The Grapevine

Price, Perception and Your Wine Shop Customers

March 20th, 2018

Price does matter, even if the underlying value of a product is not closely related to its price. The trick for us as wine retailers is to help our customers understand and gain comfort with how what they’re spending relates to what they’re getting.[level-members]

Blind tastings and academic studies robustly show that neither amateur consumers nor expert judges can consistently differentiate between fine wines and cheap wines, nor identify the flavors within them.

If that’s true, as is asserted with some confidence in this fascinating article on the Priceonomics website, then how do we defend what we charge when customers ask? (And you know they’ll ask!)

That will depend on the situation, of course, but the article above is worth the read as you think about why a $50 bottle is “better” than a $10 bottle.

For my money, the answer is that it’s not. Or, it’s not in any way that’s important. Which bottle is better will depend on where you’re drinking it, what you’re eating with it, who you’ll be sharing it with, and so on. I would quickly try to steer any conversation like this away from cost and toward value. In the end, it’s value that we want to be known for providing, especially since value is quite personal, and much more meaningful than cost. [/level-members]