POSTS What makes a wine expensive?


What makes a wine expensive?

At least one time in your life you have been in a wine shop wondering why on earth a bottle of wine can be soooo expensive. In general, you might wonder why Assyrtiko from Santorini, Cabernet from Bordeaux or Sauvignon from Loire can be so pricey. The reason is not one, but many. Read below and you will understand.

  1. The grape

The cost of the grape varies depending on the variety, the region and, of course, the way of cultivation (organic, conventional, biodynamic). To understand about what prices we are talking about, we will give you some examples. In 2017, in Napa, the grapes needed for a bottle of good Cabernet Franc cost about $ 5.16. While for the vintage of 2018, the cost of the grapes for a bottle of Assyrtiko from Santorini was 4.5 euros. At much higher levels, the grape prices for 1 bottle of Champagne reached the 8 euros. On the other hand, a Cab or an Assyrtiko from another region or of lower quality may cost less that 1 euro.

  1. The barrel

A new barrel can cost from 600-2400 euros. This translates to a cost of around 2-5 euros per bottle of wine. Surely someone can use a used barrel for less than half the money, but the intoxicating aromas of vanilla, cedar and caramel come from the new oak.

  1. Packaging

It's no secret that some wineries invest enough money in impressive labels, cool bottles and expensive corks. For some, this is considered to be a very important part of marketing and a significant investment in building the brand of the winery over time. But how much does it cost? For example, a synthetic cap can cost about 0.15 euro while a good quality cork can reach up to 2 euros. On the label the philosophy is pretty much the same. Some may cost 0.50 and others 3 euros. Finally, the bottle price varies depending on the glass thickness, weight, color and shape. For example, a bottle of Burgundy in dark green can cost up to 2 euros.

If you sum up all the above you can see that a fine bottle of wine can easily cost around 14 euros. This price does not include taxes, maintenance and operation costs of the winery, employee wages, transportation costs, etc. On the other hand, a more economical wine can cost about 5 euros. Which one is better? Well, everything is a matter of taste, mood and occasion!


Eva Markaki

Wine Geek