! If you can shop directly from wineries, that’s even better. And support your local winery, and support independent businesses.
I promise that’s where you’re gonna get the most bang for your buck when it comes to wine.
Drop a dollar sign in the comments if you found this insightful and don’t forget to share with your friend that brings the pricey wine to the dinner party ?
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