The Grapevine

Establishing Value and Defending Your Wine Prices

February 12th, 2014

When a customer asks you why a wine is worth the price, or what makes a $25 worth more than a $10 bottle but less than a $200 bottle, what do you say? Having a good answer – an answer you believe in – is important for your ability to market effectively. Here’s why. [level-members]

First and most importantly, consider your audience. You’re probably not going to field this question very often from more sophisticated wine drinkers. They’ve typically already come far enough on their “wine journey” to have a pretty good idea what they’re willing to pay more for.

So you may want to at least tip your hat to the idea of cachet and snob appeal. Some wines are expensive because they’re expensive. Some of these are good wines that are simply sexy enough that they can charge more than they’re intrinsically worth. Some are mediocre wines dining out on a long-since-undeserved reputation. (Though that’s rare these days. There’s too much quality available.)

And some of it is fashion. Everyone loves a big cabernet but you’ll have trouble drumming up the same amount of excitement (and price-driving demand) for, say, Blaufrankish, even it’s a really good Blaufrankish.

But mostly it is quality and scarcity.

Scarcity comes naturally fro the best vineyards being a (very) finite resource and also from winemakers choosing to add desirability by limiting availability.

Quality comes from those same great vineyards, and from the skill of the team managing the vineyard and the skill of the team making the wine.

Whatever you do, don’t push people away who are asking these questions. Yes, a few of them are just amusing themselves, curious to see what you’ll say. But even they are looking for a solid answer and a wine purveyor they feel comfortable with. The vast majority really are looking for an answer, and they present you with a great opportunity to spark someone’s love of wine by helping them explore the differences between varietals, styles and price points.