Written by John Kerr
Look to these virtual wineries for remarkable value.
I am always a little envious when my friends tell me about their recent trips to Europe. It’s not so much the museums full of art or the ruins that they see. It’s their stories about paying only $25 for a great Brunello or some other bottle that ranks among the world’s best wines.
That same bottle of Brunello sells for $50 or more in our country. This sad fact is due to the added costs of shipping the wine across the Atlantic to a distributor, who must house and then ship the wine to your local shop. And often there is an importer in the mix who must also be paid.
If you’re thinking you’ve just found a great arbitrage opportunity and plan to have wine shipped directly to you from Europe, think again. Trust me, the costs of shipping and taxes far exceed the price you’ll pay for that bottle in a domestic wine shop. This venture is largely reserved for the sentimental who want to pour another glass while reminiscing about the little winery they discovered in the Italian countryside.
The bad news for those of us who love the great wines from California and the Pacific Northwest is that there is no domestic price break like there is in Europe. Very few Napa Cabs sell for less than $50 a bottle, and most are in the $60 to $200 range.
But the high prices create a dilemma for America’s premium wineries. Unless you’re a world famous winery like Caymus or Silver Oak, there will be years when you can’t sell it all at the original high price. So, what can they do to move their wine? Leave it to American ingenuity to solve this problem.
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