Destroying Wine 100 Bottles at a Time

Posted by The Wine Whore |

Thank you Wine Spectator for releasing your annual Top 100 Winelist for 2009. There are now somewhere between 20 to 100 more bottles of wine that will be sold at ridiculously inflated prices. What would we do without your scores? How would we know what to drink? It's a good thing we have you there to make sure that the wines which you deem the best will never make it into our homes (without spending more than they would normally be worth).

Cheers to you!

(This message brought to you by The Wine Whore)

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Tyler said...

I agree with this. There's too many people who use the Top 100 as a shopping list, neglecting that 1: many of the wines are already sold out (too bad, so sad, shoulda listened to your friendly neighborhood wine store employee!), and 2: not everything is available in all areas (heck, we're lucky to find Mary Edwards Pinot Noir outside of a restaurant, much less the Sauvignon Blanc).

Not to mention the inevitable price hike that comes with being on "the list." Last year, I remember seeing Seghesio Zin (#10) go up 25% once the list came out. And, sad enough, watched two grown men almost get into a fistfight over the last case.

The Wine Whore said...

LOL! It's funny you mention it, last year's Seghesio Zin really pissed me off. Not only was it overpriced, but it wasn't ALL THAT!

After that experience, I realized that scores don't mean shit!


Richard Auffrey said...

I don't really blame the WS for the price increases. The retailers/distributors are the one who raise the prices. They certainly do not have to do so. Then, the consumers who pay the inflated prices also share blame. If they refused to buy the wines at the inflated prices, then the retailers/distributors might lower their prices.

Consumers need to realize there are plenty of excellent wines that won't make the WS list, or other Top 100 lists.

Jamie Irving said...

These kinds of things do have their place - I'm sure they help get people interested in wine. Having said that you wouldn't continuously eat what other people tell you to, so why would you drink what others tell you to! They're selecting wines which are to their taste, which might not be the same as mine! Finding a wine writer who you agree with most of the time is key!

Evan Dawson said...

I understand the concern, but I can't believe that all 100 bottles are going to skyrocket in price. My guess is it's a much smaller number. Or maybe I'm wrong... is there evidence that the entire list takes off?

Tyler said...

Evan; the prices do tend to creep up on the wines on "the list." Low-end wines tend to go up more, proportionally, than high-end ones (a $5 addition to a $20 bottle shows more than a $20 addition to a $500 bottle), or at least that's my experience in working retail wine. The top 10, especially, can be expected to rocket in price.

Richard; the blame falls more on the distributors and consumers, at least in my area. Distributors raise the prices in response to higher demand, both from consumers and restaurants. In fairness, wineries may increase the price on their reserve stocks of wines based on their Top 100 status as well, so it may be just being passed on (I'm not honestly sure, though). We keep our margins consistent on items on the Top 100 (eg, if we pay $40 pre-list for a wine with a $50 retail, we keep that 25% margin consistent -- if the distributor raises the price to $50, we charge $62.50).

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