Monday, February 4, 2019

When Wine is Too Cheap

"If it doesn't sell, mark it up!"  That's an old saying in the wine business.  If something sells too well at a given price, market forces dictate you really should go up on it.  But why would you mark it up if it's not selling?

I like to make the claim that I can sell a better bottle of wine at any price than anyone else in Gainesville.  I have no problem with making that claim.  Since this little boutique shop conjures up an image of being pricey, I like to emphasize the bargains at the lower end of the price spectrum.  You want better everyday wines?  Well, come right in!

The only problem is, it doesn't work that way.  People shop here because they expect to spend more for their better wines.  While I get it, I still like to sell the cheap stuff.  So my ten dollar bargains aren't going away any time soon.

Back on November 10th of last year, Lettie Teague wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.  She said it was "too affordable" and suggested if they wanted to capture more of the Napa market, they should raise prices so the public will recognize their quality, which is kind of sad if you think about it.

We had a wine rack full of Chileans at the front to the store for a couple years.  Now we have a smaller selection at the back.  They just didn't sell.  Last month a customer who was familiar with the wines bought my last bottle of Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon, a $25 bottle.  He had spent some time in Chile and had been to Lapostolle so he definitely knew what he was getting.

In the article referenced above, Teague likes Lapostolle and several others we need here in the store.  She also says Chilean Cabernet is more like Bordeaux with its character and structure than it is like California Cabernet but it has a slightly "green" component in its flavor profile that some people can't get past.  She also compares its salinity to the great Margaret River Cabernets of coastal of Australia.  Maybe we need to give both Chile and Margaret River a fresh start here.

This Thursday the 7th at 5pm Dominique Chambon gives us a tasting of three French Burgundies and an Italian Sangiovese Rose.  Then the following week there will be no Thursday tasting since it's Valentine's Day.  Instead we will have a Tuesday the 12th tasting with Rob Dye.

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