Nice discussion on QPR

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Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Pinchas L » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:54 pm

The discussion triggered by Asimov's recent article is quite interesting, so I figured I'll post a link:

http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=44696&start=0

I found Ian's comment particularly enlightening. And the inevitable contrast with what goes on in the kosher world troubling.

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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Harry J » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:44 pm

bsd
The idea of the 15 dollar wine is very interesting.There are store keepers who probably don't so much appreciate my visit bacause those are my favorite wines.But only when they're good.Like the gush etzion cab merlot this past week.H
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:46 pm

WHAH??

What planet did you find the Gush Blend at $15.. ??

That is how much is cost the stores from the Distributor at least.. Yeah realy solid wine I like very much.. Scratching head
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Gabriel Geller » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:08 pm

Yep, I replied there suggesting a few Israeli kosher wines in the $10-20 range (in the US), would be very interesting to hear the opinions from some of the folks there to see how these wines hold in comparison with similarly priced non-kosher wines. Not much hope but we shall see anyway...
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Pinchas L » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:21 pm

Hi Gabriel,

With all due respect, the issue up for discussion is not whether or not one can find a decent bottle at the $20 range, rather it is about identifying the inflection point in the graph of quality vs price. What Asimov is saying and to which the forum members seem to concur is that starting at $20 a savvy wine drinker can begin to find many great interesting wines. Moreover, as Ian pointed out, beyond that point, or perhaps a bit higher, one experiences diminishing returns on the dollar, meaning that an extra dollar spent at that level will result in a smaller increase in quality than at points below that level. I don't know anyone following the kosher market would say that sweet spot is at $20, especially not when you consider Ian's added remark. Besides, none of the wines you mention rise to the level of greatness, they are nice enjoyable bottles, but that's about it.

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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Craig Winchell » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:38 pm

Yehoshua, I think both Harry and Gabriel are located in Israel. Therefore, a different cost basis, as wine probably goes direct from winery to retailer, without the extra middleman (wholesaler), transatlantic shipping, excise taxes and duties/customs fees.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Craig Winchell » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:51 pm

Pinchas, I don't thing that Asimov, or Ian, is saying you can find greatness at that price point. You may be able to, but it is by no means certain. Rather, you can find interesting wine at the price point, above average wine with sensory attributes that cause one to ponder the wine in question. I chimed into that thread to reflect the fact that one should be able to produce a wine like that at a price point such as that, even in a small winery format (where by California standards, 14,000 cases or so is a tiny winery). to be honest, I believe the winery must be around that size before things begin to pencil out such that there are enough economies of scale that such wines can be produced. Therefore, one might find such wine at a very tiny winery, but typically it would be either an off-vintage, surplus or a limited-time special. Many of the kosher producers are very small, and would find it difficult to remain profitable at such prices (if indeed they were ever profitable). Of the others, I am sure that in their own nation, they must produce something of interest within that price range. I think the Herzog "old vine" Zin was or is going for a price like that, and people found definite interest in it. I'm sure the bigger wineries in Israel must occasionally produce wines of interest in that price range in Israel (not here). Note that it may be wishful thinking on my part, since I do not taste wines with the frequency of others here, nor have I been in Israel since 1981.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:46 pm

Pinchas
You're too kind about my ramblings :wink:

I guess the easier question to ask is what do people think is the sweet spot for Kosher wines? It's reasonable to argue that people have a genuine reason for justifying a larger spend - and that there may always be a premium for Kosher wines. If that were a 50% loading do we assume the equivalent of $30 offers a significant QPR jump over $20, or is the spread of value noticeably different? (maybe there are fewer decent mass-volume wines, thus making the supposed sweet-spot less competitive and making expensive wines a better QPR hunting ground than is otherwise the case).

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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Jonathan K » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:01 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Pinchas
You're too kind about my ramblings :wink:

I guess the easier question to ask is what do people think is the sweet spot for Kosher wines? It's reasonable to argue that people have a genuine reason for justifying a larger spend - and that there may always be a premium for Kosher wines. If that were a 50% loading do we assume the equivalent of $30 offers a significant QPR jump over $20, or is the spread of value noticeably different? (maybe there are fewer decent mass-volume wines, thus making the supposed sweet-spot less competitive and making expensive wines a better QPR hunting ground than is otherwise the case).

