The Grapevine

Value, Perceived Value, and Wine

May 22nd, 2018

Is that $80 bottle of wine really worth four times that $20 bottle? [level-members]

It depends, and from a wine shop business standpoint, it makes sense to stock wines in a full range of prices because the price of the bottle is less important than the value.

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: it’s not about how the wine tastes. Yes, there will almost certainly be qualitative differences between the two wines, even if not everyone has a palate experienced enough to discern them. But that’s almost besides the point. The price is more reflective of marketing, to some extent, as well as things like pedigree and the perception of the region from which the wine hails. How well a wine will age will also play into the equation.

It’s worth thinking about these things, even if they seem self-evident to you, because questions about value and price are ones you are likely to hear often. Having a reasonable response is critical to maintaining your position as an expert whose opinion is worth seeking for wine customers.

Of course, you’ll want to tailor your answers to your audience. These price/value questions can be asked from folks playing the role of snob as well as anti-snob, so one size won’t fit all.

This article from D’Marge takes an interesting position and you may find it helpful in crafting your own reasons for what you stock and what you charge.