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12.03.2006

Vinography in US News and World Report

I woke up this morning to find Vinography mentioned in an article in US News and World report. It wasn't a big mention, just a suggestion that this might be a good site to get the lowdown on some good wine. The article itself was interesting, however, for its suggestion that good wine, and in particular good wine values, are getting both easier and harder to find. Easier because, as the buyer for the nation's single largest store suggests, there has never been so much wine on the market (both from established and new producers). Harder because, well, there's a lot of wine out there to choose from. And in this context, I'm flattered to say, the author, Alex Markels, suggested that Vinography might be able to help.

The notion that good wine values are becoming more common out there is certainly heartening in the face of the excesses of the 2005 Bordeaux futures craze, and the ever climbing prices on the auction block. What do you think, readers? Are there more or less good wine values these days? Are you finding some things more affordable than they have been in the past? Or is all the good stuff getting too expensive?

Comments (16)

!edo wrote:
12.04.06 at 4:12 AM

Not to confuse the issue more, but I think there are MORE good wine values these days, but there are also MORE wines that pretend to be good values.....not sure that makes a whole lot of sense but I think you get the point.
Congrats for the mention!

Chad wrote:
12.04.06 at 6:23 AM

I can't say whether there are more or less good wines in the market, but there's certainly more promotion of the critic's reviews of wines.

Unfortunatley for the consumer, the more value-priced 90 point wines you can splash across your pages, whether the wines are great or good or just mediocre, the more magazine's you sell.

Congratulations on the mention Alder - Vinography and the like are the good news for savvy consumers.

Dr. Debs wrote:
12.04.06 at 9:16 AM

Congrats, Alder! It's nice to see them recognizing that bloggers can be as useful to consumers as the big magazines. I think there is more good wine at reasonable prices, but I think that there is a huge homogeneity in the bargain ranks--especially from the corporate wineries that dominate supermarket chains. The trick is finding more interesting wines at a good price--and here the big mags are seldom much help. That's where bloggers and sites like yours provide such a service.

Tim wrote:
12.04.06 at 9:19 AM

I'm not sure if I agree with the premise that the three "connoisseur sites" are the best places to find wine values online. My first problem, is throwing Vinography into the same sentence as eBob and West Coast Wine; I can't remember the last time I discovered a true value on either wine forum. And while it's true readers find values here on a regular basis, if you don't live in the Bay Area (or CA) finding the wines can sometimes be a problem.

So I'm looking for some sort of aggregator website that collects the best reviews of the wine blogosphere as a possible solution. There are a few such sites out there but none are currently focused around tasting notes from sources I fully trust. I'm sure someone will fill the gap soon enough.

To answer your question, yes, wine values are easier to find these days and there are more of them as long as you stick in the $10-20 range. Less than $10 is more of a crap-shoot, but there are some out there, particularly from Spain.

It's also great to see a blog mentioned in the mainstream media; congrats!

frank Haddad wrote:
12.04.06 at 9:56 AM

Alder Living in Canada, we just do not have a great range of wines. In my province there is a Government monolopy on wine sales. We never see wines much below $15 Canadian. Some of the prices in the article are so well below the pricing here, if they are even avaible. I wish we had the problem of having too many wines to choose from.

Alder wrote:
12.04.06 at 10:00 AM

Thanks for your comments. Some US states are much the same, unfortunately, though the impact is usually on the higher end, rather than the lower end, in terms of price, but as Tim suggests, also on selection throughout the price ranges.

12.04.06 at 10:04 AM

Values are all over the place. The wealth of information these days and the motivation of wine shop owners to quench the consumers thirst for new and different wines is helping tremendously. I run a wine bar in New York City and customers are raving about wines that are not just Cali and France. I talk to people about Arghentina , Chile, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Virginia, New Zealand, Australia, you name they are either looking into it or have already drank some of it. Today we are looking for more. And we the bloggers are here to help. The magazines have their purpose of course I read them as well and draw whwt i can for them but I am not only a blogger but one who reads blogs as well. we as bloggers provide on the ground day by day advice. We are the consumers as well, we just feel compelled to help and talk about why we thing that $12 Cahors cot was so damn good. Congrats on the mention. It is good to know the mainstream is open to the fact that there is a wealth of information with no pretense at their fingertips. Cheers!

