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Jul 8, 2013 06:35 AM

Vintage snobbery: Are wine critics fooling us into buying pricier bottles?

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  1. I thought by the title that the article was about vintages - but it's not. It's the same repackaged piece about the fallibility of wine critics and judges and the low diminishing returns above $40 a bottle.

    In my narrow experience with price ranges, I can't recall ever liking a red wine under $10, I've found some I've liked in the $15-30 range and a ton I've liked in the $30-50 range. Beyond that it becomes a style and personal preference - I've both been truly excited and truly disappointed as I go up the price structure.

    Tasting price blind is incredibly hard for me (unless you are talking about the $10 under category). Just because producers allocate their resources differently and also because in great vintage years it's easier to make acceptable wine.

    1. As a person who buys 75% of my wine at local wineries, I don't usually find too much priced under $25 and don't often spend over $40. Every now and then on a friends suggestion or under the sway of a good salesperson I will splurge up to $60. I read about higher priced wines and have been gifted a few bottles, but I find that if I have spent more than I am comfortable with, It puts too much pressure on the wine to be great and on me to enjoy it.
      Once I get over $60 I am cracking into my Brandy and Scotch budget. :-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: budnball

        Just curious -- why do you spend so much of your time (and money) buying directly from wineries?

        1. re: zin1953

          I have been buying from wineries within driving distance (50 miles) of my San jose home for a few years now. I will usually stop at a tasting room or 2, and if I like, buy a few bottles. If i really like, I'll go back for a half case or so. When I have the taste for something not produced locally like Reisling, or sparklers or just want to venture into France or Italy, I will head to a wineshop. Many of the Santa Cruz Mtn places are not easily found in retail stores. The same is true for the Uvas valley. I get a feel for the precarious nature of the wine biz and I want to support the small makers who are out there on the line. My locavore stance.

          1. re: budnball

            The Santa Cruz Mountains has been my own personal favorite appellation within California for some 20-25 years, so I can understand (and agree) that these wines may be hard to find at retail.

            Thanks for the explanation.