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Wine Prices

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Wine Prices

Old 15th Aug 2006, 11:25
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Wine Prices

I recall some years ago buying a glass of red fom a place in LHR T4 that was something like £20 (on expenses I must add). I remarked to the seller that it wasnt that much better than the £4.99 wine I had quaffed the night before. The said it probably wasn't and that in all honesty, the taste difference between a £4.99 bottle and a £49.99 bottle wasn't £45. Its just that one was rarer.

So, how much do you normally pay for wine from a supermarket/Offie and what is the most expensive you have brought. In my case it is about £6.50 and £15.00

From the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4791429.stm
The British buy their supermarket wines by price, says a leading industry executive, and £3.99 per bottle is the magic figure for those searching the supermarket aisles. But can you get anything decent at this price?

When you're buying a bottle of wine, what do you look at first? The picture on the label? Jaunty new world versus venerable European? Or let's be honest, do you look at the price?

Even though wine sales have soared in Britain, consumers are still not confident about making their preferences according to the type of wine or where it's made - instead they make their selection by price.

Jean-Manuel Spriet, the man behind Jacob's Creek in the UK - one of the biggest wine brands - has revealed the typical consumer goes looking for a bottle that costs about £3.99. There's resistance to paying more than this - and a suspicion of anything that's too much below. It's the sweet spot for sales.

So when you go into a supermarket, there will be walls of new world wine pitched around this price - with discounts and special deals often targeting this cash-conscious shopper.

But is it good value to buy wine at this supermarket price? And is there any assurance of quality?


Today's mass-market wine is vastly superior to its equivalent a decade ago, says Tom Forrester, wine expert at Vinopolis, the wine centre and tourist attraction in London.

"The quality has shot up, the wine-making techniques are better - and if you look at the cheap wines we used to drink, they're nothing like as good as the £3.99 wine you're getting nowadays," he says.

New world wines have been able to mass-produce consistent quality

The prevalence of so much wine in this price bracket reflects the power of supermarkets, he says.

"People don't have loyalty to a brand, the loyalty is to the supermarket - the consumer is saying 'I bought a £3.99 bottle from them last week, it was good, I'll buy another one that's £3.99 this week.'"

But there are differences in quality within this narrow price range. Mr Forrester says that you're more likely to get a good deal from a new world wine, such as big Australian brands - which can provide consistent, reliable, mass-produced quality.

A glut of wine in Australia is currently helping to push down prices - with reports from Down Under that some wine is now cheaper than bottled water.

Wine critic Jamie Goode describes the low-cost new world brands in British supermarkets as the "taste-a-likes".

But he says wine producers have struggled to get sufficient numbers of consumers to "trade up" to more expensive wines, above this £4 price barrier.

More prestigious French vineyards, without the industrialised economies of scale and with a less predictable climate, would struggle to produce anything decent in this price range, says Mr Forrester.

"A £3.99 bottle of wine from Chile is likely to be streets ahead of a £3.99 Bordeaux," he says.

Taxing moments

But before cracking open a bottle of £3.99 to celebrate, there is a downside. The actual cost of the wine is only a small fraction of the checkout price tag - with much of the price of a cheap bottle going on more sobering costs such as tax.

"The more customers spend, the more they are paying for the actual wine inside the bottle. The costs of duty, labelling and transport are all going to be the same regardless of the price of the wine," says a spokesperson for Waitrose.

The wine in the £2.99 bottle only costs about 50p

"So if you spend £2.99 on a bottle of plonk you are only actually spending about 30p to 50p on the wine, but if you spend £5 you are spending about £1.50 to £2 on the wine."

As the British warm to wine, we are also trying different varieties, moving beyond the stereotypes of office workers glugging buckets of chardonnay.

This summer's big sellers have been rosé and pinot grigio, says Waitrose, with globally-warmed English wines gaining in popularity.

Mr Forrest has also noted the surge in enthusiasm for rosé, which has shed its image of naffness and become a cool summer drink.

"People might say they're bored of chardonnay, although they still drink a lot of it. But it's pinot grigio and rosé which are really moving up this year. There's been a huge increase in rosé.

"It has some red wine flavours, but it's not as heavy as red wine, so you can drink it on a warm summer's afternoon."
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 11:41
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Usually take the camper to Calais on a booze cruise (well, it's plated for a 3/4 ton load!!) and try to fill up for a year. Some good everyday wines about 2 to 3, and the "best" ones we get from there about 10-12. Have just recently run out and am drinking some superb Chilean Cabernet 2.99 from local cheap supermarket (I'm not telling which one or there won't be any left tomorrow!!). Most I've ever paid - about 40 - in Michelin-star level eateries.

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Old 15th Aug 2006, 12:59
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If it hasn't got a screw top it's too posh for me.

I remember reading in the Alan Clarke Diaries that the good living, upper class toff said that "any Claret that cost less than a hundred pounds a bottle just wasn't worth drinking".

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Old 15th Aug 2006, 13:03
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Wait until you have had a bottle over £200 then you will realise just how right he is

As an aside, I was in Budgens the other day and noticed that you could not buy a bottle under £5.00. All the new world wines seem to be way overpriced these days for the quality you get!

Last edited by Craggenmore; 15th Aug 2006 at 17:22.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 13:07
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Well that will be a long wait......
I could get three hundred bottles of Jupiler for that. Make that 350 by the time I have taken the empties back. Anyway, where does an F.O. get two hundred quid from?
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 13:08
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1.87 for a glass of Yorkshire Wine, known around these parts as TETLEYS BITTER- yum yum.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 14:44
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Wine Cheaper than Water...
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 14:51
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I remember my first trip abroad when the airforce was still in Malta. I bought a bottle of wine and the deposit on the bottle cost more than the wine.

