There’s something satisfying about opening an expensive vintage bottle of wine, from the luxurious label to the extra effort placed on a high-quality cork, the devil is in the details. But why is this wine so much more? Let’s find out.
There are three primary determinants for the price of a wine. Oak is one of them.
The most desired wines are aged in oak. Oak adds a rich, oaky taste while exposing the wine to oxygen. This provides a wealth of benefits, including lowering the overall intensity of tannins. This leads to a smoother wine. When oxygen penetrates the oak barrels, a bit of the wine evaporates at roughly two percent a year. This leads to a more concentrated taste and feel.
Oak is pricey and if wine aged in oak barrels sounds appealing to you, you can expect to pay more for that bottle.
Older wines tend to be more expensive, but there are different ways wines may be aged, and this rule only applies to red wine. Time alters the character of a wine. Time also lowers the wine’s tannin and acidity.
If you sample a wine that is smoother and full-bodied, then chances are good that it’s an older wine with reduced tannin and acidity.
Great wines are made in the vineyard. And fewer grapes on a vine means more flavor
Wineries also have to focus on where their grapes are grown. The tougher the region, the better the taste for some reason, and there’s a higher cost to growing grapes in tough regions and in locations that are less accessible.
The Cost of Packaging
Packaging may seem like a smaller part of the budget, but a few extra dollars per bottle adds up quickly. It’s what’s inside the bottle that matters… But, it doesn’t stop us from being influenced by the way wine bottles look.
Here are some things you should know about packaging:
- The Punt: You know, that thumb-sized divot in the bottom of a wine bottle? It doesn’t matter. If you find a bottle with a deep punt, it just means the bottle was more expensive.
- Screw Caps: We’ve been testing cork alternatives since the 1960s. What we’ve learned is that they work, and in many cases, are more consistent than natural corks.
- Low Shoulder vs High Shoulder: Low shoulder bottles are the “it” bottle these days but don’t fit in most wine racks or stack on top of each other. To a collector, they’re a bit of a pain in the neck.
- Heavy Bottles: Some bottles are so heavy that they make up 60% of the weight of the unit. The weight isn’t bad until you realize it costs extra fuel to transport heavy bottles. That being said, they do feel impressive.
- Glass Color: Clear glass doesn’t protect wine from the light strike, and green glass doesn’t do that much better. Surprisingly, brown glass is better for the wine but hasn’t quite caught on yet. Brown glass is affordable.
The way that a wine’s flavor stays with you is also a good way to differentiate affordable wine vs. expensive wine. This doesn’t mean that the wine will linger on your palate, simply that you’ll have a strong memory of how the wine tastes. But the budget-minded can rejoice, average wines won’t necessarily taste bad, they simply might have an average taste.
Looking to experience the best wine selection here in Franklin? JJ’s wine bar is the place to be, whether you’re looking to elevate your palette with top-notch wines or looking for a new place to be social and enjoy a night out. JJ’s has you covered.
JJ’s Wine Bar is an upscale wine bar with a trendy edge, located in the heart of historic downtown Franklin.
Visit JJ’s Wine Bar at 206 E Main St in downtown Franklin. Come by or call us at 615-942-5033. JJ’s is open 4 pm – 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 4 pm – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday.