Why are some wines so cheap?

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Cheap Wines How Do They Do It?

I don’t believe in wildly expensive wines, but I don’t believe in wildly cheap wines either. To quote The Common Law of Business Balance: “There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone, are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little.”

Cheap wines and expensive wines

Manual sorting – Don’t expect this for two buck chuck

Cheap wines

So how do they make cheap wines, I mean really cheap wines? Well first grow huge quantities of grapes on any plot of land available, irrigate extensively so there’s plenty of juice (consider this like watering down). Then when they are more or less ripe harvest by machine. The harvester picks up everything, ripe grapes, unripe grapes, rotten grapes, spiders and lizards and dumps them in a huge receptacle. Don’t think there’s any form of sorting once they get to the cellars, it all gets thrown in, blood and all. I suppose that helps the color.

Growing huge quantities means the vines have to distribute energy and nutrients to more grapes. This inevitably means they will be of lower quality. An example of an opposite procedure is that applied for the production of Chianti. 30% and sometimes more of the clusters are pruned away in early summer. This means the remaining grapes will receive more nutrients, and consequently be of higher quality. Of course there will be much less wine to sell, so it’s going to be more expensive.

Then let’s talk about what goes on in the cellars. As there’s little consideration for the ripeness of the grapes, they add extra sugar, various chemicals, thickeners, color and flavoring. I’ll give them credit for one thing…they’re good at making junk palatable, it really does taste OK. But do you really want to be drinking wines made with chemicals. Also be aware that these practices are not illegal.

So how much should you pay for a quality bottle.? Ha, I admit I don’t really have the answer! However I do know how much it costs to produce a bottle in Chianti, but it’s a secret I’m not disclosing. Let’s just say I’m suspect of anything retailing  for under $5,00. If you want a wine made that’s with grape juice, you really should be considering €10 as your starting price. I’ll personally go up to €40 on occasions, but I consider €15 to €30 a happy medium. These are the prices you’ll find on my tours.


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