Expensive Wines

expensive wines

I really enjoyed the Hourglass, BTW, but not enough to buy it.

Let’s talk about expensive wines.

I think that fine wines are a genuine art form, something to be appreciated and celebrated. That said, I feel like just with other art forms, it should be accessible to everyone. That’s why I never charge grandiose prices for my own work. I don’t think that, for a lot of people, $100 (or more) is a feasible option for four glasses of wine. Actually, I don’t think it’s a viable option for most people. One hundred bucks can buy a lot of food.

Last week, Charles, our friend Joey, and I went to Carrington’s Fine Wines to partake of a flight of expensive reds. It’s something that Cal, the owner of Carrington’s, does every year. The wines are always excellent — they should be for the prices — but we always leave feeling like we’ve had just as good, if not better vino, for much more affordable amounts. In other words, we’re never tempted to throw down a Benjamin just because we enjoyed an ounce of a tasty Cabernet.

We’re not so swayed by prices, but a lot of people are. One study found that many consumers thought their wine tasted better when it was more expensive. It’s not really a surprise that a bias forms when you spend a lot of money on a bottle. I mean, you BETTER like it, right? Still, I hate pretentiousness. Of course, existing in the realms of health food, wine, and art means that I encounter that less-than-stellar human quality often. But that doesn’t make it right. People shouldn’t feel intimidated. They shouldn’t feel like only the wealthy can truly enjoy a good bottle. Everyone should be allowed to savor and glory in a glass of wine. Down with snobbery and obnoxiously high prices! I think John Cleese said it best when he stated that you should enjoy what you like, that if you like it, it’s good wine, and not to let anyone tell you differently.

Where do you all come in on the topic of expensive wines?

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  1. Thanks for speaking out on this!! I feel similar to you, in that I believe that wines should be affordable, even if they are pieces of art. And I also have had similar experiences. I think there is a certain threshold in price where you definitely get better quality wines, (some say it is around $20, some say $15), but when it goes beyond $30, I often feel let down, even betrayed by the wines. My most disappointing wine was a Tignanello. It was a good wine for sure, but did it merit that price? Hardly so…but then again, wine takes place in a market place, and as long as people are willing to pay for it, those prices will be charged…sigh. The good news is, we both know there are a ton of wines that are great for less.

    • It’s so true about the market being the deciding factor! I think Pinot Noir is the perfect example — currently, it’s hard to find a terrific Pinot for less than $30. Well, unless you’re getting a wine club discount, that is. All of our Pinots are from wine clubs, but they still average around $24 a pop.

      Thank you for your insight! Maybe if we keep insisting, prices will get better … eventually.

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