What price fine wine?
Many bottles of Screaming Eagle


Not "I'm parched, so I'm slugging down a quenching mouthful of Glacier Freeze Gatorade," but rather "Are you friggin' kidding me???" That's my reaction to the price of some wines.  To wit:

$2,733 for a bottle of Petrus, from Pomerol, France.  That's the average price of several heralded vintages.  One vintage - it's a bit nicer, so understandably it deserves a slight premium over the mundane four-figure versions - sold at auction for $103,171.  

Blink, long pause.

That set in for you yet?  $103,171 for 25 ounces of grape juice.  Gold, at $1,215 per ounce, is a bargain compared to the $4,063 per ounce winning bid for the renowned Merlot produced on Jean-Francois Moueix's estate on 28 Bordeaux acres along the right bank of the Dordogne river.  

So now you are thinking (in a silly French accent), "Oui, monsieur, zee snooty Frogs, zey are obsesseeve, and sometimes excesseeve, when it comes to zehr wine."  Well, the French are not alone.

The price leader from Germany is the Egon Muller-Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese, averaging $9,087 per bottle.  They have to charge more... it takes a lot of ink to print labels with a name that long.  

And what about New World wines?  On various auction sites, you can bid on Napa's price leader, Screaming Eagle Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon.  Expect to pay about $2,908.  Some people can bypass the auction site and buy direct from the winery.  But not you.  You're not a member.  Sign up now, but be warned that "signing up for our waiting list does not offer access to purchase the wine at this time."  

Hmmmm.  Alrighty, then.

Let's put these price points in proper perspective.  For $2,196 per person, you can explore the Bordeaux wine region on a "Chateaux, Rivers and Wine" river boat cruise.  Your eight day excursion includes all meals, complimentary wine and beer, a visit to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, six guided tours with audio headset, a wide sampling of Bordeaux wines, and classes from a master sommelier.  But wait, there's more!  You also get "Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary."  So for $500 less than a single bottle of Napa Cab, you can get more than a full week's immersion in the culture of wine, and the added bonus of sketchy internet service.  

While penning this blog, I sipped my favorite Pinot Noir from the Santa Ynez Valley.  It retails for $40.  To me, before researching for this post, it seemed like a bit of an extravagance to pay that much.  Not anymore.   


~ Kay Syrah

Wine Country Guru Gal

 Official Blog