Vin du Jour or "Wine of the Day" is a blog focusing on wine and all things it encompasses written in a prose that's intended to be fun, informative and thought provoking. Salut! (Like to contribute to the blog...then, contact us.)

Over-inflated Prices for Unknown Juice

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As a wine buyer I taste roughly 60-100 wines per week and have recently seen some frightening trends. I see a lot of upstart wineries with only one or two vintages under their belt asking way too much for their product.

 

Wine prices aren't always in line with the quality, this has always been true. That is not to say that expensive wines aren't superior in quality, it just depends.

 

Wine prices are a function of scarcity, the harder it is to obtain, typically, the higher the price. In the 1970's Chateau Petrus, from Pomerol (the smallest sub-region in Bordeaux) cost around $12, now that same wine is around $1200 dollars. Is it a hundred times better? The answer to that is an emphatic NO!

 

Petrus is an example of a high demand, low production dynamic. The high demand for this product allows for its outrageous prices...but the wine also has a long history of being extremely high in quality. If consumers didn't buy the wine, the price would drop significantly.

The young upstart wineries, particularly here in California, haven't established a history of being high in quality, so why charge so much? Many of them are upwards of $70 dollars a bottle wholesale. Hard to justify that purchase.

 

If a young, unproven winery wants to establish a strong brand, then people have to drink the wine and in order for them to drink it there has to be some perceived value by the consumers.

 

More next week...

 

 

Salut!

 

Dustin Jones

Director of Wine Education, VinVillage

Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers