Wine meme update: Let’s not forget about premiumization

premiumization memeThis wine premiumization meme is for you, wine business — enjoy

The blog’s wine meme survey has looked at why young people don’t like wine, the three-tier system, and trolling the cyber-ether for people who disagree with you. So how have we missed premiumization?

Until now, that is: The ultimate wine premiumization meme.

Of all wine’s problems — and there are entirely too many to mention — premiumization may be the one that makes me the craziest. Case in point: I got an email the other day touting a $25 gruner veltliner, a white wine from Austria. Check Wine-Searcher, though, and there are dozens of gruners in Austria that cost €4 or €5. How did an everyday wine in Europe become a luxury in the U.S.?

As a friend noted the other day: “We can moan and complain about wine prices all we want, but this is what it comes down to in the end: a $25 bottle of gruner. On sale. Is it any wonder hard seltzer is all the rage?”

So this wine premiumization meme is for you, wine business. Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of OME Gear using a Creative Commons license

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2 thoughts on “Wine meme update: Let’s not forget about premiumization

  • By Doug Caskey - Reply

    Perhaps I misunderstood. Are you saying that because you CAN find Grüner in Austria for 4-5 Euros, quality Grüner should not cost $25 in this county? That’s like saying White Burgundy should not cost $100 a bottle because you can find $5 Chardonnay from Australia.

    I love the liter bottles of Austrian Grüner that I buy whenever I find them, for about $10-12. Great bargain wine. And some of the greatest white wines I have ever tasted, hands down over White Burgundy, are $60 Grüners, probably even more expensive now. These are a true luxury wine. Grüner as a category is not necessarily an everyday wine. Why can’t this wine run the full spectrum of quality and price the way every kind of wine does without being the “victim” of premiumization?

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Doug, I didn’t mean to insult gruner. Rather, what we’re seeing is fewer less expensive options for wines like gruner in the states, and more high-end stuff made from the same varietals. It is more difficult than ever to find $10 to $12 quality Beaujolais, picpoul, albarino, and the like. This is not a function of inflation or even the tariff. Rather, importers and producers have made a conscious decision to sell more expensive versions in the U.S.because someone sold them a bill of goods about premiumization. In the end, we all lose.

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