Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

Sorry Folks, its going to get ugly this year.

March 20, 2008

Wine prices, I mean. If you think that $4 a gallon gas, $100 bbl oil and 5 bucks for a gallon of milk are bad, well, wait till you see wine prices by the end of the year.

Its coming, mark my words. Watch this date, today is March 20, 2008.  I said it here first, well not first, but you know what I mean.

That favorite everyday $10 bottle you buy, well, expect it to be 13.99, $14.99 or worse by Thanksgiving.  It won't matter if its French, California, Aussie, Italian or Chilean (only exception being Argentina, but more on that further on.).

Ok, now you're asking "Well, WHY Rob? Why the big increase in WINE prices? Isn't there a glut of wine these days?"  Well, yes, there IS a whole lot of wine out there, and the glut has been one reason why wine prices have stayed as steady as they have the last couple of years. That said, growers, distributors, suppliers, wholesalers and the retailer have tried as hard as they can this last year to keep prices from creeping up. Let's face it, no retailer really likes raising their prices, the customer is never happy about it.

Reason 1. $100/bbl oil.  Two years ago, it was $60. The grower, he puts gas in his farming equipment, gas in the trucks that harvest the grapes, electricity, etc.  The Winery: gas for their trucks and equipment too, electricity for the winery buildings, etc.  The guys who make the bottles and boxes, ditto.  SHIPPING the wine, huge increases for the trucks that carry the wine from the winery to the supplier. Ditto for the trucks from the supplier's warehouse to the local distributor. Ditto again for the local distributor's trucks that shlep it to your local Wine Mart.  All things being equal, there is a 45% increase in just these costs.

Reason 2.  A really CRAPPY US Dollar. Sorry, but it just has to be said. Four years ago, the Euro and Dollar were about equal.  Today, and I mean March 20, 08 its $1.55. So, the bottle of Italian red you like, that cost 10 euro/$10 in 2005, is 15.99 on the store shelf today, JUST BECAUSE OF THE EXCHANGE RATE

Australia isn't Europe you say. March 2004 $1 Aussie cost 75cents US. Today, same aussie dollar costs 90 cents.

Chile, come ON you say, Chile?? In just the last SIX MONTHS, the almight $ fell from buying 510 Chilean Pesos in September '07,  to 435 this very day. Thats almost a 20% drop in just six months!

Ok, so the only bright spot is Argentina.  The Argentine Peso is pegged to the US$, at just over 3 pesos to the buck.  Your only stable wine value pricewise will be Argentine wines.  But that's not too bad, Argentine wines are pretty darn yummy actually, superior quality for their price and designed to pair with beef.

At least you can drown your sorrow over the high cost of your Chianti or Bordeaux with a good cheap Argentine Malbec or Syrah!


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Raves, rants, musings, ponderings and wine whines... trends, tasting notes, the Austin Wine Guy Rob Moshein shares his world of wine and thoughts about it with you.

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