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Delhi Wine Club
New Low Prices set Norms in the USA

Posted: Friday, 15 April 2011 16:58

New Low Prices set Norms in the USA

The US may have become the number one wine consuming country in the world by volume but the wine drinkers have become more choosy in the amount they spend on each bottle, with the average price of a decent premium wine declining by more than a half from around $40 in 2009 to around $15 a bottle now with plenty of bargain wines available from Spain, Argentina, Chile, Portugal, Italy and California .

If the sales at the wine shops is an indicator, the demand is on the rise but the sales 'sweet spot' for a bottle of wine has come down from $40 in 2009 to $15 or $20 today according to a report in LATimes.  Most wine store owners, far from declaring business as back to normal, are describing a new ‘normal’ which has touched a low price of around $ 15.   In 2009, in terms of a sales sweet spot, $25 became the new $40.  Now, that median is trending further downward in 2011, with $15 to $20 as the new $25 for Americans.

For consumers, this is very good news. The new focus on wines in this range has resulted in a kind of renaissance in the category, with more and better- bottled variety available than ever before. If you have grown accustomed to the pleasures of wine with your dinner you have a wide variety of quality wines available at cheaper prices. This does not mean that the Americans have gone to drinking low end plonk though. A wine shop owner claims that when he brought a few better-known, less-expensive supermarket labels into his store as an experiment, they went largely unsold. His customers now prefer the more curated selections in the shop, even if they had to spend a few more dollars.

A great many of the wines gaining more popularity are the white varieties, owing in part to the fact that they are generally  cheaper to make since most whites do not require expensive barrels. Retailers report that their customers are no longer so enamoured of reds these days.

They are willing to take a chance on a wine that's not terribly expensive.

A good selection of several Spanish whites, Cavas, Godello, Albariños and Ruedas, as well as Austrian Grüner Veltliners, Italian Erbaluce, Fiano and Greco di Tufo, Sauvignon Blanc from Chile and Torrontés from Argentina are very popular for under $15 wines.

Interest in well-priced Spanish red wines — from Toro, Navarra, Calatayud, Tarragona etc. has been heating up for half a decade. But recent critical attention has affirmed what local retailers have been saying all along: that these wines wildly over-perform for their price. It is not uncommon to see point scores in the low-90s conferred upon wines that cost $10, $12 or $15.

The other hot Iberian category is Portugal, where producers of fortified wines and others are exploiting their fascinating indigenous varieties from the Douro and the Dao.

For full story and a look into great wines at $15 a bottle, visit.



Rishi Vohra, CSW Says:

Interesting article! I have been noticing that supermarkets have been providing more shelf space to lower priced wines. However, most of these are wines from known producers, rather than not so popular ones.

Posted @ April 21, 2011 13:10


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