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Regular consumers soon to be priced out of fine wines?


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I personally would be more distraught, if I ever in my wildest imagination thought I "could have" afforded an 1869 Lafite-Rothschild prior to a spending spree by the relatively more cash-flush. As it is now, decent Burgundies are a vice that needs managing. :sad:

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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http://www.chinchinjobs.com/news/Article/antique-wine-from-napolean-iii-era-fetches-record-147000-967

Apparently the prices are already been driven up by Chinese investors. Once India and China become more interested in wine, prices could be driven up way beyond the reach of ordinary Joes.

Sad, but I guess inevitable in a free market?

That's the price mechanism coordinating consumer demand with supply. The only way for prices to come down is for individuals to cease demanding it so much, or magically increasing the supply of vintage wines.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel still there are certain resources that offer good packages of wine at whole sale rates and all the wines directly imports from vineyards. I know there are some people including me who cannot afford vintage wines and even those wine that very expensive.

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It's the market - get used to it.

Interesting to see that free trade etc that has been imposed on many nations

is now an issue back in the homeland.

Oh well just get an expert in

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Just to put this issue in perspective: ordinary Joes (or Jills) do not buy 1869 vintage collector wines that probably taste like vinegar now. Ordinary Joes & Jills want something nice, occasionally something special, to put on the dinner table and share with friends. There are always new places opening up in the world as a source for good, affordable wines--in fact, some of the new wineries will be tomorrow's stars in the wine world. In California, when Napa and Sonoma wine prices hit the roof, areas like the Central Coast developed more affordable, good (and some great) wines as a result. The other day I was reading that the Sierra foothills region is the new growth area for winemaking in this state, and I had to chuckle. Ten years ago I met a winemaker from that area, tasted his wines, and they were already darn good (Crystal Basin Cellars, http://www.crystalbasin.com/ ). Five years ago I met a guy from Pennsylvania whose passion in life was to be a winemaker--in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania wines are up-and-coming now, too.

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I agree with much of djyee10's post. I know that unless I am extremely lucky, I will sadly never gather anything more than lesser-growth Bordeaus, for example.

That said, my preference for wine is decidedly in terroir, a concept I do believe in, love, and embrace sensually, if it is misused and overused. I am not a Parker fan, generally, and if he has sneered at the notion of terroir, to some extent, I am a fan of growers who call themselves growers, not winemakers, again, generally.

All of which is to say that I do not believe all lands are equal. One can certainly work with one's terroir to make the best wine with what one's got. But I measure "best" to mean the most pleasurable wine (and for me, that includes its ready marriage with food), given its expression of the land. I do not measure it in trying to squeeze out some alchemy from one's land to market the wine to some perceived, authoritative, global standard.

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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When I was in college in the 1980s the local "good" liquor store carried regular ol' Mondavi cab (not a discount line) for $18. The chard was $12 or $13, IIRC, and the sauvignon blanc was under $10. (We drank a lot of the latter). Name-brand wine prices have been outpacing inflation for a while now, up and down the quality spectrum... and yet today we can still get something like Black Box's syrah ($20 for 3L), a completely serviceable everyday red in a by-the-glass dispenser package. To me, the wider availability of affordable everyday wine that doesn't taste like shoe dye or salad dressing makes the occasional splurge on something like a first-growth a lot easier to swallow (so to speak). I have had good (in a few cases great) vintages of Haut-Brion, Latour, Rieussec, L'Evangile, Le Montrachet (Louis Latour, but still), and other stuff-of-myth-and-legend wines at dinners with friends over the years, where the wine is a focus and we all learn something from savoring a glass with a well-paired meal.

Edited by John Rosevear (log)

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I hear you, John, and ultimately, the market will bear out -if people value price points only, eventually, then so be it; 2 Buck Chuck will rule the day. I guess my beef is that I see so much consolidation everywhere that skews what would be a "fair" evaluation - with such market force, it's difficult to get at the heart of true valuation, dollars for intrinsic value. Some would say, well, that, too, is simply the market - that advertising, and the sway of Parker's points are important to people, and they value accordingly. But I can't agree.

I might just be a romantic, locked in hopeless enmity with modernity; I mourn the ability of family, small-plot vintners to stay alive, so will eschew Brown Forman's lineup anyday, if I can, to support a 1 hectare producer.

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I think companies like Garagiste give (some of) those small producers a market they might not have been able to find 10 years ago, sort of a wine-geek's version of a CSA. All hope is not lost -- in fact, it's possible that things are improving.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I think companies like Garagiste give (some of) those small producers a market they might not have been able to find 10 years ago, sort of a wine-geek's version of a CSA. All hope is not lost -- in fact, it's possible that things are improving.

That's a great point, John; I hope so.

I need to stop reading older books...currently re-reading Eunice Fried's Burgundy, detailing, in part, Becky Wasserman's early forays into vigneron brokerage; that, and Waverly Root's Food of France, which I finished again recently, having read it for what must have been half a dozen times. Le Vin Bourru is on order next, by Jean-Claude Carrière....details life in 30's SW France. Not that Carrière's book is a rose-lensed view of rural viticultural life; far from it. They worked like dogs, like smallholders do, have always done.

Still, after reading books like these, or Terry Theise's Reading Between the Wines, or Lawrence Osborne's The Accidental Connoisseur, I can't help but get melancholy; it feels ineluctable, like the tide of history is heavily weighted against craft, and towards an insipid mean, a global "standard." It doesn't help that my cousin is a California winemaker; I have seen firsthand (ok, secondhand) what happens when a large bunch of Bourbon boys assert their behemoth market sway on an entire wine region. Or when larger wineries themselves turn to these powerhouses for help in further "market penetration."

I guess that if I acknowledge it as a natural consequence of a free market, in an era that more and more values some of the things we've been discussing, I see it, but it troubles me pretty deeply.

Uh...I need me some garagiste nectar.

Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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hmmm.. Regular consumers... Auctions Vintage Chateau Lafite-Rothschild ... Not two things I'd normally hear linked in a sentence. My suspicion is that they've always been out of that market whether by personal choice or means.

So some of the very wealthy are now not able to afford some of the more obscure wines. Of course my heart goes out to them. But everyone else is getting benefit from increased competition, better production techniques, etc.

No issue here.. Move on...

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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