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Dear Dr. Vinny,
How is wine priced? More specifically, what are the key factors that contribute to a wine's price?
—Emily O., Bakersfield, Calif.
Part of a wine's pricing is the cost that goes into making it—grapes, barrels, labor and such. But just as important as these costs are other, more extrinsic properties, such as supply and demand, marketing, merchandising, and perceived value. A $100 bottle of wine doesn't always cost more to make than a $50 bottle or even a $20 bottle (although sometimes it does). But the bottom line is that it's priced where it is because that's how much the owners are hoping you'll pay for it.
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