What’s the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Wine

Hi! What’s the difference between
cheap and expensive wine? We get that question quite often here at Elma Wine and Liquor. I’m Tim; I’m here to answer that question and others that you may
have about wine and spirits. So basically, we have wines that start as low as 5.99 a bottle, and
we have wines that go up well over $100 a bottle, and
sometimes customers ask, well, what’s the difference? What am I paying for? Why shouldn’t I just get the
cheapest thing I can find? I’d compare it to something like steak or cheese or really anything. If you’re buying the cheapest
of the particular product, you might not really get
a true representation of what that product is about. So, if you’re new to wine,
you haven’t had a lot of exposure to it, starting with something at the lowest end, the cheapest end, might not give you the
true feel for what wine is and what it can be and what
you might enjoy about it. So, I usually recommend starting with something a little
bit more in the mid-tier, or at least trying, mixing in one or two in the mid-tier, to get exposure to it. As to why some wines are
so much more expensive and some are on the cheaper end, it a lot of times comes
down to production. So, with the more expensive wines, they are sourcing their grapes
and their juice from land and vineyards that charge
a higher price for them. This higher price can
come because the land is in a more-desirable
area, because it’s known for growing better-quality grapes, or higher yields of
grapes, due to the climate and soil conditions of
that particular vineyard. That’s one input cost that
can raise the quality of wine. The second thing is the
quality of the winemaker, the experience level, the
equipment that they’re using, the techniques that
they use, can all impact what they wanna charge for that wine. So, you can find some cheaper
wines at a good value, at a good bargain, if it’s
an up-and-coming winemaker or a winery that doesn’t have
a big, solid brand association behind it, or it comes
from a land area or country that’s up-and-coming, that the vineyards and the grapes haven’t
been priced so high, because at the end of the
day, grapes are a commodity, so they get priced accordingly, according to what people
will pay for them. It’s all about supply and demand. So, when you’re asking,
what’s the difference between an expensive and
a cheap bottle of wine, you need to evaluate all
these different factors. So, if you are a casual wine drinker, and it’s something you
drink only once in a while, on a special occasion, you might feel like you might not
appreciate the difference between an expensive and a
less-expensive bottle of wine, but you’ll never really know
unless you give it a chance. So, if you’re typically drinking wines in the lower price points, the five, six, under $10 price points, you
might want to step up once in a while and buy something
for 15, 20, 30 dollars. This Twenty Rows Napa Valley
Cabernet is a great example of a good-value wine that
you can get for 19.99, and there are some other ones out there that your local wine
shop should be willing and able to help you find. That type of exposure,
you might start noticing different flavors and different
complexities in the wine that you’ll have a little bit different from lower-end wines that you’re used to. If you’re typically drinking wines in the 20, 30, 40-dollar range, every once in a great while you might wanna step up and buy something that’s
a little bit more pricey, that again, on the
recommendation of somebody in your local wine shop, or a restaurant, where you can get something
like this by the glass, so you’re not investing in a whole bottle. That will be able to help
steer you towards something that’s meets some of the
criteria that you’re used to, and gets you exposed to
something a little bit different, a little bit more unique. So, when it comes down
to it, the basic core of the question, what’s the
difference between cheap and expensive wine, is lots of things, the price of the grapes,
where they’re grown, the skill level of the
winemaker, the experience level of the winemaker, the brand
that’s associated with the wine. All these things can
play into the final cost to the consumer of the wine. It doesn’t always make
one better than the other, but you will find that,
on a typical basis, when you’re spending a little
bit more on a bottle of wine, you might find some things,
some characteristics and flavors, that you wouldn’t
find in a lower-priced wine, that you really do enjoy. Thanks very much for watching, and I hope to hear your comments and questions for future episodes.

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