Taking a disciplined approach to buying wine is something I admire and something everyone should consider.
One of my longtime friends, Dan, used to draw the line on buying a bottle of wine at $10 or $15, and always found bargains. Of course that was about 15 years ago, and I’m not sure if he still has a cap on purchases these days. But he probably does, since he’s not only a disciplined shopper but also a value-disciplined shopper. He’s learned to put wine prices in perspective.
If you draw the line on pricing, you don’t have to be a total slave to a dollar figure. Go ahead and splurge from time to time. But do yourself a favor. If you put a cap of $20 for a bottle of wine, and decide to spend $40 on something special, set up a blind tasting and see how the differently priced wines compare.
You won’t find many $20 California Pinots that top $40 versions (although the DeLoach 2006 Russian River Valley bottling, $20, 89 points, would give many higher-priced wines a good run for the money). But when it comes to other grape types or wine regions, such as the Loire (Cabernet Franc) or southern France (Languedoc and Syrah) you’ll find some great buys. Our Oct. 15 cover story on European values for $15 and less, written by managing editor Kim Marcus, offers the perfect start.
Another advantage of value shopping is that you can usually buy and afford a few bottles, not just one, and the best way to get to know a wine or region is to taste it several times.
If you decide to put a price cap on bottle prices I can assure you of one thing. You won’t be alone, especially in these economically trying times. And you’ll find plenty of terrific wines as well, and if you put them in a blind tasting or two, you might be happily rewarded for your discipline.
Jim Gallagher — Jim Gallagher — October 2, 2008 3:54pm ET
Bill Norrish — Groton, MA — October 3, 2008 1:16pm ET
Hugh L Sutherland Jr-m — miramar beach, fl — October 3, 2008 3:10pm ET
Russell Quong — Sunnyvale, CA — October 3, 2008 6:13pm ET
James Rego — Redding, Ca., Shasta County — October 5, 2008 1:08am ET
Giancarlo Ortega — Washington DC — October 16, 2008 2:52pm ET
Giancarlo Ortega — Washington DC — October 16, 2008 2:54pm ET
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