"Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

"Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:57 am

Interesting report from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in the heart of California's Sonoma wine country, where they report that recessionary economy is prompting wine buyers to look on the QPR shelves rather than reaching for the high-end stuff. What do you think? Does this equation work for you, or are you drinking better but drinking less? Or does the economy affect your wine budget at all?

Wine: 'Cheap is chic,' at least for now
By Nathan Halverson
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010


Americans are drinking as much wine as ever despite the massive economic turmoil. But now they stoop down in the grocery aisle to buy a cheap bottle, rather than reaching for the top-shelf luxury wine that characterized the industry only a few years ago.

"Cheap is chic," said Tony Correia, a veteran vineyard appraiser who spoke at a two-day wine conference in Napa that concluded Tuesday.

Chatter at the 19th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium frequently revolved around when, if ever, wine drinkers would return in large numbers to the high-end wines produced on the North Coast.

"I think the next 12 months will be very hard for the $25 and up price points," said Ray Chadwick, executive vice president at Young's Market Company, a wine distributor. "The lower price points will continue to do exceptionally well."

Retail sales are closely tracked within the industry because consumer prices trickle down and impact every part of the business – from grape prices to land valuations.

Facing financial pressures, many North Coast wineries have discounted their retail prices since 2008. The practice has generated necessary cash, but often has resulted in prices that don't cover the higher costs of producing wine in Sonoma and Napa counties.

"It is going to be challenging for the luxury market to get sustainable prices for some time," said Steve Fredricks, president of Turrentine Wine Brokerage, who spoke at the conference Tuesday.

Read the full story in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20 ... st-for-now
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 16679
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:57 am

I am drinking the same amount of wine now as always, a bottle a day, but actually drinking better for the same money. There are some very nice deals out there (Pommery Brut--$16.50, Duval Leroy Brut--$17.50, Mettler 2007 Cab.--$19.50 to my door) if you are willing to search them out and buy in case lots.
Jim Grow
Wine guru
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:31 pm
Location: Rockbridge Ohio

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:53 pm

This is not at all new and seems destined to remain a fact for a lot longer than another year.

The Pali blended Pinots were a huge hit at under $20, versus their single vineyard wines at $45 or so.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21575
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby wrcstl » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:07 pm

Nothing has changed with my wine buying. Cheap is different than QPR. To me I would not buy cheap just to save money but have always looked for QPR. Just can't pull the trigger on $60 cabs and have a problem with even the best Old World wine over $60. Too many good wines around.
Walt
User avatar
wrcstl
Wine guru
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:20 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Cathy Keibler » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:22 pm

I have typically kept my wine buys in the $10 to $15 range, with ocassional forays higher when the occasion calls for a bit of a splurge. I am always on the hunt for bargains, because while I want to drink wine that is value-priced, I don't want to drink plonk. Online sites offer some wonderful bargains, local trusted merchants are an invaluable resource and simply drinking a lot of wine--being willing to try something new--is a great way to discover hidden gems. The featured wine today is one of my favorites and, Robin, you have always been a terrific source for finding good, affordable wine.
Cathy Keibler
Just got here
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:37 pm

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby James Dietz » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:53 pm

Jim Grow wrote:I am drinking the same amount of wine now as always, a bottle a day, but actually drinking better for the same money. There are some very nice deals out there (Pommery Brut--$16.50, Duval Leroy Brut--$17.50, Mettler 2007 Cab.--$19.50 to my door) if you are willing to search them out and buy in case lots.


