Wine prices cover the gamut from $5 to thousands of dollars for a single bottle of wine. One thing to keep in mind is that marketers have determined that the higher the price on a bottle of wine the more demand there will be for the wine. That’s up to a point of course, because eventually the price can exceed the upper price you are willing to pay. But in general, you can price a $5 bottle at $10 and sales will increase.
In the wine buyer’s mind, price indicates quality and that is not always true. You can buy a high quality $20 bottle of wine that might be a better product than the specialty wine offered for sale at a $100. There are so many factors influencing the price of wine including the following.
Cost of the grapes
Methods used for aging ( mechanical or manual)
Vintage is a term that refers to the grape and the wine making process. The vintage refers to the year the grapes were picked and to the year the wine was actually produced. The older the wine the odds are the higher the quality. Vintage can tell you a lot more about quality than price.
What Is ‘Enough’ to Pay?
There is a lot of ongoing discussion about what you should pay for a bottle of wine, and in the end it often comes down to what you can afford and what tastes the best to you. At one time wine drinking was something mostly wealthy people indulged in, but thanks to technology and global marketing the wine industry has seen tremendous growth in numbers of buyers and prices of wine.
The $10 bottle of wine is usually the most inexpensive wine you should buy. Wines that are less than $10 were probably not aged at all. The wine went from the stainless steel vat to the bottle the minute fermentation was completed.
But a $10 bottle of wine today can be a very good wine. In fact there are inexpensive bottles of wine like the $10 versions that have won awards at competitions. In this price range you will find the best wines coming from Australia and California. They are made with grapes that grow quickly and are flavourful such as the Chardonnay and Cabernet.
Many $10 wine bottles are made using a blend of grapes instead of a single grape. The flavour may be quite good but there won’t be much in the way of aromas or flavour layers. Some people refer to wines in this price range as “cooking wines” because they are often used as recipe ingredients.
When you pay $20 a bottle you begin to experience some of the layers of flavouring such as soft oak and peaches. The flavours will also be stronger and there will an aroma you can enjoy. At this price range you are getting the first level of sophistication in wine and the flavours and body reflect the grape and production methods used.
The $20 bottle of wine should have been made from single grape sources. In other words, each grape type used will have come from one vineyard. This is where some of the increased flavour intensity begins.
Going up another ten dollars, the $30 bottle of wine may be imported from Australia or Europe and could very well be a global award winner. The wine at this price range is complex and reflects the producer’s special methods of winemaking. The flavours and texture are richer also and you are sure to enjoy an aftertaste. Some people believe you can get the best wines in this price range.
The bottles that are priced at $50 are often bought to be stored so the aging process can continue. Wine hobbyists developing a collection will buy a bottle and store it another 5 or 10 years before drinking the wine. The quality will be high, the aromas delightful, and the flavours layered.
Within a particular wine style and brand you will often find bottles of the same kind of wine but priced differently. This is often due to the fact winemakers make inexpensive and more expensive versions to satisfy different needs and the to reflect the cost of production.
For example, the Madeira fortified wine is made two ways. The inexpensive version is heated in large vats. The more expensive style is heating in sunny attics so it is a longer process.
So how much is enough to pay for a bottle of wine? You might be like some people and always insist on the $20 or $30 bottle of wine. But you might decide the $10 is ideal for drinking during the week and a $30 bottle is perfect for a special occasion.
Going, Going, Gone…
Wine is big business, and caters to all kinds of customers. People willing to spend a lot of money to get their hands on a first growth Bordeaux will often look for their wine at auction. But that is not something most people can afford. Fortunately you can buy expensive specialty wines online if that is what you are looking for.
Specialty wines are wines produced in limited quantity and using only the best grapes and winemaking methods. The wine is carefully controlled from the methods used to grow the grapes to the temperature controlled storage. Many times the slower growing grapes are used and only the traditional methods of production are allowed. You would never buy a specialty wine that has added sugar to speed up the process because sweetness is controlled by the ripening of the grapes on the vine and the fermentation process.
These kinds of wines can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per bottle.
So when buying your wine keep in mind that price does not directly correlate with quality in the relatively inexpensive $10 wines. But once you get to $20 the price becomes more indicative of the quality you should expect to find.