Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Excuse me, where is your rot-gut wine?"

Those are the exact words that a customer asked me one day. And I assure you—he was serious.

I relate this anecdote as a way of introducing the topic of the day: low-priced wines. Now I'm not talking about Franzia Chillable Red. I'm thinking about wines priced for everyday drinking, which is ten bucks or less a bottle for a poor soul like myself.

As a wine salesman, I frequently had to deal with issues regarding the price of wine. Often one of the first questions I had to ask was, "do you have a price range in mind?" To which many people answered, "not really." So I would ask them if something in the $300 range was okay... and then they would hyperventilate and give me a price range.

The moral of this story is that my customers were frequently looking for something “cheap,” meaning they wanted something $10 or under. In my humble opinion, there is a ton of good, inexpensive wine out there. And finding really great, bargain wines is more of a challenge than finding good wine for 20 bucks a bottle. A good friend taught me that a long time ago. Thanks, Steve.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

Hacienda El Espino '1707' CMS 2002 – I hesitate to mention this wine, just because if you live in Columbia I don’t want you go buy it. Leave some for me! It’s amazing—rich, dark, concentrated, smooth, complex…. You get the picture. As the “CMS” indicates, it’s a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah from Almansa, Spain, which is a region I had never heard of before.

You can bet I know it now. 1707 is $8.99 a bottle at Green’s. I’d put it up against wines I’ve had for two or three times that price. Not to mention, I always buy enough wine to get a 10% case (full or mixed) discount, so we’re talking almost 8 bucks a bottle. When you compare that to some of the mediocre wines in the supermarket that cost $9.99, you see what I'm saying.

Good wine doesn’t have to be expensive. But you’ll always pay for drinking rot-gut wine.

1 comment:

R2K said...

: )