Where or where does one find Duval Leroy for that price??????? Maybe 375s????? I don't see anything on WineSearcher that would come close to that price for a 750, discount or not.
Last edited by James Dietz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Cheers, Jim
User avatar
James Dietz
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1214
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Carl Eppig » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:54 pm

Don't want to confirm anyone's suspicions.
Carl Eppig
Our Maine man
 
Posts: 3930
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Middleton, NH, USA

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:28 pm

James, I was buying the Duval Leroy and Pommery at a half-price sale in Fort Wayne. I have not tried the Duval yet but the Pommery has been wonderful. They may have sat around for a while but that is just fine with me. They also had Whitehall Lane Res. Cab. 2005 for $40 and lots of 1/2 bottles of nice dessert wine for $15 or less to name just a bit. No case discounts on these bargains however. Cap-n-Cork at Coldstream plaza.
Jim Grow
Wine guru
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:31 pm
Location: Rockbridge Ohio

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Sam Platt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:35 pm

James Dietz wrote:Where or where does one find Duval Leroy for that price??????? Maybe 375s????? I don't see anything on WineSearcher that would come close to that price for a 750, discount or not.

Hear, hear! That's some good juice for the $32 I can find it at around here, now and then. I would love to find it for under $20.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
Sam Platt
I am Sam, Sam I am
 
Posts: 2279
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Indiana, USA

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:37 pm

My previous post refered to all 750's except the dessert wines. I bought all the Pommery they had and will stock up on more Duval if they still have some.
Jim Grow
Wine guru
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:31 pm
Location: Rockbridge Ohio

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Sam Platt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:52 pm

Jim Grow wrote:James, I was buying the Duval Leroy and Pommery at a half-price sale in Fort Wayne. I have not tried the Duval yet but the Pommery has been wonderful. They may have sat around for a while but that is just fine with me. They also had Whitehall Lane Res. Cab. 2005 for $40 and lots of 1/2 bottles of nice dessert wine for $15 or less to name just a bit. No case discounts on these bargains however. Cap-n-Cork at Coldstream plaza.

I'll be darn! I just called and they do have the Duval-Leroy (750ml) for $17.50. He only has six bottles remaining. He wouldn't put a few of them on hold for me. Don't know if I could get over there tomorrow anyway. They're all yours, Jim!

PS: The D-L is superior to the Pommery, at least to the Brut Royal, in my opinion.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
Sam Platt
I am Sam, Sam I am
 
Posts: 2279
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Indiana, USA

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:11 pm

Cheap and really good/interesting is something to savour. On the whole going hunting for such wines tends to be pretty disappointing, but being open to them when they turn up can result in immense satisfaction of money well spent.

One wine that sticks in the memory was a 1997 Dao Red about 4-5 years ago. Just shy of £3 a bottle from a local wine trader we're friends with. One or two really stunning bottles in the half doz we bought.

On the whole I'm looking for no more really cheap wines than I did 4-5 years ago. I probably have reined in buying more prestige £30-40 bottles, perhaps as there are plenty such sleepers now in the cellar and cellar balance IMO includes balancing styles with less ambitious (but still cellar-worthy / tasty) wines.

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:29 pm

I've certainly changed my own buying habits over the last decade. Whereas I used to buy CalCabs, Zins and CdPs in quantity, I'm now far more selective in my purchases of all three and meanwhile have greatly increased my purchases of wines from the Loire, Beaujolais and Germany, all of which sell for considerably less than the earlier wines do now. This of course is as much a stylistic shift as anything else, as I also buy far more Burgundy (and Oregon PN) now than California Pinot Noir and that's about a wash from a financial standpoint.

I think that consumers as a whole are buying cheaper wines for two reasons right now. The first is that many have less money, but the second is that many domestic producers (not just those in CA) have increased prices so dramatically that they've lost much of their consumer base. The earlier success of Two Buck Chuck was a harbinger of what's going on now. I'd also argue that quality has increased dramatically in the lower echelons, with "negociant" labels such as 2BC, Rex Goliath, Pepperwood Grove and Castle Rock all turning out drinkable (if simple) wines at low prices. The US is looking a lot more like Europe these days, with the masses drinking locally produced plonk and the famous estates selling to the rich. All that we're missing, with a few exceptions, are those artisanal vigneron-viticulteurs who make phenomenal wines and sell them for ridiculously reasonable prices. (I'm of course exempting you, Steve E! :D)

