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07.29.2004

Poor Bastards Have to Work Hard to Make That $100 Bottle of Wine

Ever thought to yourself, "How can someone justify a price of $100 for a bottle of wine?" Well it turns out that you have to work pretty hard at it. Thanks to H. Johnson for pointing me to one of the most brilliant satire pieces I've ever seen on California Winemaking.

The article is written by Brendan Eliason, a Northern California assistant winemaker for David Coffaro Winery who did a little research one day into specifically what his costs were per bottle. It came to around ten bucks (his wine retails for $22), and he set to wondering, "Exactly how does someone make a $100 bottle of wine??" So he sets off on a thought experiment that involves everything from buying the most expensive grapes on the market, to buying brand new winery equipment, to laser etching custom wine bottles, and at the end of it, he barely manages to do it.

Absolutely hilarious and very sobering. Read it before you decide to shell out that $100 for the next vintage of Opus One.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.