expensive wine DRC

Is expensive wine worth it?

Wine retailer, Majestic, recently announced that their sales of wines over £20 a bottle has increased by almost a fifth (see the full details of the article here).

Clearly, their customers are trading up with their purchases, but it inevitably poses the question:

“Does more expensive wine equal better?”

The simple answer to this question would be, yes. It is true that the old adage of: “You get what you pay for”, is certainly the case for wine. Up until a certain point, at least.  

If you’re paying more for a bottle of vino, then you’ll find that the amount you’re paying for the juice in the bottle is worth much more. This little infographic, created by Bibendum Wine Ltd, nicely illustrates my point.


 As such it will be of better quality, which means it will have more complexity, concentration and the flavours last for longer than a cheaper counterpart.

The caveat, is that the link between price and quality only works up to a certain point. For instance, consider Champagne – is that worth the price they charge? Yes, of course Champagne is labour intensive to make, but it’s often not quite worth the price that they are charging for a bottle. With Champagne, it’s more about marketing and prestige.

Another sticking point, is that just because a wine is technically better quality, it doesn’t mean that you’ll like it anymore than you would a less expensive example.

In fact, in my experience, people who have minimal exposure to wine actually prefer less expensive wines.

Why? These wines are usually designed to be more approachable, simpler and really fruity – a style that most people understand and enjoy without knowing much about wine.

Often, the more pricey a bottle of wine gets, then the more technical wine knowledge you need to understand what makes it such a great wine.  These wines are usually much better paired alongside a meal too, rather than being made for drinking alone.

Ultimately, whether your bottle is worth £5 or £500, the important thing is that you enjoy it. If you’re getting pleasure from it, then it’s doing its job.

What’s the most you’d consider spending on a bottle?

5 thoughts on “Is expensive wine worth it?

  1. Hey Julia, I’m sure there is no definitive answer to this but to what extent does a restaurant / bar reduce their mark up mutliplier on the more expensive stuff e.g. House wine they might buy at £4 and sell at 16 so 4x but what if you are buying a £60 bottle – would that only cost them £15 or would ir be more like £30?

    Most expensive bottle i have purchased outisde of a restaurant and champagne is a Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 for €52. Hopefully in 10 years time it’ll be worth it!

  2. For me, I would say it is hard to justify spending much more than $50 a bottle. There are times, of course, that this rule is violated (and usually involves champagne), but not all that often….

  3. I recently had a great satisfaction when I bought £30 bottle of Champagne which was reduced to £15! Recent purchase from Tesco and it tasted great! but I would not spent more than £30. 😀

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