California's Central Coast

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Re: Hey Lou !

Postby TimMc » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:58 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
TimMc wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:
TimMc wrote:Wow!

Obviously, there are many different perceptions realitive to the Central Coast...not the least of which is price.


I have traveled up and down the California Coast/Wine regions and I can clearly tell you, and without hesitation, that the Napa/Sonoma Region has completely priced me out.

I would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford Napa/Sonoma wines. These guys are all about the greed and nothing about the enjoyment of wine. The price of wine is all about profit up there. They could care less about your average wine lover. The more you make yearly...the more they love you. Screw the average guy.

The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


Tim, economics 101- the price of things are determined by supply and demand. If the buying public sees the central coast as worth more money per bottle of wine than they do now the prices will rise. In fact if the quality is great, you will pay more, it's inevitable.
I will repeat "Screw the average guy" just sounds like sour grapes. I could say "maybe you should work harder so you are able to earn more money". My previous statement is one that I find to be disgusting and just as much out of line as "screw the average guy".
There are and have been many things that I have not been able to afford during my life, but I don't feel it's because people are out to screw me.


Hm.

Well, let me offer an example or two of why I think Napa/Sonoma are purposely trying to out exclusive the wine world and therefore are screwing the average wine drinker.

Typically, many wineries ask for a modest tasting fee of a couple bucks to help offset the wines opened for drinking that day. Napa/Sonoma, OTOH, charge upwards of $15 dollars per tasting and, in Silver Oaks case, for one taste. They have summarially jacked the prices up on wine astronomically, and as a matter of course, over the past ten years.

Far Niente, for example, used to charge $40 dollars 6-7 years ago for their Cabernet...today, you can't touch one for under $100 bucks. The other wineries in the area have followed suit and people are plunking down an average $35-50 dollars a bottle for lots of unproven vintages. Clearly, the area is pushing the envelope of the market to get all they can and when they can. The last time [about 5 years ago] I bought a bottle from that area of premium cabernet wine cost me nearly $40 dollars....and it was a huge disappointment. Quiet frankly, the area is trading on a name not on quality or a suitable price for wine which might run $6-8 bucks a bottle to produce; vineyard to store shelf. I'm not coming back until they come back to their collective senses price-wise.

Now I am not at all suggesting there are not excellent wines to be had from numerous vintners in the area. There are many. What I am saying is they have completely priced me and others like me out...and permanently. Only those with the money [few of whom actually understand wine in my experience] are able to afford Napa/Sonoma.

Napa/Sonoma has become a status symbol only available to those with big bucks to spend.



OTOH, Alexander Valley is still affordable....but I support the Central Coast because they, in large part, don't gouge the consumer.


You really didn't understand what I wrote in my original answer to your post. ( Not a clue) So I guess I'll humor your paranoia. I just returned from a meeting of the local vintners this morning where the main topic discussed was how to keep Tim Mc from being able to purchase any of the wines made here in Napa or Sonoma. This duo of evil is determined to sell their wines to only "the right kind of people" which Tim Mc is obviously not.
Have a good day, no more time for crap like your opinions.


LOL :D

I understood you just fine, thanks.

With all due respect here, Lou, you're missing my point about cost and value vs affordability and access. If you recall, my point was that the contrived exclusive on premium wines via their purposeful pricing schedule have priced people like me out. I doubt seriously there is a vendetta against me, personally, and I honestly fail to understand how you came to this unfortunate conclusion given the information I provided. The only point I can make along those lines are from my own experiences, price comparisons and what others tell me about their particular experiences with Napa/Sonoma. Maybe this is where you figured I meant only I was affected, I won't speculate.

Besides, IMHO, the so-called "invisible hand of the marketplace" is morally corrupt and ethically bankrupt. A philosophy of get all you can while you can is a recipe for greed. Pure and simple.

Perhaps you could do a market comparison between Napa/Sonoma and the Central Coast relative to how much wine is purchased and by whom. The demographics may surprise you, I don't know, but the bottom line is Napa/Sonoma have succeeded in pricing me and those moderate income wine lovers like me, completely out of that market. In short, we're screwed.

Don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger.



Peace.



TimMc, Average Guy
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Re: Hey Lou !

