The race to the bottom.I was stunned to wake up on New^ Year's Eve to hear our local wane guru and self-fancied media personality tout inexpensive, substandard sparklers. On New Year's Day New Year's Day, among ancient peoples the first day of the year frequently corresponded to the vernal or autumnal equinox, or to the summer or winter solstice. In the Middle Ages it was celebrated among Christians usually on Mar. 25. , those that drink his "values" will wake disappointed and I will wake to find that, once again, it was not a Champagne New Year's Eve.
It is a race to the bottom in our industry and we are all at fault. You, me, the wine writer, the distributor, the importer, all of us. We, inexplicably, perpetuate the myth that a $10 bottle of wine is as good as a $100 bottle of wine; that a "value" Cava could match the elegance and toastiness of a $50 fine French Champange.
The race to the bottom is the result of several intersecting forces: a shaky world economy, a glut of cheaply produced grape juice from developing countries, a consumer who's buying decisions are largely based on marketing by international drinks companies. Still, the most impactful and deleterious cause of the decline is the industry's continual reinforcement of the myth that a $10 bottle is as good as a $100 bottle. This myth will incubate incubate /in·cu·bate/ (in´ku-bat)
1. to subject to or to undergo incubation.
2. material that has undergone incubation.
1. a consumer who will never buy a $100 bottle of wine because there is no perceived benefit to spending the extra $90.
Some might argue that there are really great $10 bottles that score 92 points and are rather enjoyable to drink. Others will argue that there are $100 bottles that score 81 points and are terribly flawed. Both of these observations are correct. Yet, a situstion where a wine is dramatically different than what you would expect for the price is a fluke and usually winemaker's serendipity serendipity
happy finding of an unexpected object or solution while searching for something else. . Why would our industry be the only one where you don't "get what you pay for?"
Evidence is mounting that the myth has taken hold. The advent of tetra-packs and liter size wines, the buzz about brands like Crane Lake and Charles Shaw Charles Shaw can refer to:
I can highlight three reasons why our industry must fight the $10/$ 100 myth that we created and we must start soon. First, we owe our consumer an honest look at wine to teach them the joys of fine wines so that they may experience something as great as Chateau Beaucastel or Tignanello. Second, it is in our business interest that we sell luxury brands as well as value wines. Third, those of us that love fine wines never entered the business to sell boxes of substandard grape juice. It just isn't fun for me to have to sell and to pretend to enjoy cheap wines that are, most often, too flabby or too thin, hot with alcohol, overoaked and uninspired.
As long as our industry continues this race to the bottom, we will never again have a Champagne New' Year.
JACK BONDON, JR. is a third-generation retailer in Kansas City Kansas City, two adjacent cities of the same name, one (1990 pop. 149,767), seat of Wyandotte co., NE Kansas (inc. 1859), the other (1990 pop. 435,146), Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties, NW Mo. (inc. 1850). , MO, with Berbiglia Wine and Spirits. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Georgetown University, in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.; Jesuit; coeducational; founded 1789 by John Carroll, chartered 1815, inc. 1844. Its law and medical schools are noteworthy, and its archives are especially rich in letters and manuscripts by and where he studied Business Management Jack currently operates 11 stores along with his dad and uncle, Jack Sr and Ralph Bondon. Their operation was established at the end of Prohibition and has run without interruption for 80years. Berbiglia was the recipient of 'Beverage Dynamics Retailer of the Year Award in 2006.