New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

$200 Vs $20

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
"Is a $200 bottle of wine really that much better than a $20 bottle wine?"
I saw this question posed once in a wine magazine, and thought I'd ask it to all of you.
(I've never had a $200 bottle of wine, so I can't judge!:smiles: )
post #2 of 14
IMHO, no. Unless you're trying to impress the boss, your date or the guy at the next table. But it's your money; spend it as you like.
post #3 of 14

My opinion...

I'm not speaking with any authority here, but if some someliers can chime in I would be interested too.

My opinion is that once you get to about $40 it seems to hit a ceiling. I've had some amazing wines in the $20 to $40 range and with my taste buds, I can't tell any real value added differences in the over $100 range I've tried. I've sure there is something there for people who know, but I don't seem to be one of them yet.

Scotches however I definitely like the $100+ more than the $40 - $60 range.

Great question.
post #4 of 14
It's far too subjective of a question for any person to answer this question for another. What one person may be willing to pay for an incremental improvement can only be set by that individual.

If a person becomes yearning for a small bit of improvement...then this is when the price could become "worth it".

In my other hobby, of audio, I could remember countless times when a person would proclaim that they have found the holy grail in which spending any more money on a system is fruitless with very little improvment coming from further dollars spent. Yep, they had found that finite point where audio bliss was found. Spending anything more would be utter foolery. This would always hold true (of course) for a year or so...until they were yearning for something more. Then...and only then can they define the new "point of diminishing returns."

I say find what you true to yourself and live within your means. To heck with the rest of the people ;)

enjoy the music!

post #5 of 14
A $200 bottle in my experience is usually better than a $20 bottle, but rarely ten times better.

Research from a few years ago ("Estimation of a Hedonic Price Equation for Bordeaux Wine: Does Quality Matter?", by Pierre Combris; Sebastien Lecocq; Michael Visser; The Economic Journal, Vol. 107, No. 441. (Mar., 1997), pp. 390-402) concluded that market price for French wines was determined not by their actual quality, but by the characteristics shown on their labels. It didn't matter what went into the bottle or how it tasted - the factors that affected the price of a wine were primarily where the wine was produced, and by whom.

The general inference was that if Krug or Screaming Eagle could train cats to whizz into bottles, they would still be able to sell it for $180 a bottle because of the kudos of the name on the label. Conversely, a vineyard in an unfashionable place - South Dakota, say - is always going to find it hard to achieve $180 for a bottle of its wine, even if it is better than wines from fashionable regions like Napa Valley or Bordeaux.
post #6 of 14
being that part of my bar training was about wines i can throw this in....

wine is good, i have tasted $5 wine that is absolutely amazing... but then $50 wine of the same type but different producer that is nicer... but not ten times that...

the best thing is wether a wine will go with a meal... a well trained well tipped barman should be able to recommend the best wine for your meal.. and that can save you a lot of money and still provide very good tasting wine that compliments the meal and is complimented by the meal.

also if you dont like dry wines, it doesnt matter how expensive the wine is... your not going to like it... you have to find something that suits your tastes. and that goes for other wines too...
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Personally, I prefer sweet fruity wines--which I guess doesn't make me a commiseur!:)
post #8 of 14
There has been some good points made on this thread. I'd like to add a few thoughts if I may. Their was a comment about Krug & Screaming Eagle and a cat:) I must disagree with that assessment because of the strict laws that govern quality, the AOC is an example, and strict appellations laws in lets say California. With that said, the value of a wine is determined in many ways, supply and demand,critical reviews,pedigree and providence just to name a few.If you are willing to spend $200 on a bottle of wine, then in theory it is worth it to (you). Also, it is very important to consider what context you are drinking the wine. Are you sitting with professionals analyzing the wine, you know, body and fullness, fruit, sweetness, acid, tannins, ageworthyness, or are you enjoying the wine with food? The latter to me is more important to me because this is how I drink 90 % of my wine. I am careful to prepare foods that work in harmony with the wine as to highlight the best of both.Poor food and wine pairing, no matter if the wine is amazing and the food stellar will still make your experience a poor one.In the world today over 90% of wine is designed to be consumed upon release, the other 8/10% for cellaring. That 8/10% is purchased by only about 1% of buyers.I have had many wines over the years that have been very, very expensive, and for the most part have shown extremely well with a few exceptions of corked or poorly cellared wines.For me, I tend to drink those wines on special occasions with my wife and close friends who appreciate that level of refinement. I believe you should drink the wines you enjoy, not the wines that people tell you, you (should) enjoy.If you keep a few simple guild lines in place, it really doesn't matter if your drinking a $20 bottle or a $200 bottle.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #9 of 14
I think the question'is a 20. bottle of wine that much worse then a 200'. bottle makes it easier to answer for me. I'm on both ends, I have plenty of my favorite 16.. merlot and when the wallet lets me I stock a CS Red Rock Terrace that runs around 200. bottle. Just makes me happy to drink both
post #10 of 14
My palate is not very refined so I'm not a good judge, but I say no. I've had $200 bottles of wine and I think it really just depends on the wine and your personal tastes. A $20-$30 is pretty good, and I'd prefer say a $20 merlot over a $200 pinot noir (and depending where it came from). Not worth the extra expense.

