If you are a wine fan like me, you sometimes struggle to find the right balance between quality and cost. According to an article by Freakonomics authors Stephen Duber and Steven Levitt, price has very little to do with quality. That led me to wonder if most of us overpay for wine.
I Really Like Wine
Let me start by saying that I really like wine. I have been in a wine club and used other sites to discover new wines and get my favorites shipped to my home. When my wine rack was full the first time, I got another. When the second filled up, I went to a kitchen shelf for the overflow. Now I am looking at getting one built in.
Like with beer, I am picky on the types of wine I like. I enjoy almost any Sangiovese or Chianti. However, I would rather just have water if my only options are a Chardonay, Sauvignon blanc, Resiling, or Moscato.
Needless to say, I have spent more than a few dollars on wine over the years.
Wine Quality Ratings
As wines come and go, professional reviewers taste the wines and give them quality ratings. These professionals have trained their pallets to be aware of the small nuances each wine has. While it is fun to go to wine tastings and pretend you can taste like an expert, most of us simply don't have the experience, or desire, to spend that much time and money learning about wine.
Instead, focus on the main features of the wine and find wines that you like. Who cares if it scores 80 points or 99 points. If you like it, that is the most important feature.
You can find wine for $2 at Trader Joe's, or you can head to Vegas and find a bottle well over $100,000. However, according to a blind test of 6,000 wines, it appears that people think almost all wines are more or less the same unless they already know the price.
In other words, price doesn't matter!
If you are going to the liquor store to pick up your favorite vintage for a dinner party, don't worry about the price tag. Instead, focus on the quality of the wine and how much you like it. I have found that I can fine amazing wines for $10 that I like just as much as their $20 brethren. I don't see any real reason to spend more than that.
Value For Your Dollar
When I decide to get new wine to
overfill refill my wine racks, I usually head to Wine Till Sold Out. I subscribe to the emails and patiently wait for a wine style I like under $10 per bottle. Sometimes it only takes a few hours, other times a few days. But I am always patient and never spend more than my budget.
I find that buying that way gets me the most value per dollar spent. If I would rather mix it up a bit, I head to the local grocery store where I can get a case discount on wine when buying six or more bottles at a time. Either way, I find I am almost always happy.
How Do You Buy Wine?
How do you budget and shop for wine? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
Image by by gcfairch / flickr