Last September Lettie Teague wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal lauding what fifteen dollars can get you in the way of a nice bottle of wine. It was the kind of article that makes you scratch your head, not because you're confused by the assertion but rather because it's so obvious, you wonder why you hadn't thought of it yourself.
In the article she mentions the cost of movie tickets (or for that matter any kind of entertainment ticket) and food, especially food that is associated with the entertainment venue. She might as well have just said food in general since a nice fifteen dollar bottle of wine really is a bargain compared to current grocery store food prices.
I remember reading an article quite a while ago that maintained that getting the ten percent discount on a case purchase was really much more substantial than we realized. It's like getting a bottle and a half free on a case, or something like that, and compared to other volume discounts, that's a lot! Today that assertion pales by comparison to the basic pricing of wine circa 2018. Ever since the recession of 2008, wine pricing in general has been a bonafide bargain compared to practically anything else. It has to do with global overproduction and competition and that is probably the real backstory to the fifteen dollar wine assertion.
I also remember from ten or so years ago when oil prices skyrocketed and overnight food prices seemed to double. It was supposed to be cause and effect. Once the oil prices stabilized the food prices would drop down again. Yeah, right.
So if we stay with a discussion of food and wine, let's see what fifteen dollars will get us in a nice wine that might go well with pizza, which I'm quite sure would cost upwards of fifteen dollars. In the store right now we have Riojas, Cotes du Rhones, Malbecs, a Pinotage, and a particularly nice Washington State red blend, all for fifteen dollars or less. From Italy, which seems appropriate considering our pizza purposes, we have Montepulcianos, Chiantis, and a particularly special little red from Manduria which is exceedingly close geographically to Campania where pizza originates. The Primitivo (Zinfandel) we're talking about is a Wine Spectator Top 100 selection and retails here for a mere fifteen smackeroos!
Now that's a deal! The perfect wine for the purpose! And it's just fifteen dollars!
Last Saturday Importer Taylor Carmichael presented his Fantini Italians which were really quite good at a mere ten dollars each. Then last Thursday Nick Simonetti did ten dollar Bulgarians. Please join us this Thursday at 5pm when Bob Reynolds offers up a fine Pinot Gris from Oregon and three reds, one each from Spain, Chile, and California and if you think the Chilean will be a cheapie...guess again!