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I would agree with this statement. Overall, the sweet spot for kosher wines is $5-10 higher than non-kosher as a starting point (so $25-30/bottle), and there is better QPR in the higher range ($35-50/bottle) vs other kosher wines than non-kosher wines in the same range vs. other non-kosher wines.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Pinchas L » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:12 pm

Hi Ian,

The approach you and others take to finding gems is to avoid the current fads, finding value in undervalued and overlooked regions and varieties. This approach doesn't work in the nascent kosher market for multiple reasons, and therefore no sweet spot really exists, yet. Currently, every novice in the kosher market is touted as the kosher equivalent of Zelma Long. No one is overlooked; everything is over-hyped. On top of that, I do take Craig's comments seriously, making the case that due to economies of scale in the production process wineries producing fewer than about 14,000 cases cannot maintain profitability under the $20 a bottle price point. Very few Israeli wineries have gotten to that size. Additionally, there is not much diversity in the kosher market in terms of the wine-making approaches and the grapes used. Now one might argue that the diversity comes from all the French and Italian wines in the kosher market, but that argument falls flat when you consider that the vast majority of those wines are brought to market by negociants who usually try to capitalize on the name recognition of the wine's origin.

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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:46 pm

I agree w/ Jonathan that the kosher (mostly Israeli) sweet spot is $25-30, although it seems to be inching closer and closer to $30 every week.

While plenty of Israeli wines are over-hyped (and correspondingly over-priced to a sometimes ridiculous degree) and many Israeli wineries receive accolades far beyond what they deserve (especially when judged against any credible benchmark), with over 300 Israeli wineries and over 70 kosher ones, there are many who don't fall into this category including the Reserve lines of Binyamina and Recanati and the "regular" lines of Ella Valley and Dalton, not to mention Tzora and many others.

That said, finding wines that excite is a whole different story and the area in which over-hype and over-pricing comes into the sharpest focus. Interestingly, the wineries most susceptible to this are those who regularly produce good wines with good QPR such as Recanati (see Old Vine Carignan & RSR White) and Ella Valley (see "Personal").

Besides price, the main issue with the kosher wine market is that it is too darn small. For us enthusiasts, who spend a lot of time and effort following the kosher wine market/industry, for the most part we are denied the simple pleasure of walking into a local retailer and making a pleasant discovery of a well-priced and exciting wine. Agreed - unfortunate, but given how far we have come in the last 6-7 years I think focusing on the glass half full is more fun. Price will likely always remain an issue, same with almost every other aspect of life for kosher-keeping folks (food, lodging, tuition, etc.). Such is life.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby YoelA » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:41 am

To restate what Yossie wrote, every time I visit Israel I learn that finding wines that excite (or are supposed to excite) is difficult. Took me two trips to find a bottle of Ella Valley pinot noir and I hope it's as exciting as it's supposed to be.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby David Raccah » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:59 am

I already spoke about this when I did my French article on the state of kosher wine, from there, and there is nothing to add otherhan -such is life. We can control what we buy and not he price. Save your money for wines that are worth the effort and cost and ignore, even if cool, he wines that are not in your price range.

It is perfectly fine to not buy a bottle of something you deem to expensive, just because everyone is talking about it.

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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Harry J » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:59 am

Hi; found another one this week; Arza malbec.h
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Craig Winchell » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:02 am

There is a certain satisfaction in discovering a bargain. As Jews, it's almost steriotypical that we love finding a bargain nearly as much as sex, and sometimes more. It's so ingrained in our collective psyche that half of our comedy relates to it. And yet, in wine we are deprived of what to many of us feels to be akin to our very essence. I agree with David that there's no pistol at our back, forcing us to purchase wines more expensive than we can afford, though others are abuzz with praise for it. But it somehow feels very wrong to many that our bargain hunting can be performed only in a limited fashion, by hoping to discover older dusty vintages of wines we admire, forgotten in the re-pricing that often accompanies physical inventory. Or, close-outs still in good condition. But not tender new vintages of unknown and unhyped wines, offering the deep satisfaction of initial discovery. It's understandable, given the limited size of the kosher market. But somehow, deep down, it seems unfair.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Harry J » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:55 am

hi again; my opinion would be that finding something priced right value wise as opposed to overpriced is not something in a specific vein related to Jewishness.It probably has to do with not wasting dollars and what is a luxury.And as for comparisons sited above,to each his own.To me they are vastly different. h
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:52 pm

Harry J wrote:hi again; my opinion would be that finding something priced right value wise as opposed to overpriced is not something in a specific vein related to Jewishness.It probably has to do with not wasting dollars and what is a luxury.And as for comparisons sited above,to each his own.To me they are vastly different. h






Re: Nice discussion on QPR


Where did you find the Gush Blend at $15.. ?
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Jonathan K » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:11 am

