IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, RAISE THE PRICE
It happened again yesterday. I was sent a wine, a Bordeaux blend, I’d previously reviewed nearly a year ago for Wine Enthusiast. It was from a Santa Barbara County winery, and it had one of those ridiculously pompous French proprietary names that should be outlawed. When I first reviewed it, the suggested retail price was $54. I gave it a pretty bad score, because it was sweet and syrupy and basically a drag. Now here it was again, rising from the dead like Dracula. The new suggested retail price? $78! I tasted it out of curiosity (at the magazine, we don’t re-rate previously reviewed wines), and it was even worse than before, completely insipid and boring.
Why did the winery re-submit? You never really know. It could be a clerical error, but with expensive wines, I figure they couldn’t sell it the first time around, so they cross their fingers and try again. Okay, but a $24 price hike for this swill? This is what my people call chutzpah.
I remember, back in the 90s, when a winery owner explained to me that he couldn’t sell his wine at $14, but when he raised the price to $25, it flew out the door. If it was inexpensive, people perceived it as non-prestigious. If it was expensive, just the opposite: They figured if it cost that much, it had to be good! Well, that stunt doesn’t work anymore, for two reasons: (1) it’s the economy, stupid, and (2) People these days are a lot smarter.
DEPT. OF SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
I feel icky doing this — I really do — but I’m doing it anyway because, as mom taught me, if you don’t blow your own horn, who will? So here’s the URL for Tom Wark’s American Wine Blog Awards. If you like my blog, you might consider nominating it in one of these categories, or all three:
- Best writing wine blog
- Best industry/business-oriented wine blog
- Best overall wine blog
HEADLINES WE LOVE TO READ
“Wine may protect men against impotence”
Not that this applies to me, but “There is a correlation between moderate alcohol consumption and lower rates of long term erectile dysfunction (ED).” Thus saith Decanter, the authority on hard news, citing a report from an Australian university. Men of the world, listen to me: Throw away the Viagra and drink wine instead. It’s healthier and more romantic, and you don’t need a prescription.
NOTHING LIKE A BACON BRA TO SHOO AWAY THE DEPRESSION BLUES
But if you eat, cook first.