The other day, I was in a specialty wine store and noticed several bottles of wines priced between $500 and $5,000!

Is there any way of knowing (historically or otherwise) that a particular exorbitantly priced bottle of wine is a well flavored wine? Or is this simply a marketing strategy?


2 Answers 2


There are many wines which are for sale at many thousands of pounds/dollars that no-one will ever drink, and that are not expected to have a good taste at all - they are simply priced there through scarcity.

A rare item is going to demand a higher price from an interested buyer than a commodity item.

While I may be able to tell the difference between a £10 bottle and a £200 bottle, I may in many cases prefer the £10 (and this has proved to be the case often enough that when I used to sell wines I used to sell based on what the customer liked previously, Not some description of the nose and palate that is upwards of 50% subjective and arbitrary)

Upwards of £200 there is almost no quality/taste difference, and upwards of £1000 the customer is solely paying for exclusivity, and the opportunity to drink or offer a glass no-one else can, or just to hold it as an investment.

  • 2
    Yes, I like to think of alcohol in terms of 'diminishing returns'. You get a superior product up to a certain price-point and then after that point you're just buying status. The liquor world is rampant with this as 50 yo bottles of Scotch sell for upward of 20k. I'd think if you broke the problem down to one of chemistry you'd see any given drink can only vary so much, at least not as much as the price point can.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 16:28

There is no proof for any bottle of wine. You can open it and it has gone bad.

Good is subjective. Well flavored is subjective. Flavor is more about the grape. If you don't like a Cabernet Sauvignon then you are not going to like an expensive Cabernet Sauvignon.

There are numerous reviews and point systems.

A vineyard will have a reputation.

The wine buyer at the store has the reputation of the store to protect.

Restaurants will sample the wine before putting it on the menu.

Yes wine snobs know the difference and they LOVE to talk about wine.

If you are not a wine connoisseur you might not know the difference between a $40 and $400. But you would probably prefer the $40 over over the $4 of the same grape.

In a free market supply and demand establish the price and wine is a liquid (that is an economics term) commodity. Even a small run will have a set of knowledgeable buyers.

Yes they may have just slapped a price on it as a marketing ploy. Does not mean the market will bite. For sure you don't need to bite. There are many reviews available. If you want to get into higher priced wines then find reviewers / publications you trust.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.