Actually, these days you can't go far wrong with a bottle of Cava from Adsa or Tesco. Less than 3 at christmas and not much more the rest of the year.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 14:51
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How many times do i have to say it. The one and only tonic wine is the real deal
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 14:55
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People might say they're bored of chardonnay

I tend to say bored with, not bored of! How daft of me to think a journalist should know better!

I've had a 100 bottle of claret and I've had a FF60 bottle of French Fizz. All I can say is that there is a big difference in price and what you get. However, I don't think an interpolation of prices within is necessarily valid or even.

I tend to average bottle at 4-5 each (preferably New World, Italian Whites and Spanish Reds) with a screw top 'cos my old faithful corkscrew is now FUBAR'd. It's a system and it works - if I buy one I don't like, I remember not to buy it again and if there is a common theme (i.e. they're all Pinotage), then I've learned something about the grape.


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Old 15th Aug 2006, 14:58
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If that`s too expensive...Eek

Sainsburys have a great selection. Personally, wouldn`t pay anything much less than a tenner for a bottle of wine.
you pays for what you gets in my opinion.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 15:06
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The August 13th issue of the New York Times carried an interesting (and lengthy) article in its business section titled, "In Vino Veritas? Wine Ratings Might Not Pass the Sobriety Test."

It showed that of the top three wine markets, France, Italy and the US, only the US shows year-over-year growth in every year since 1970, while the other two are declining.

It also shows something else, that the wine ratings businesses, such as Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, drive prices to a larger extent than one would normally see in an objective market regime.

From the article:

Mr. Zucker said he was promoting the Valentin Bianchi because he thought it an attractive buy even before Wine Spectator treated it to a 90. But that is hardly always the case with a high-scoring wine. “A wine that is highly rated takes on a life of its own,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily represent the best value, but that doesn’t seem to matter.”

Here's the link to the complete article (it's very well done):


Note: The NY Times may require you to register and pick a password to access the entire article. They send no junk mail and do not sell their user list.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 17:21
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Anyway, where does an F.O. get two hundred quid from
In my previous life before aviation
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 18:55
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I usually prefer Australian reds (Wolf Blass, Hardy's, etc) - they are reliable and the supermarkets run offers regularly, so they are worth buying (at about £4 -£5) when they are reduced. Only my opinion, mind ...

I did however go on a charity trip to Bordeaux earlier this year and we tasted some 2005 wines (as yet unbottled). It was total heaven - I have never tasted anything so good. They will retail at £30 + when they are bottled later this year.

I believe the 2005 wines are so good that they will be a great investment ... only if you have the ideal conditions to store them, of course.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 19:15
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Another common myth about wines is that age is always good. A high sugar year like 05 was, and I suspect 06 will be too, should yield wines which will store well, but there is nothing more tragic than a really stunning wine ruined by someone thinking it will get better with age. Most of them don't!

I've drunk some very expensive wines, and some very cheap ones, and been delighted and dissappointed in equal measure by both kinds!

I personally never pat restaurant prices for wine, I will almost invariably take along my own bottle and pay them corkage as I know I can get a really good wine for the 15 - 20 mark from France, whereas a 15 bottle in a restaurant is likely to be akin to dishwater!

Everyone should go to France and visit some of the regional mine sellers and vineyards. It's an amazing experience and a real eye opener to the average British pallet!
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 19:16
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As an aside, I was in Budgens the other day and noticed that you could not buy a bottle under 5.00. All the new world wines seem to be way overpriced these days for the quality you get!
As an aside, you are a whisky. Buck up, don't be so cheap!
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 20:10
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Most I've ever paid - about 40 - in Michelin-star level eateries.
Hahahaha That wil be at least 100 for a good one in a michelin star restaurant, hope you got over the headache hahaha, unless you were addicted to Liebfraumlich or some sort, you micht have developed some resisitance .
Where are the michelin ones in the UK??? have you ever eated in one
I pay between 8 and 20 for really good ones here in NL, not in the supermarket, but at the wijnbeurs for instance, food I get in supermarkets.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 20:33
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As an aside, you are a whisky
Close my friend but check the spelling...
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 20:34
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asda jacobs creek, about 4 quid a bottle. very drinkable.
still prefer my boddingtons bitter though.

have paid a lot more for french red wine in various hotels and been very disappointed.
no idea what a 200 quid claret taste like but it sure wont be 50/100 times better than the above!
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 20:38
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Ate out in a Greek (Cypriot) restaurant last week. Red wine was £11.95, £12.95 and £13.95 (or £13.95/litre 'house wine'). I asked the waitress (we've eaten there many times) which red to choose and she brought the £11.95. It went down well.

Originally Posted by ormus55
it sure wont be 50/100 times better than the above!
Which would you rather? ONE glass of the 200 quid claret or 50 glasses of your favourite plonk? Of course if you'd already DRUNK the 50 glasses of plonk . . .

An old sage who managed the typing pool (they also 'filed' test reports) used to sit at the back of his empire from where he was able to ogle all his beauties. I was conversing with him one day, when one of the peaches swept past.
I said "Oh Fred! Couldn't you just give her one?" to which he replied
"Quite frankly, old boy, I'd rather have a pint of beer. (pause) That is, of course, unless I'd only just HAD a pint of beer . . . "
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