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.
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.
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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!
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.
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.