Wine

We Found Out Why Wine is So Expensive, and it Changed the Way We Buy

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Our friends over at Wine Searcher have a great post up, deconstructing the expense of a single bottle of wine and explaining what, exactly, determines the price of wine. According to the article, wine costs a different price depending on where you buy it.

lady in vineyard

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Best Wine, Best Price

Whenever possible, head to the vineyard and buy straight from the source. You’ll cut out the middle man and save some big bucks.

lady choosing wine

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Restaurants Have Expensive Tastes

It’s not entirely their fault, though. Here’s what happens to a bottle on it’s way to a restaurant:

Winemaker sells a bottle to a distributor for $19.

Distributor sells to restaurants and retailers for $33.

The retailer sells it for $50, give or take a few pennies, while the restaurant puts that same bottle on their wine list for $100.

$19 to $100? That’s why we suggest you head to the vineyard! 

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What About “Cheap” Wines? (I’m asking for a friend, I swear.)

So if a $100 bottle was once bought and sold for $19, what was the original cost of a $9 bottle? 2 cents? Not quite.

Trader Joe’s, maker of the ubiquitous “2 Buck Chuck” is able to keep prices so low for a few reasons. First, Charles Shaw vineyards have owned over 40,000 aces of vineyards for decades, so the grapes are cheap. They use lighter bottles and less expensive corks. And finally, Shaw sells directly to Trader Joe’s, cutting our the distributors where most of the added costs are tacked on.

lady choosing winephoto credit

So How Much Does Price Matter?

At the end of the day, not much. The more hands a wine has passed through on its way to your glass, the more expensive it will be. And that doesn’t have anything to do with quality and taste. Our recommendation? Drink what you like, not what you think will impress others with a high price point. Your wallet will thank you, and chances are you’ll like the wine just fine.

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About Christine Hennessey

Hello, and thanks for reading! I'm a writer, teacher, and beekeeper living in coastal North Carolina. When I'm not writing about beer, wine, and spirits for Next Glass, I'm working on a novel, perfecting my headstand, and walking two giant dogs. My favorite things to drink are dark coffee, red wine, and homebrewed beer.

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