Fickle Wine Drinkers, Brand Loyal Beer Buyers

The word on the streets, okay, in the wine trade, is the wine prices are set to rise due to a combination of market factors. For instance, the US dollar isn’t so hot in Europe but US wine drinkers love the European wines so wine distributors must import wine and lose money due to the conversion rates. Why not just raise the prices? It works in other industries.

Because, unlike a beer drinker, wine buyers will buy a wine based on cost before vineyard. I’ve found myself doing this as well, I’ll purchase a Cabernet Sauvignon for USD $15.00 or less because I know I’ll get something worth the taste but I’ll avoid USD $25.00 or more wine for “special occasions.” That means I’ll be buying less expensive wine since I’ll only need it occasionally. If wine sellers bump prices by USD $5.00 many of us may switch to a cheaper vineyard or move to something less expensive (beer or hard liquor).

Why do we not have this issue with imported beers?

“The beer and spirits industries are built on consumer loyalty to brand names, but aside from a few successful brands like Yellow Tail and Santa Margherita, wine consumers buy for different reasons, like price.” (New York Times)

Prices have risen in the past when demand has gone up, now we’re hitting a different economical issue. Prices are going to rise by 20 to 30 percent if it’s tied to the Euro (New York Times).

First gas, now this… when will it end? A house market crash? Seesh.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    December 7, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Thats a great point .. never thought of it before but you are correct at least in regards to me. I buy wine based on three factors.

    1. Type – Do I like the type of wine. I’m not a big Shiraz fan but I love Merlot.

    2. Price – I buy wines in the $10-$15 range. Its probably the second thing I look at when looking at wines. Its not that I’m not willing to buy a more expensive wine … but that I dont consider myself especially schooled in the art of wine and thus feel that more expensive wine would be wasted on my naive palette.

    3. Familiarity – I like to constantly try new wines from new vineyards. There is a very small set of labels which I will repeat buy because I particularly enjoyed them. I’m almost always out to try something new and have very little loyalty to label or country of origin.

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