But $150 champagne is 100x better than $15 champagne!
post #11 of 14
My father in law and I have an ongoing little contest. We both like reds- and so the contest is finding the great bottle $20.00 or under. The premise being that finding a great bottle for a lot of money is or should be a no-brainer. For the $20.00 price point ther are loads of great wines out there, you just have to find them. We have both found some very good ones. One of my favorite finds was a couple of years ago. I found half a case of 1993 Chalone pinot noir in a variety store/drug store that had a tiny wine selection. And tucked in with the Gallo and other stuff were these 6 bottles- marked $8.95 each...One bottle was corky and I tossed it but for that price so what!
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
post #12 of 14
Its the law of diminishing returns. In general, if I had the opportuity to buy a wine of my choice for $200 and one for $20 (assuming there was a supply of what I wanted) without a doubt most people would prefer the $200 bottle because I could find a stunning Corton Charlemagne or well stored, 10 yr old Hermitage or a Shafer Hillside Select which would likely blow the doors off almost anything I could find for $20. 10 Times better? Nah, but better nontheless. While I have some of the expensive juice sleeping in my wine room in the house, the vast majority of my consumption is modestly priced Cotes du Rhones, suavignon blanc's, Zinfandels, lesser known Grenaches and lately, lots of Spanish reds.

I like what Cape said about integrating the wine & food and I cringe whenever I'm out at a restaurant and I see some bufoon trying to impress someone by ordering an expensive bottle without the slightest regard for what's on his or her plate. FWIW, the '04 Biale Stagecoach Zin @$20 per bottle with a braised lamb shank or a grilled hanger steak is so much better than those same food items with an impenetrable young Cab or Bordeaux.
post #13 of 14
I think it's all a matter of taste. I have tried some more expensive wines and haven't always enjoyed them over the cheaper wines. Here in Australia we have some of the best wines in the world and even the cheap ones ie. under $10 are good in most cases (not all).
Jenyfari from Only Cookware and Only Cookware Blog - A Consumer Guide to Cookware
Jenyfari from Only Cookware and Only Cookware Blog - A Consumer Guide to Cookware
post #14 of 14

Matter of taste?

I'd have to say it's more a matter of 'wallet' than of 'taste' :)

You can have the best taste in the world but if you can't afford that $200 bottle you certainly aren't going to order it.

While I consider myself a wine 'lover', my cellar is an investment. Nothing more, nothing less. What I actually drink every day on the other hand is typically a < $20 bottle, and yet all have acheived an average 'rating' of 94 or better (also have several vintages that I drink which Robert Parker would laugh at, but I adore). So I guess I would say if you can have such quality wine at such inexpensive prices, then the only reason to spend $200 (or likely much more) for a bottle of wine to drink is because you *can*.

If ordering an $800 bottle of wine at dinner doesn't make you flinch at all, then why not order it if it's going to be even the slightest bit better? I'm not one of those people, and even if I had the money I don't think I'd spend it on wine in that way, but I certainly know quite a few of those people. And in the end the question they ask isn't "Is a $200 bottle that much better than a $20 bottle", the question is "Is it better at *all*?". If the answer is yes, then there are people who will pay for that infinitessimal improvement because they can. (There are also people who couldn't tell the difference in a glass of grape juice but will order it so that everyone *else* knows that they can afford it)

On the other hand, I gladly pay exhorbitant amounts for wine every week that I don't personally feel is worth the price, but not because I'm going to drink it. I'm going to sell it again to someone who will pay an even more outrageous price.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pairing Food and Wine