Postby TimMc » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:35 pm

Here are a few suggestions of mine relative to Central Coast wines [mostly reds]:

Dry Riesling/Muscat/Gewurztraminer:

Image

Merlot:

[img]http://www.sigurdmullervinhandel.dk/images/nyheder/WildHorseMerlot.jpg[/img]

Pinot Noir:

Image

Zinfindel:

Image
Image
[Unfiltered/unfined]
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Re: Hey Lou !

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:52 pm

Tim, I'm interested in your sweeping claims that "Besides, IMHO, the so-called "invisible hand of the marketplace" is morally corrupt and ethically bankrupt. A philosophy of get all you can while you can is a recipe for greed. Pure and simple."

How do you apply this philosophy in your own life? For example, do you work for a living? If so, other things being equal, would you take a higher paying job in preference to a lower paying job?

I'm not interested in debating the merits and demerits of the capitalistic model, just interested in what you do personally living in a capitalistic society.

Regards, Bob

PS: sorry to intrude on your debate with Lou (who is an awfully tough competitor -- and pretty funny to boot). If you would prefer to answer privately, please feel free to email a response at robcurtross@hotmail.com. B.
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Re: Hey Lou !

Postby TimMc » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:46 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Tim, I'm interested in your sweeping claims that "Besides, IMHO, the so-called "invisible hand of the marketplace" is morally corrupt and ethically bankrupt. A philosophy of get all you can while you can is a recipe for greed. Pure and simple."

How do you apply this philosophy in your own life? For example, do you work for a living? If so, other things being equal, would you take a higher paying job in preference to a lower paying job?

I'm not interested in debating the merits and demerits of the capitalistic model, just interested in what you do personally living in a capitalistic society.

Regards, Bob

PS: sorry to intrude on your debate with Lou (who is an awfully tough competitor -- and pretty funny to boot). If you would prefer to answer privately, please feel free to email a response at robcurtross@hotmail.com. B.


Bob,

No intrusion, you are welcome anytime...and Lou is, indeed, very humorous :D [Besides, I don't think he's coming back to this discussion, to be perfectly honest.]

I am a Public Educator, but I hold a business license and was in retail management for many years before becoming a teacher.

And to answer your question, of course I would like to be paid more for what I do. Who wouldn't? But I don't do what I do for expected gain or profit; I do it for the love of kids....specifically, teenagers.

Having said that, the defining difference is I don't expect to be paid millions of dollars nor do I seek to gain as much as I possibly can through nefarious or less than circumspect and self-serving means.

I expect fair compensation for work rendered.

The "invisible hand of the marketplace" is not restricted in any way and, therefore, will [by design] take full and complete advantage of profit making to the point of greed and that would be my quarrel with Napa/Sonoma. They do it because they can and for no other reason. This purely arbitrary philosophy has priced me out for good.

Make sense?
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Re: Hey Lou !

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:42 pm

TimMc wrote:They do it because they can and for no other reason. This purely arbitrary philosophy has priced me out for good.


Tim,

My view of the situation is that I do not chose to waste my money on their over priced-product. Let them charge what they wish. I will vote with my feet. Their loss not mine. I come out ahead if I withhold my $75 for a watery Central Coast Pinot that should cost about $15 maximum. I'm not "screwed", I'm "smart".
Sam

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matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
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Cool climates and the Central Coast: re: Jenise

Postby James Dietz » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:10 pm

Jenise: I think that parts of Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands qualify as cool climate too.. which is why there are so many good Pinots coming out of these areas.... If you haven't tried an Arcadian or Ampelos recently... well.. you should....
Last edited by James Dietz on Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: California's Central Coast

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:15 pm

We are most familiar with Paso area, although have toured the whole Central Coast. As long term members of the James Gang, we usually stay at the Tobin James guest house. They still have a great Syrah for $18 and their Zins are legendry. Down the road is Eberle where Tobin cut his teeth, and they still crank out a fine line of wines including one of best entry level Cabs in the region. Across the street from Eberle is EOS whose Petite Sirah is an annual winner. On the other side of town AJB puts out the jammyest Zin you can find for less than $20. At Pipestone, Jeff is a dedicated Rhone Ranger. His estate grown Syrah and Grenache sell the mid 20s, and are top notch. Although price creep is alive and well in Paso as in other regions, there is still some great stuff at reasonable prices available.
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Re: California's Central Coast

Postby TimMc » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:07 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:We are most familiar with Paso area, although have toured the whole Central Coast. As long term members of the James Gang, we usually stay at the Tobin James guest house. They still have a great Syrah for $18 and their Zins are legendry. Down the road is Eberle where Tobin cut his teeth, and they still crank out a fine line of wines including one of best entry level Cabs in the region. Across the street from Eberle is EOS whose Petite Sirah is an annual winner. On the other side of town AJB puts out the jammyest Zin you can find for less than $20. At Pipestone, Jeff is a dedicated Rhone Ranger. His estate grown Syrah and Grenache sell the mid 20s, and are top notch. Although price creep is alive and well in Paso as in other regions, there is still some great stuff at reasonable prices available.


