Expensive Wine VS. Cheap Wine

by Tom Byg
(Nevada City,CA., USA)

Tom pondering the value of wine

Tom pondering the value of wine

Tom Asks:

What goes into the growing of and the making of expensive wine and how does it differ from a wine like "two buck chuck?

Darby Says:

Like most products the price of wine is a result of the interaction of supply factors and demand factors.

On the supply side wines can have very expensive inputs, high land prices, difficult climate and growing seasons leading to low yields or even vintage failures, expensive labour and high cost vineyard and winery inputs, expensive oak treatments, packaging and advertising. It all adds up.

In very general terms grapes grown with heavy irrigation in warm areas tend to yield high amounts of bland juice which is made into cheap thin, flavourless wine. Cooler dryer areas produce lower yields of well ripened grapes which can make lower volumes of better quality wine.

On the demand side wine is a fashion industry; people become fixated on certain brands, varieties and regions.

One of the motivations I had for starting the Vinodiversity website and the books I've written is to try to show that you can get much more enjoyment and drink better wines cheaper if you look outside the square. There are thousands of wine varieties made in hundreds of wine regions throughout the world.

If you try a few different wines from less common grapes you may come across the occasional blooper but you will be more than rewarded with some wonderful wines at very reasonable prices.

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