The Wine Price Fix Is On (At

Vinted on April 28, 2015 binned in commentary, learning wine wine prices


I am aware that it’s been a long, oh, I don’t know, five whole minutes since I last talked about a article, but the fine folks over at that website have seen fit to publish yet another of my modest attempts at edu-taining the wine soaked masses yearning to be… well… edu-tained.

And so, because I’ve nothing more pressing to do (this nanosecond, anyway), I point you to my take on wine prices (why they are what they are, and roughly what to expect with each increasing price band), titled Behind the Tag: The Scoop on Wine Prices. Once again,’s images make my words look good.

In the attempts penned to answer the question “why does a wine cost what it costs?” I’ve yet to find any version that cannot be boiled down to the following answer: “because that’s what they think you’ll pay!” Of course, that’s not long enough for a standard article, but the devil’s in those pesky details. And the details are particularly, interestingly, peskily devilish. Like a black hole, a wine’s price incorporates a whole lot of data that isn’t necessarily visible (at least, not at first).

Also interesting, I think, is that the subjectivity of a wine’s upper price point (after normal economies of scale are taken into account) is the entire reason why wine critics have any power whatsoever (think about it…). We often talk about the diffusion of wine criticism, and the dwindling power of traditional wine coverage, but rarely do we make the mental leap to connect that decrease in critics’ power to the increase in wine quality at all price points (itself most probably a result of the earlier efforts of critics calling wines on the carpet… but now we’re well into black-hole-event-horizon-crazy recursive-ness, Interstellar style, so let’s just shut up about it now). Better quality products naturally require less direct critical assessment of their quality, after all.

Anyway… the full infographic take on wine prices is embedded below after the jump. Enjoy!







  • the drunken cyclist

    You mention several regions, including NY and VA, but no Washington? And there are a few holes in France. I get you can’t include every region, but include VA and not WA? Chablis and no Alsace or Loire?

    • 1WineDude

      DC, this is same legitimate and unavoidable complaint that I receive with every Fix article that I write. The limits are the limits…

  • Michael Brill

    Although we tend to look at the winery as a source of pricing decisions, in many cases they are really a bystander and the real decisions are made by the channel. Especially for imports, wines are often marked up to 300% to 400% of what the winery was paid and in extreme cases it can be 1000% (wine by the glass at French Laundry).

    • 1WineDude

      Michael – soooo true. Just imagine the levels of cost added by intermediaries like the PLCB…

      • Michael Brill

        Anyone up for a PLCB vs. NYSLA steel cage deathmatch? Tag-team lawyer & law enforcement officer. And the fun part is that the rules are made up as the match goes along.

        • 1WineDude

          Michael – HA! That would be one expensive bout!

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Decant This Linkin' logs: 4-29-15 - Decant This
    Tuesday, 28 April, 2015

    […] • Joe Roberts has a dandy look at what wine prices mean on one website, and offers up some interesting points on the priciest wines, how they got there and the role of us ink-stained wretches here. […]

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