Everybody talks about it, but ...
So when the 1998 vintage finally made its way down the long supply line to our local markets, naturally I had to try it.
But this year's $24 price tag did make me think twice between the shelf and the checkout lane. Looking over my notes for previous prices on Bin 389 over the past several years, an inexorable trend becomes clear:
The 1992 vintage was $13 in 1995.
I'm not just picking on Penfolds. The same pattern is likely to appear for many of the wines that you enjoy enough to follow each year's new release. But I'm frankly hard pressed to think of any other consumer product but wine that has seen its prices almost double over the past six years.
Like the weather, skyrocketing wine prices may be one of those things that everybody talks about but nobody does anything about. In this case, other than giving up wine, I'm not sure there's much anyone can do. If you've got any ideas, though, I hope you'll share them. Send me E-mail at email@example.com or join an interactive discussion on our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group at
Penfolds 1998 Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz ($23.99)
FOOD MATCH: Pairs well with red meat, the natural companion with big reds; specifically, a quick braise of lamb leg steak strips and onions.
WINERY WEBSITE: http://www.penfolds.com.
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Friday, Aug. 10, 2001