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The more expensive the wine, the better?

The more expensive the wine, the better?

No, it is not true that quality always improves as the price goes up. I’ve had hundreds of wines in blind tastings that have come out ahead of their more expensive counterparts, and sometimes it’s quite shocking to see a big name come last in a flight. It’s equally shocking to see some of the major brands, which the wine trade loves to malign, come out at the top.

That said, as a general rule, you should see an increase in quality as the price goes up. A $30 bottle almost always does taste much better than a $15 bottle. But there is a law of diminishing returns. That’s to say that a $1000 bottle is not always exactly “ten times” better than a $100 bottle.

So where I question wine pricing is when you get into the stratosphere. Is a $3,500 bottle of DRC Montrachet really that much better than a $200 bottle of Grand Cru white Burgundy from another vineyard? It may be better quality, but the price difference isn’t warranted from a pure quality perspective. But you do get the pleasure of staring at a famous label and soaking up the mystique, and you feel special to be drinking something so expensive and rare.    

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