Exactly.

Tobin James also worked at Peachy Canyon and their Zins used to be just fabulous when he was there...he's a nice guy, too. I remember one of his first Zins was a big, bold and chewy red and at 15.4% alcohol, it was Zin that demanded your attention. :D I uncorked a bottle for dinner one night and the next day it really opened up...and was, IMHO, even better.

Have you tasted any of the Templeton Area wines lately? I would stack Castoro Cellars Syrah up aginst some of the best. Adelaida vints some beautifully crafted reds as well.

Down the coast is a winery called Fess Parker which will surprise even the most discerning wine drinker. Zaca Mesa and Firestone [especially the Merlot] are excellent, too.
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Re: California's Central Coast

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:05 pm

Tim,
You have quikly become the official pot stirrer of this board. But you make good calls on the Fess Parker and Firestones. We have some friends who moved east from the LA area and those were two of their favorites. They still get wines shipped back. Some of the Fess Parker labels are real qpr winners. Some of them are big fruit bombs, but every now and then they do just fine.
Keep the pot stirring. Bob, Lou and the others need to hone their skills. Just be carefull when the stillettos come out. We don't need any flame wars here.
Cheers!
James
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Re: California's Central Coast

Postby TimMc » Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:45 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Tim,
You have quikly become the official pot stirrer of this board. But you make good calls on the Fess Parker and Firestones. We have some friends who moved east from the LA area and those were two of their favorites. They still get wines shipped back. Some of the Fess Parker labels are real qpr winners. Some of them are big fruit bombs, but every now and then they do just fine.
Keep the pot stirring. Bob, Lou and the others need to hone their skills. Just be carefull when the stillettos come out. We don't need any flame wars here.
Cheers!
James


LOL :D

Call it a knack...but I honestly mean well by it.


Thanks, James.
TimMc
 

Re: Hey Lou !

Postby TimMc » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:24 pm

Sam Platt wrote:
TimMc wrote:They do it because they can and for no other reason. This purely arbitrary philosophy has priced me out for good.


Tim,

My view of the situation is that I do not chose to waste my money on their over priced-product. Let them charge what they wish. I will vote with my feet. Their loss not mine. I come out ahead if I withhold my $75 for a watery Central Coast Pinot that should cost about $15 maximum. I'm not "screwed", I'm "smart".


Good point.


Sometimes I need to be reminded to change the focus. It just galls me that I am not "allowed" to buy Napa/Sonoma wine and as a result of specious reasoning.


Thanks, Sam. :)
TimMc
 

Pricing.

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:47 pm

"I expect fair compensation for work rendered.

The "invisible hand of the marketplace" is not restricted in any way and, therefore, will [by design] take full and complete advantage of profit making to the point of greed and that would be my quarrel with Napa/Sonoma. They do it because they can and for no other reason. This purely arbitrary philosophy has priced me out for good.

Make sense?"

I think I understand your point, Tim, and I'll try to respond objectively. I must confess I've found a number of wineries and met a number of winemakers in both Sonoma and Napa who make excellent wines at reasonable prices. I've had trouble personally parsing out your arguments from my friendships and loyalties in both areas.

Doing my best to put my subjective feelings aside, the nub of your argument seems to revolve around "fair compensation for work rendered". You clearly understand how the capitalistic system works based on your resume, and I assume from what you write that you attempt to maximize your personal compensation. You may decide to take a lower paying job and not seek top dollar for your services for a number of personal reasons -- the inability of your students to pay, psychic and other rewards that make up for money, whatever. All a matter of personal choice and I applaud whatever choice you make.

How does one determine "fair compensation" for the work and risk and investment involved in making wine? In the capitalist model, one makes a pricing decision based on what buyers are willing to pay.

