Daily Archives: September 1, 2012

Sunday read: Why you should be drinking cheap wine

Argh, my scheduler messed up, that is me…this should only have been posted tomorrow…a well, you can still decide to come back tomorrow…

Today, let’s go for something more provocative, because I am in the mood for it.

Brian Palmer over at Slate published an article in November 2011 that reflects on some things I have been thinking about/puzzled by since I moved to the US: Why is wine so expensive here? Palmer starts with an initial assessment that a wine merchant will tout a $15 bottle as an everyday wine and then wonders why that is. I have definitely been in that position before, and I am used to paying around $5-7 for my everyday wine bottle in Germany (and those wines were from good winemakers!).

To quote from the article:

“In Europe, consumption is 3-to-6 times higher than in the United States. But only the most affluent would spend 11 euros to drink a bottle of wine at home on a Wednesday night. Europeans seem perfectly comfortable cracking open a 1-euro tetra-pak of wine for guests.”

While I would not open a 1 euro tetra-pak for guests, or buy the $1.79 bottles my compatriots in Germany seem to crave, I still think it should be possible to get good wine in the price range of $5-8 per bottle. The fact is, I (and many others) simply cannot afford to drink $15+ bottles three to four times a week. Wine seems to be priced like a luxury article here in the US, and not something that is part of daily life. I think it deprives us of something. The instant connection of expensive equals good is also not really helpful. There are cheap wines out there that are good. Maybe not outstanding, but good, decent wines that can fulfill our everyday needs, not our luxury needs…

I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Palmer says, and I do think that there are instances where paying more for good work should be something we all care about. But to me, a good wine has one major component and that is whether I like the wine or not. I can love the idea behind a wine, but if the wine does not taste then sorry, I don’t want the wine. It all boils down to taste. And I can find wines I love for $50+ per bottle, but I can also find wines I like (or even love!, like this one) for under $5. It’s all up to my tastebuds…

So, go get yourselves a cheap bottle of wine that you love, and enjoy your Sunday read…


What do you think on this Sunday morning?

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: