When I buy wines to drink during the week, I try to “average” out at $15/bottle. I figure given all the factors — inflation, the wine industry, our taxation system on alcohol in BC — that I should be able to find pretty decent wines for that average price.
But to meet the price point, it usually means buying wines that are both less and more expensive. Add in the fact that it is nice to try more expensive wines, and what I really look for are those “cheap” gems that help me average the price down.
Tonight’s wine is a great example. The 2008 Negromaro Salento by Mezzomondo (from the south of Italy) is nothing fancy, but offers lots of wine in the mouth. Peppery, earthy with dried cherries, no oak and lovely juciness, it is a great everyday wine. And at $8.99 (yes, you read that right), it is a fabulous value!
But “value” is a relative term. It can mean “cheap and good”, like today’s pick. But it can also mean a good buy relative to others in its category. A $25 California cabernet, for example, is a good buy compared to the array of $30 and $40 wines you usually see there. Similarly, a $40 red Burgundy looks great compared to those that are usually $60 and above.
And it also depends on what you like. If you have a taste for homemade wines, you will see $2 bucks a bottle as a good deal (and have a problem with anything above that).
The final part of value is even more subjective — how much you are even prepared to spend on a bottle of wine (which equates to how much value you place on it as a commodity). This can help temper things when it comes to the more expensive wines. For example, a $60 Bordeaux, to me, is still not good value, because I think that is too much to spend on a bottle of wine.
So value wines, like other things in life, are up to the individual. Like your preference in style, you be the judge. Its your taste (and your money!).