Is it Worth to buy Cheap Wines?
So, I had a colleague back in faculty days that loved hosting gatherings at her place every weekend and every time we would go to those home parties she would offer us cheap wine bought in large bottles, almost like small barrels. And she would mix wine with some fruit and you won’t even feel the wine’s taste, but you sure will feel its effect.
Anyway, I asked her why is she bothering to get a small barrel of wine, when she can get two good bottles for the same price, and she explained that those two smaller bottles of wine that cost as much as a small barrel, contain the same wine as the barrel itself. I thought – coincidence. Not exactly.
1. Imaginary discounts
One of the most famous marketing tricks and illusions so that the consumer is directed towards a product with low sales, is the imaginary discounts strategy. The initial price of the wine is inflated and consumers are under the impression that this wine is of high quality and that’s why it’s so expensive. All of a sudden, the price goes down so much that we get blinded by it and completely forget about the fact that the bottle standing next to this one is exactly the same wine with another mark and the initial, higher price. How can you protect yourself? Read the labels carefully; a label that says ‘made in California’ says nothing about the wine. You need something more specific, like ‘made in Clear lake AVA’ for instance. Also, a good wine would state the vintage year and the producer.
2. Beware of beautiful lies
Marketing is a tricky thing. You can’t believe anything you hear or see on TV advertising. Flowery language is to be avoided, since it’s almost never true. Claims like ‘Our company has been producing the finest wine for generations‘ or ‘We use only grapes from some of the best vineyards of California ‘ are irrational, since they’re absolute, and there’s nothing absolutely true. Especially not in good quality marketing, which producers of cheap wine mainly can’t afford.
3. Shiners – fakers!
Shiners are wines sold to wholesalers in shiny bottles without labels. Those wines will typically be found only in one store and will be relabeled by the seller, not the producer. Shiners aren’t necessarily bad wines, but they’re not that consistent. Plus, this is wine made in bulk, not the fancy wines we hear and read about. And finally, shiners are wines that are best on good vintages, so if you stumble upon one, make sure you stock up!
So, is it worth it to buy cheap wine? If labels, brand and similar wine characteristics don’t matter that much to you, you’ll definitely find a good, consistent, fancy and cheap wine on shelves in large stores. Thinking about the next cheap wine party you’ll be hosting? Just go for it!