It’s been reported that more than 50% of shoppers refuse to spend more than £6 on a bottle of wine. In fact, only seven per cent of us will spend more than £10 on a bottle in a supermarket.
How much we’re willing to spend on a bottle of wine seems to increase along with our age. During our student days, if we had to spend over £3.49 on a bottle of wine we weren’t very happy about it but now, can just about live with spending anything up to £6.
However, according to one expert, we need to be spending just a bit more on our wine in order to get the best value for money. Mark Price, a former boss at Waitrose, has declared that there is a spending sweet spot when it comes to wine and it’s approximately £10.
He explained that lots of the costs that go into producing wine, like taxes, are fixed prices on every bottle of wine, so they don’t go up if the bottle is more expensive. ‘If you buy a bottle of wine for £5 the value of the wine inside that bottle is just under 50p. It’s actually 47p’, he said at his recent book launch.
‘If you buy a bottle of wine for £10 the quality of the wine inside the bottle is just under £3. So for twice as much you effectively get wine that is six times the quality. If you go up to £20 a bottle the quality of the wine is about seven or eight pounds. So it is better, but you’ve effectively doubled up. So if you buy a bottle for about £10 you’ve absolutely hit the sweet spot of quality against cost.’
Like other luxury goods, wine and champagne is heavily promoted, and with the big brands, that’s partly what you’re paying for. Is Château Leoville-Poyferré 2003 St. Julien at £185 fourteen times better than Tesco’s Finest Chateauneuf Du Pape, which was recently on offer at £13? Not for most of us, no, even if we could afford it. In other words, wine is worth what you’re willing to pay for it, and not a penny more. A high price tag doesn’t guarantee quality — it can mean popularity or signify a certain location instead. But, there’s also no shame in investing in a wine you’re craving or intrigued by, no matter what the price tag is.
Most of all, though, drink wine to enjoy the taste, however it tastes to you. If over time you find yourself noticing more about the wines you’re drinking, liking a little less some things you used to love and loving some other things you thought you would never drink – well, that’s not a bad thing. But when you do start noticing more in the wines you’re drinking, and noticing that you do often like that slightly more expensive wine a lot better, be careful: noticing the difference can be a delicious, but costly, improvement.