EVWG

John wrote:
12.04.06 at 10:07 AM

I feel sorry for wine buyers elsewhere, but yesterday we backed up the truck at the Wine Club in Santa Clara, and almost nothing was over $15, most was under $11. I'm not as picky as some, but good, good aussie values, a couple of merlot finds, and some very nice zins. If you insist on drinking cabernet all the time you can't do this, of course, and I've never found cheap pinot that tastes like anything but. On the other hand, I don't drink a lot of pinot.

Tim S wrote:
12.04.06 at 10:14 AM

Alder--Congrats, you do have a fine blog BTW and deserve the mention. I think the category of quality wines for $10 is now an oxymoron, esp. in the domestic/California market. As Tim noted, in Spain, and in fringe areas of France good values can be had in the $10 range but it still is a crap shoot. In my view, the $15 to $25 range is the sweet spot for the quality/price ratio for domestic and imported whites and reds. In that vein, yes quality has improved terrifically. Beyond that price point if you spend even 30 seconds or so a choosing you are certainly going to get a good and perhaps a great wine.

Cheers, Tim S

TJ wrote:
12.04.06 at 11:01 AM

Wine values, there are a ton out there and available. At least here in CA.

For me one of the best places to find good wine values under $15, especially under $10 is Trader Joe's. Great selection, and if you happen to buy something that isn't that good, at least you didn't break the bank with experimentation.

It's like the music industry, there's your mainstream "top 40's" type of stuff available. Then there's the independent or "underground" stuff. There's a TON of fluff out there, but after a while you get a feel for what you like and who provides it.

12.04.06 at 2:36 PM

Alder,
Congrats for well-deserved national non-wine based media recognition ....more to come I'm sure.

Kimberly

Alder wrote:
12.04.06 at 3:59 PM

Thanks Tim. I'm actually writing an article about $10 wines as we speak. Look for it later this week.

Gene wrote:
12.04.06 at 6:43 PM

At the risk of sounding like I'm paid by the Washington Wine Commission, I have to say that my experience with Washington wines is that there are lots of great values to be had here especially at the $15-$20 and the $30 price points, but under $10, too. Of the 400 plus wineries all but two are small by California standards with many producing around 2000 cases. The trouble is that it is difficult to find most of these wines outside of Washington, unless you direct order from the wineries themselves. Fortunately, Washington wines are becoming more available in some markets. I recently found outstanding Washington wines at A to Z in Scottsdale for example.

Dan G Erken wrote:
12.04.06 at 8:23 PM

For the past two years, I've been finding consistently great values in Australian Shiraz fruit bombs and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs priced in the $8 to low $20 range. Yum. It seems French Rhone wines would be a great value for those who like that kind of taste and style. I, however, do not.

12.08.06 at 9:37 AM

Hello,
Just want to say that I agree with the assessment that while the $10-and-under cagtegory is bulging, it's still a minefield in terms of quality. In the 9 months that I've been tasting $15-and-under wines for my Cheers blog (www.cheers.usatoday.com), I've found that I have to taste about 5 wines in order to find one that's palatable. I'm curious as to what ratio other tasters are finding.
Jerry Shriver
USA Today

Tim McDonald wrote:
12.11.06 at 8:52 AM

Alder,
Kudos on the great mention in a non-wine media pub! It is apparently clear that all wine drinkers are getting their advice about wine from new sources and vinog has become a great wine resource for many.
I agree that we have way more value today then ever and because of the growing # of choices, wine is become harder to keep up with. The advice from people that care; stores, soms, publications, and now blogs help us all keep up with it. I believe that with the good stuff increasingly rising in price, you have to try new wines all the time...unless your wine budget increases vintage after vintage. 3rd party recommendations are needed more than ever and you just need to find the ones that agree with your tastebuds.
Keep the good news coming, Cheers! Tim

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