Bordeaux Wine Futures: Wine Pricing Gone Mad
My earlier article on how wine is priced barely scratched the surface. If you really want to see wine pricing gone wild, check out Fortune‘s story on how Bordeaux’s top chateaus price their wine, 90 percent of which is sold as futures before it ever gets into a bottle.
Every April some 5,000 buyers and wine professionals tour Bordeaux during “tasting week,” offering opinions on barrel samples and trying to judge how that wine might taste when it makes it to bottles. Producers take that feedback and price the wine based on “early orders and gut feelings.” Clearly, little of that pricing has anything to do with the actual cost of growing the grapes and making the wine. (In fact, it’s arguable that in “bad years,” when prices are depressed, the costs to make the wine are actually higher than in great years, since many producers have to keep grape quantities and bottle production down if the grape crop isn’t so hot.)
Supply and demand at work. Check out the full story at Fortune.