POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

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POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:42 am

Recession, inflation

There's been a lot of talk lately about inflation and economic recession, and we've been responding in recent weeks by focusing many of the wines featured in these pages at the $10 point or even below.

Even $10 is a bit of a shock to those of us who remember when the cutoff between "affordable" and "special occasion" wines fell around $5. If inflation in wine prices doesn't quite approach the shock of gasoline at $3.50 to $4 a gallon in the U.S., it's startling enough, and prompts wine lovers to watch our budgets a little more closely than we might have done in the past.

To put a number on just how inflation is affecting our wine buying habits, we've resurrected the old Wine Lovers Voting Booth and invite you to select the point at which budget discomfort begins for you in the wine shop. The poll invites you to check off the most you're comfortable paying for a bottle of "everyday" wine: $5, $10, $15, $20, $25, $30 or even more?

To ensure a meaningful result, I hope as many of you as possible will take a moment to click to the Voting Booth and select the choice that feels right for you. (If you're outside the US, simply guesstimate the conversion between your local currency and US dollars.)

Then, if you'd like to discuss this issue in more detail, come back here and post your comments in this discussion topic.

Now, here's my recommendation on another good $10 wine:

Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue 2005 Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc ($9.99)

Clear straw color. Simple white fruit, citrus and a hint of almond; a "vinous" character suggests higher alcohol than the label's 13% would provide. Fresh, medium-bodied, seems richer and more complex on the palate than the nose with melon and delicate citrus with a hint of beeswax over tart acidity. The subtle flavors and sharp acidity work particularly well with the mixed toppings and cheese on an excellent veggie pizza. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (March 9, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: A natural match with seafood or fish; fine with vegetarian fare such as my choice, primavera pizza with spinach, red and green bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes and artichokes.

VALUE: Very good buy at $10.

WHEN TO DRINK: Not a cellar keeper, but no rush to drink it. It should hold up well for the next year or two.

WEB LINKS: For a brief comment on the 2006 vintage, page down to the end of this PDF newsletter on the importer's Website:

Check prices and find vendors for Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc on Wine-Searcher.com:
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Marti ... g_site=WLP

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Re: POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby Craig Pinhey » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:20 pm

Even though our dollar is at par with yours, we still pay more for wine in Atlantic Canada.

So my $20 is probably $15 or a bit less in the US

Anyway, I'll gladly pay $15-20 for a daily wine. The range depends on the wine style/origin.

ND: 2003 Chat Bonnet from a half bottle, It tastes pretty good.
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Re: POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby David P.G. » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:16 pm

For everyday drinking, I am more than able to find something very good in the $10 - $12 range, so I don't mind paying up to $15 for something I really want. The funny thing is that even on slightly more special occasions these wines are the choice anyway as good is good no matter what price point you're at.

There are PLENTY of quality whites (especially Sauvignon Blancs) from les Pays d'Oc and other regions (Les Jamelles, Les Fumee Blanche, Domaine la Hitaire, Tariquet, etc) well under $15...fantastic bargains. Reds are a little more difficult for me as most of the French reds at this price point are not very good at all. I'll tend toward Portugal for low priced quality reds.

At these prices, half the fun is itrying them out, and when you hit a good one, stick with it.
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Re: POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby Robert Reynolds » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:54 pm

I am easily able to find wines I like from most regions for under $12-$13 for everyday wines
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Re: POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby OW Holmes » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:43 am

I am paying about the same for every day drinkers that I did 5 or 10 years ago - $8 - $15 - so I guess, on an inlation and dollar conversion basis, I am buying less expensive wine. And it feels that way. I know that some of my favorite daily drinkers of years ago are no longer in my daily drinker price range.
The thing I can't tell is "why?" I don't think I am shocked by the inflation, or the rise in the price of old favorites. I'm not known as a tight wad. I can afford to pay $20 for a daily drinker - particularly since a bottle lasts a couple of days. So what is it.
As I look at the wines I am buying now as daily drinkers, I am buying wine that is just "good enough." I think perhaps the food has taken top billing from the wine lately, as Beth and I have been cooking together more, and I have become more interested in that. The wine I get is just "good enough" to compliment the food. I'm not looking for complexity, or a long finish, or aging potential, nor am I looking to get a thrill out the wine.
I also have been buying a few wines that have something different about them. They may not be perfectly balanced, or even in the style I prefer, and probably wouldn't rate well with the pointy people, but they have something about them that I think will be interesting, and from which I can learn something. Perhaps a wierd grape, or from a region I have never tried, and there are plenty of such wines in the <$15 range.
I don't think my purchase of less expensive (inflation adjusted) wine is due to the cost, but change in drinking preferances. Or maybe inflation has changed my drinking preferances. I hope this doesn't mean that I am losing a bit of interest in wine, but maybe so.
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Re: POLL: WTN/Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:54 am

I continue to pay $25 or $30 per bottle for the majority of my purchases. However, I live alone, and one bottle lasts me for three evenings so the cost per day is more like $8 to $10. I do have some Spanish reds and whites purchased for under $10 that I like as well as the more expensive wines, but I don't want to have them so often that I tire of them. I like variety in wine. This summer I expect to open a number of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines for under $20 and the Cautivo Rioja Blanco (under $10) interspersed with some Rieslings and Rose wines for over $20. For reds I will continue to enjoy Pinot Noir (often $30 or more) and some Australian reds in the $15-25 range and the occasional Italian Rosso.
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