Interestingly, my kosher cellar used to be heavy Israeli but is now much heavier Caiifornian. I think over time QPR for Israeli wine has become worse in general with some wines having almost ridiculous price inflation. Meanwhile I can find consistency and availability at Hagafen, Herzog, and Four Gates.
Among higher priced wines, Four Gates, Shirah, and Covenant produce consistent winners. I have less experience with Brobdignagian, but that is another option. The latter wineries, being boutique in nature have clear justification for pricing relative to QPR. Maybe you want to buy them and maybe you don't care but you don't walk away feeling overtly ripped off.
And I think the key with QPR is when all is said and done, do you feel that the wine delivered relative to the other wines in that price range or can you at least not feel hoodwinked for laying down that amount on that bottle?
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:20 am

Jonathan - given that the Californian wines you mentioned are mostly in the $30-40 range for the better wines (which is the same price for the Brobdingnagian and slightly higher for Shirah), I'm surprised you think they provide better QPR than the Israeli wines in that price range? I'm not sure I would agree that the Californian wines you mentioned provide better QPR (accounting for interesting/quality beyond just a price value proposition) than wines like the Yarden Cabernet, Carmel Kayoumi, Recanati's "Mediterranean" series or the Ella Valley Wine, just to name a few.

Might it be more an issue of familiarity (or accessibility) breeds contempt - i.e. the flavor profile of the California wines provide a different one that the Israeli wines you used to drink more off (albeit Four Gates does provide a completely different and amazing drinking experience)? I grew up drinking nearly only Israeli wines and since moving to the US have expanded to the Californian and French offerings, enjoying them very much (pretty much everything from Four Gates and Brobdingnagian has been amazing to date). However, as discussed on multiple prior threads, I think that in the search for the new/exciting we sometimes disregard/forget about the good stuff close to home.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:23 pm

As well as countries/regions offering better value, does anyone feel a particular grape variety/blend offers worse/better value in the Kosher market? I'm guessing Cab/Merlot, Pinot Noir are most likely to offer poor value. What of Shiraz/Syrah, etc.?
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Jonathan K » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:30 pm

Yossie,
Of the Israeli wines you mentioned, I have liked the ones I have tried. Everybody is different but for me personally I tend to try different wines and then stock up on the ones I like. I haven't done this in a while, but I used to buy mixed cases of Israeli wine. For awhile I was stocking up on Recanati(when Lewis Pasco was the winemaker), Dalton, Yarden, Castel, and Galil among others. I thought Galil Yiron offered excellent QPR. Yarden Blanc de Blanc and Viognier would be other good examples and I still buy these wines. Castel and the higher end Yardens have leaped to another stratosphere. Even the Petit Castel which I like quite a bit is what- $50/ bottle now? Really?
Other times I would like a given wine and buy more to discover bottle variation.
I agree that Four Gates merits a separate discussion. But otherwise more recently, in the low end I tried the Baron Herzog Zinfandel which cost me $10. Excellent QPR. The Covenant Red C, Lavan, and Sauv Blanc are pricey but deliver consistent excellence.
I could go on but it is just opinion.
As to the higher end Syrah/Grenache we are seeing, I think they benefit from uniqueness in the market.
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:As well as countries/regions offering better value, does anyone feel a particular grape variety/blend offers worse/better value in the Kosher market? I'm guessing Cab/Merlot, Pinot Noir are most likely to offer poor value. What of Shiraz/Syrah, etc.?

Mmmmm, one can find some good values in Israeli kosher with Cabernet and Shiraz (Dalton D Shiraz, Recanati Shiraz, Tabor Adam Cab, Carmel Appellation Cab, Binyamina Reserve Cab or Shiraz), cheap blends are usually, well, cheap...
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Re: Nice discussion on QPR

Postby Isaac Chavel » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:03 am

Here's what I take out of the (interesting) discussion so far.

If one buys kosher wines from $30 upward, QPR starts to go down. The question then becomes whether the enjoyment of the wine is sufficiently satisfying to not feel being ripped off, or --- still better --- warranting coming back for more despite the lower QPR.

One can do very well in the, say, $15-$25 or $15-30$ range to grace a shabbat/holiday table, and below $15 for table wine during the week. Israeli examples were given, and one could certainly throw in Spanish wines and others --- each at their own quality-price level. The choices grow larger every year. One just has to live with the fact that they aren't as large as one sees in the broader wine market.

As Yossie and Yoel remarked, exciting wines are rare even among quality wines. But it is the same story as choices in general. One has to be patient enough for the market to grow sufficiently large to improve the opportunity for that unanticipated jewel for which one is always on the lookout.
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