This just in from the Los Angeles Times: People are spending less money on a bottle of wine!
Patrick J. Comiskey, a big deal in the Winestream Media (he's a former sommelier and writes for Wine & Spirits magazine) reports in the Times that consumers aren't spending $40 for a bottle of wine anymore. They aren't even spending $25. They're -- wait for it -- spending $15.
Writes Comiskey: "For many, $15 to $20 might be the new $25."
Sigh. More, after the jump.
Comiskey uses the word "curated" to describe the inventory at one L.A. retailer, which struck me -- as someone who has been writing about retailing for more than 20 years, and whose father and grandfather did retailing for a living -- as quite a stretch. A collection at an art museum is curated, not the bottles on the shelves at a liquor store.
This story, though exceptionally well-reported, reinforced the perception that most non-wine drinkers have about those of us who drink wine. Which is that we live in some sort of 1930s-era black and white Hollywood movie, wandering around in black tie and tails, calling each other "Old Sport" and waving at the waiter for another glass. In fact, the owner with the curated collection said he put in supermarket brands, and his customers wanted nothing to do with the wines. How awful for both of them.
The other frustrating thing about this story? That people who want to learn about wine will read this, see they need to spend $20 or $25 for a decent bottle, and go buy a six-pack. Which, if it was true, would send me in search of a six-pack, too.