Mark Lipton
User avatar
Mark Lipton
Oenochemist
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:18 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Kelly Young » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:04 pm

I've actually been thinking about this article for days but I get so twisted around in what I want to say that I keep just putting down the pen...er..keyboard. The economics of wine is one of the most bedeviling things going. By now I figured out that there are (relative) bargains to be had in the world of the grape, but they do have to be hunted down. While there are really world constraints on how cheap wine can be made & sold compared to the other adult beverages, there is also an unusually strong element of herd marketing, conspicuous consumption, and just plain old bizarro price pointing in wine world. Thank goodness for the more economically diverse world of the web. If one was limited to most of the extant wine publications out there it would definitely appear that wine was a beverage only for those blessed with second homes and platinum coated automobiles.

In any case my wine spending has oddly enough gone in the other direction; from near $0 to around $20/bottle. Saints forgive me I even has a $50 bottle in my stockpile. That said while I have had some pricey wine that has really wowed in many case I just can't make the leap to the prices being asked. Sure it's very tasty and I'd love to have it but is it worth 10-25% of my month's drink budget? I've also had some highly regarded, highly priced wine that has flat out made me angry with it's stunning mediocrity. If MSR is north of Grant it had better be some tasty grapes. I guess the other problem is much of the sub $15 wines are that price for a reason. There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive.
User avatar
Kelly Young
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:37 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:39 am

My wine budget has also gone up as a whole because my level of passion of wine has increased, and with that my consumption level. I have no problems splurging on a $50 bottle now and then, especially if it is an excellent QPR. Roughly half of my cellar falls into that under $20 range and the other half over $20. Generally though, I’ve found a sweet spot of $13-18 covers the general level of everyday drinking wines that I can find in my area. There is a lot of cheap crap out there, but there are also some amazing values to be found, especially in the lesser known regions of France and Italy (Languedoc, Emilia-Romagna, etc). I have a hard time finding domestic wines that I believe to be both balanced (not fruit juice) and affordable. I’ve found the local wine shops are having more coupons and sales, which will actually prompt me to splurge and buy a nicer bottle that I normally wouldn’t, or stock up and save.
User avatar
Joy Lindholm
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:41 am
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Kelly Young » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:53 am

Probably because where I live, the sweet spot seems to be right around the $20 level (actually $15-$25). The best wine I've had recently, and it has me wanting to buy a case is $19.99 + shipping which puts it right about $22.00. The worst I've had recently was $5 bottle, which went into the pot roast. The most disappointing was $80.00. Well it had been $80.00, got on sale for 40% off and split with a friend (so $48.00/2 more or less). The $14.00 Moulin a Vent and the $19.00 Torrontes were both very good.

I've found the only way to really sample the "written about" wines is the go in with some folks to share in a tasting.
User avatar
Kelly Young
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:37 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:26 am

Kelly, what was that "best" wine you had recently?
JC (NC)
Lifelong Learner
 
Posts: 5950
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC

Re: "Cheap is Chic" in the wine market: True or false?

Postby Kelly Young » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:11 pm

JC (NC) wrote:Kelly, what was that "best" wine you had recently?


Pleiades XVIII. I was going to put up tasting notes but they would have been remarkable similar to my gushing about XVI. I just love to drink that wine. It's funky but oddly refined and it goes through more changes over the course of a night than a Vegas stage show. But classy like. As fate would have it, some Thackrey Orion was sampled at the same time. The Pleides stomped all over it. Oh, sure the Orion was nice, very nice in fact but the double sawbuck priced Pleiades danced a merry jig all over the 2-4X more expensive cousin wine.

FWIW the bummer pricey wine was FX Pichler. I'll put the notes together once the tears have stopped flowing.
User avatar
Kelly Young
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:37 pm
Location: Washington, DC


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 12 guests