It seems that increasingly, wine is becoming more and more expensive. A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that may have cost you $45 a decade ago, is solidly priced in the $65 range these days.
That’s quite some inflation and frankly, the rise in prices does not seem to be slowing down at all, if anything it is speeding up. The Napa wine scene in peculiar, seems headed the way of Bordeaux, with $100 per bottle price points as a starting place.
Here’s some regions that produce good wines, at fair prices:
Did you read Australia? Most people did as well, but Austria has an ideal climate for crisp and highly acidic white wines. While Germany gets all the attention in this part of the world, Austria produces wines of roughly the same quality, at a price point that is just about half of the Mosel Valley and much of Germany. If this is going to be your first venture into Austrian wine, the Riesling’s are definitely your best bet. Just be aware that Riesling is generally slightly sweet and offers a good intro to less sweet standard table wine for both those who are first time wine drinkers, but also for those who only tend to drink red wine. Of course, it’s also a nice change of pace if you drink a lot of Champagne as well.
California’s Sierra Foothills:
California’s wine scene is largely centered in and around the coast, for good reason since those are the most temperate climates in the state. The Sierra Foothills is home to the historic center of California wine though, these are the hills that originally gave us both Petite Sirah and Zinfandel among others. It’s a colder growing environment in the winter and certainly warmer in the summer, but over time I would expect that these regions which produce dark, dense and often brooding red wines are going to gain market share. Frankly speaking not all wine drinkers love Pinot Noir, most do love Cabernet Sauvignon, so if you produce wines which are good substitutes for Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ve got a shot at gaining a significant number of customers.
The Languedoc, France:
France isn’t exactly known for cheap wine, but did you realize that Europe is producing more wine than is being consumed, for the first time since before World War II? The Languedoc is a big reason for that and is beginning to be referred to as, the ocean of wine. On the good side of the ledger though is the fact that in the Languedoc, you are allowed to plant the vines that you think are best for your vineyard. You can also experiment with American or Australian versions of winemaking styles and vineyard management, much of which simply isn’t allowed in better known regions of France. If you live in Europe, much of the cheap wine you drink probably comes from here. If you are American though, wines that make it to our wine stores are likely both good and affordable, two traits becoming increasingly difficult to put together in the wine industry.
[toggle title=”Featured images”]
- License: Creative Commons image source
Mark Aselstine is the owner of Uncorked Ventures, an online wine club focused on delivering high quality wine, at fair prices. He loves learning about the wine industry as it is always growing and changing.
- Wine + Life: How To Impress Someone With Wine (forbes.com)
- If You Like This Beer, Than You’ll Love This Wine [Infographic] (businessinsider.com)