I finally finished my wine inventory a few weeks ago. It took me a solid three weekends. Shortly thereafter, we went out to Napa and Sonoma and visited a few wineries, bought about a case and a half of wine and I added that in to inventory. Through all the counting and organizing, I realized that I pretty much have a rather solid threshold of how much I will pay for a bottle of wine.
But why is that? Certainly, some has to do with economics–I am not independently wealthy. I think the most I have ever paid is $100ish for some Champagne, but Champagne does not count. I go to tastings though and see bottles north of $100 and never even consider buying them. Would I rather have three bottles at $30, or one at $100. For me, at least, that is a fairly obvious choice. Is $100 bottle twice as good as the $50 bottle that I do buy occasionally?
For me, there are numerous wines that I would love to try, but there is no way in heck that I will ever buy any. Joe Roberts (1winedude) recently went to a Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC) tasting up in NYC (why he did not let me tag along is a subject for yet another rant). As many of you probably already know, DRC, located in Vosne Romanée in Burgundy, produces what is widely considered the most expensive wines in the world. Sure I would love to taste them, but paying several thousand dollars a bottle is completely ridiculous.
I guess I have an upper threshold above which it becomes meaningless. I am not talking about the money here, per se, but the quality. I use a 100 point scale here on this site (I know that there is a bit of controversy over the 100 point scale in general, but that will have to wait for a Thursday rant). I consider anything above around a 92 to be “Outstanding”. How much more cash are you willing to put out to go higher on that scale? It seems that each “point”, each incremental increase on the level of quality is met with a much larger increase in price. [For you math geeks out there, I consider it an exponential relationship.]
So my questions to you:
How much are you willing to pay for a bottle of wine?
Is drinking a bottle of say, a Marcassin Three Sisters Pinot Noir (~$150) three times better than a HIrsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir (~$50)?
I have pulled enough corks that I think I can tell the difference between wines at different price points. Usually a $20 wine is better than a $10 bottle. $30 is usually still better, and so on.
At what point does it just become ridiculous?