I’m sure you have heard the statement, “you get what you pay for!” But when it comes to selecting a nice bottle of wine, nothing could be farther from the truth. So why are some wines $200 and others only $4?
There are a few main factors that go into the price of a bottle of wine:
- Where the grapes are grown: Real estate in Napa, California is some of the most expensive property in the world when it comes to vineyards. Therefore, wines from the Napa Valley tend to be a lot more expensive than wines from Argentina or Chile.
- Special processes: Some wines go through special steps before, during and after fermentation. Examples include Eiswein from Germany and Amarone from Italy.
- Oak Aging: Most wines are aged in oak barrels to add flavor and aroma. Oak aging also will help balance the flavors of the wine. Wines can be aged as little as 3 months or as long as 4 years in the barrels before being bottled…time is money! Wine barrel can cost anywhere from $300 to $800 per barrel, and most of the time are only used one or two times.
- The winery: Some wineries are icons and have a decorated history in wine making. These wineries are often the most expensive.
All the things above do add up to make fantastic wines, but these wines are not for everyone and certainly not something you would drink on a daily basis.
So what really makes a wine good or great? There is one simple answer: Did you and/or your friends enjoy the wine? That is it! Whether you paid $5, $25 or $125…beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You can find great value priced between $10 and $15. Here are a few wineries to try:
Chateau Ste Michelle, Washington
Clos du Bois, California
J. Lohr, California
There are a handful of wines under $10 that provide great value and great quality:
Bodega Elena, Argentina
Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat, Australia
Columbia Crest Two Vines, Washington
Happy Camper, California