Is Expensive Wine Better Than Cheap Wine?

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A few years ago a group of sales executives from Eastman Chemical Company convened for a high-powered pow-wow. Their meetings were pretty intense, we understand. But they took a break one afternoon for some fun with wine. The company had hired us to provide an informational seminar and a team building session. And, boy, did they get into it!


Questions, questions, questions. The one that kept coming up in one form or another was whether expensive wine tastes better than less expensive wine. Our answer was a definite “sometimes.”


Winemakers can choose whether they want to make their wines cheaply or not. And those decisions – like the quality of the grapes they use and how those grapes are processed – will affect the taste of the finished wine. But the price of a wine is based on more than production costs. Its popularity is a major factor.


If a wine starts out at $10, gains popularity and shoots up to $20, does it taste any better? Of course not. If a wine comes from a prestigious vineyard in Bordeaux and is in high demand among collectors, will you like it? Who knows?


Tasting wine is all about personal preference. There’s no absolute right or wrong. It’s all about discovering tastes you love. No two people experience flavor exactly the same way. We have unequal abilities to taste, and consequently, unique flavor preferences.


Flavor preferences are independent of price. You like what you like. Some people are impressed by price tags. Others of us like bargains. We say, “Drink what brings you pleasure.”



Barbara and Beverly