|California Takes on the World
During the roaring 1990s, the Golden State challenged Bordeaux as the global leader in wine prices, but does it have staying power?
|California Under Pressure
With the boom times over, high-priced wines are stacking up.
What's Behind the Bottle Price?
When it comes to figuring a wine's final price, production costs count, but image is the wild card.
Customers and sommeliers are wrestling over wine list prices in restaurants across the country.
Nothing in the wine world unites people quite like complaints about high prices. Consumers are mad at restaurateurs. Retailers blame producers. Vintners grouse about high grape costs. That growing demand for fine wine spurs higher prices is beside the point: Many take the rising cost of their favorite bottle of wine personally. Sticker shock intensified in the 1990s, when prices for top red wines throughout the world, most notably Cabernet Sauvignons and Cab-based blends from California, doubled and more than tripled in some cases.
In the articles that follow, Wine Spectator editors and writers take an in-depth look at the state of wine prices today. First, we focus on California's priciest wines: how they got there and where they are going; then we calculate what it actually costs to make a bottle of wine; finally, we survey trends in restaurant pricing, where prices are highest and generate the most frustration.
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