A winemaker may choose to sell for less than what buyers are willing to pay -- again for a number of personal reasons. I understand your argument to be that winemakers in Napa and Sonoma should do so -- perhaps so that middle income buyers can afford their wine, perhaps to enhance the long term survival of their wineries, whatever reasons they find compelling. (I'm not sure from what you write exactly why Napa and Sonoma winemakers should sell wine for less than the market will bear, and would be happy to be educated on the point.)

A winemaker who decides to sell his or her wine for less than buyers are willing to pay faces a serious problem. Buyers can then buy the wine from the winemaker and then resell it at the going market price. That seems grossly unfair to the winemaker -- after all they have done the work, taken the risks, and someone else who may be taking no risk at all can reap the benefit. It's hard for me to understand why a winemaker should do so in our capitalistic system.

I suppose one could create another system -- imposed on top of an already heavily regulated business -- where a governmental authority would determine "fair compensation" for wine. An important corollary set of regulation would have to be imposed to prevent buyers from flipping wine -- although a black market would undoubtedly develop. We're seeing the negative effects of just such a system in the current disagreements between Russia on the one hand and Georgia and Moldovia on the other.

Is there a better mechanism than either of those two that you would propose to determine "fair compensation" for the winemaker?

Frankly, I can't. But I would be delighted to consider any option you can come up with.

In the meantime, Sam Platt has excellent advice I think -- vote with your feet.

Or, take a lesson from Bob Dylan: "Every pleasures got an edge of pain, pay for your ticket and don't complain."

It's great to have a choice -- in my case, to continue to buy wines all over California, and the world -- including Eberle, Firestone and Fess Parker, several bottles of which I already own.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pricing.

Postby Lou Kessler » Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:28 pm

Thanks Bob for your well thought out and reasoned answer. I admit losing patience and responding in a short and abrupt way at times.
I would be one of the first people to claim that teachers in our society are not compensated properly but then there are many facets of our society that are not administered as if I were dictator. I wonder how many of us have turned down higher salaries, more money for products sold, large sums for consulting etc? (The market place value) Knowing many people involved in the wine business here in the valley and to have somebody come along & paint all of them with the same brush just raises my hackles. Hope you and your family have a great 4th and every day after. Best, Lou :D
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Re: Pricing.

Postby TimMc » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:25 pm

Bob,

Thank you for your level response to my concerns...I appreciate it.

I completely understand how the capitalist system works. My complaint revolves around the ugly specter of greed.

Here's where it all falls apart in my mind:
Bob Ross wrote:In the capitalist model, one makes a pricing decision based on what buyers are willing to pay.


I liken this to gas prices. The oil companies see fit to jack up the prices as high as they can everytime there is a bump in the price of crude oil. Are they raising the price of a gallon of gas by a few pennies? Not at all. They are basing their price increases on what buyers are willing to pay. Result: $11.7 Billion dollars in free and clear profit for the big three oil companies. Is this fair compensation, Bob? I hardly think so.

A bottle of premium wine generally costs $6-8 bucks to bottle, vinyard to store shelf. For the consumer it is costing anwhere from $35 to 100 dollars a toss :shock:


IMHO, this isn't fair compensation, it's gouging.


I cannot be more forthright than this.
Last edited by TimMc on Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pricing.

Postby Bob Ross » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:20 am

"Thanks Bob for your well thought out and reasoned answer. I admit losing patience and responding in a short and abrupt way at times."

Thanks, Lou. As you know, we share an inability to abide broad generalizations attacking groups of people -- being 3000 miles from the target makes it a little easier for me to be objective.

Thanks for your good wishes, and please accept both Janet's and my good wishes in return.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pricing.

Postby Bob Ross » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:24 am

Thanks for the response, Tim. I've been debating internally whether to try to discuss wine with you, and your response resolves the matter to my satisfaction.

Suggestion: cork your end, I'll screw cap my end, and we'll both move on to more interesting or amusing conversations with others.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Pricing.

Postby TimMc » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:24 pm

No problem, Bob.

I am sorry to find you so resolute, but such is the difficulty with dealing with pixels on a screen rather than having a face-to-face conversation.


I am not a bad person and mean no harm, but I am serious about wine and so it goes.


Peace.
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Re: Pricing.

Postby Bob Ross » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:26 pm

Peace.
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