So here we are on the “Value” wine project. How do we select these so-called “value” wines? There are a few parameters we need to set up for this. We have to decide a price limit, an idea of the selection, and where to choose them from.
In the concept for this project, the magical price point to me seemed to be around $10. A few years ago when I had my wine shop, the magic price was $20. Frankly, I think there were a lot more twenties floating around back then, weren’t there? A price at $10 is a good even number and it’s low enough that most folks would be willing to drop that on a bottle of wine. The proof of the value is in the pudding, though . . . I mean wine. Wine pudding. Whatever. Next!
So to help things out on the $10 wine project, I’ve kept in mind that most places will offer a 5%, 10% or 15% discount on different volumes. Half-cases. Full cases. Solid (all one kind) cases. Mixed cases. Whatever the case your case may be. So keeping that consideration, and to give a little flex in the bottle cost, we’ll say average price after discount at $10. Sound reasonable? Good.
At this point we can establish what constitutes “wine”. I know that may seem like the most basic of parameters, but then consider that it would be easy to drop $10 (or less) on a bottle of Schmendal-Schmackson (not actual name) or Three-Dollar-Charlie (also not actual name). These are macro, California overflow wines, and don’t really count towards our goal.
With that in mind, I decided to avoid the megahuge grocery outlets which are filled with the big-brand wines stacked in huge displays at the end of every aisle. Grocery giants have corporate schematics and standards that tell them which wines to carry and how to organize it, so a store in Boise has the same setup as the store in Eureka or Baker City. Sure, that’s not always the case, as many stores have wine stewards that can hand-select a few things for the shelf openings, depending on regional demand. That’s another story.
Let’s just start with the local wine merchant. A selection made by just a guy who knows wine, and the availability in the area, unaffected by pressures of big-name wine producers. Well, relatively unaffected, anyway. Besides . . . the little guy around the corner needs help the most in this economy, right?
So I went to Vino in Sellwood and filled myself up on a case of wine. Bruce there at Vino offers a 10% full mixed case discount. I grabbed everything that sounded interesting that was around or under the $10 mark. After it was all over and the smoke had cleared, the cost of this case after discount: $105.25, or $8.77 per bottle! Is it a value? Well, let’s find out.