Business Insider FINANCE . June 26. 2014.
3 Ways That Winemakers Trick You Into Paying Too Much
Unless you’re a wine connoisseur, finding the right bottle can be tricky. It’s generally accepted that the more expensive a bottle of wine, the better it is.However, Ryan O’Connell fromNakedwines.com says belief is prompting winemakers to up their prices, sometimes unreasonably so.
Nakedwines.com is a customer-funded winery that helps independent winemakers set up a business.
O’Connel, a marketing manager-turned winemaker says that the day he entered the production side of wine, he began spotting patterns — ways that winemakers could potentially take advantage of consumers.
Here are three main indicators he gave us to tell whether or not you’re paying too much for a bottle of wine.
1. Award competitions
It doesn’t take much to convince the average wine buyer that a medal means high-quality.
“In the industry, we all know that medals and competitions of that sort, especially in the U.S., are pretty much luck-based. So many competitions award medals to 80 percent of the entrants, that it’s just kind of a money machine for the people running the competition,” O’Connell says. “Those medals are worth about as much as the blue ribbon on a PBR.”
He says that large production wines can pay a lot of fees to rack up awards in easy competitions. Good indicators of a trustworthy wine competition include locality, a diverse panel of judges and a low percentage of awards. Several good competitions O’Connell mentioned were the North Coast Wine Challenge and the International Wine Challenge.
2. Bottle packaging
Like most products, winemakers can get away with higher pricing just by spending more on the packaging. To tell if you’re paying for the packaging or the wine, O’Connell recommends feeling the weight of the bottle first. He says some companies use heavier bottles to make people subconsciously spend more.
Another embellishment winemakers add is the punt, or the indent on the bottom of the bottle. Luxury wine punts usually measure about 1.5 inches, which means more money spent on design. Although larger punts make for more stable shipping, O’Connell says it’s a pretty good indicator of how much effort was put into the packaging.
Even things opacity and color of the glass can cost extra. O’Connell says once you’ve noticed the differences once, it becomes easier to pick them out in the store.
“If you’re buying wine for $10-15 and it’s got expensive packaging, you’re probably putting more money into the packaging than the grapes. If you spend $100, then there’s a fair chance that the winemaker just spent a ton of money on the fruit, AND a ton of money on the packaging,” he says.
3. Regional acclaim
When buying wine from a famous region, you’re paying for the region’s brand just as you’re paying for the bottle.
“If a region is really world-famous, then it’s probably spent a lot of money achieving that world fame,” O’Connell says. “Then everything gets more expensive as a result of that marketing expense.”
Not that those regions don’t deserve their reputation. But O’Connell believes that it’s hard to extricate the costs of the marketing from the costs of actual wine production.
As a work around, O’Connell suggests finding a region nearby that makes a similar style of wine. You may end up paying a quarter of the price you’d find for a celebrity region.
For beginners, find some local wine stores. Talk one-on-one to winemakers who can open up some bottles and let you taste their wines. Once you familiarize yourself with the different regions and their tastes and prices, you’ll be able to better understand what you’re getting with your money.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/3-ways-that-winemakers-overcharge-2014-6#ixzz36lehdBe0
Alexa, Thank you for your TripAdvisor review!
“Lynsey’s Hen Do” by Alexa_waugh
5 of 5 stars. Reviewed May 21, 2014 NEW
I booked this wine tour for my sister’s Hen Party and I cannot recommend it enough. We arrived to a beautiful welcome, followed by a brilliant tour of the vine yard and the winery. It was very informative and Joe was excellent with the group of women asking lots of questions… and drinking quicker than he could fill the glasses! After sitting outside with a glass of wine, we went in for lunch and the food was incredible. the wine was free flowing and the dining experience was relaxed. Joe and Liz joined us for drinks and we couldn’t have had a better time. the only disappointment was having to leave the few bottles of wine we purchased because we couldn’t carry them in hand luggage. I cannot express how highly i recommend the tour. If you are looking for info on wine, to drink lots of wine, to see the workings of a small business, taste amazing food and drink more wine… then i throughly recommend you book this tour. Plus you can stay there too so no excuse for having to drive!
Restful Ambience at O’Vineyards
A beautiful sunrise! The almond trees in bloom! Joe and I were happy to welcome Kristen & Russ Moorhead znd their colleagues and friends!
Prestigious Sommeliers International September 2013 issue Review:
O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2007:
“Serve it at 16°C.
color: Black hue, purple
Nose: rich, very aromatic, dense, spices, blacberry, violet, peony, garigue, white pepper, cinnamon
Palate: pure straight at first taste. Very good amplenes, Spices, freshness and density in the finish
Match with food: grilled wild boar, Prime rib, marrow bone
O’Vineyards main activity is making and selling wine. In a region where wine can be found in abundance, we are fortunate to be able to attract a high number of adventurous epicurean world travelers because of the good wine we serve generously to accommodate the fine food we provide.
Nothing is irrelevant to a wine enthusiast who likes to tour a winery/vineyard: the vines, the pruning, the harvesting, the winemaking process. We show our equipment and explain each step.
A thorough tour requires time and energy, and our international visitors evidently appreciate our efforts. And we thank them all. Cheers!
Liz’s Salmon Rillettes
At the request of our World Travelers Sabine Bessey and her husband Ebaheart, here is the receipe of Liz’s Salmon Rillettes:
Get from the fish market about 200g of fresh salmon
heat your oven at 200°
Few drop of lemon, salt and pepper, roll your salmon inside of an aluminium sheet
cook in the oven for 10 minutes
Cool the salmon in the refrigerator
smash it with a fork
put in the ginger and garlic sauce
back in the refrigerator until the serving time
prepare the ginger-garlic sauce:
3 table spoon of mustard
about 20g of garlic. 20g of ginger
mix with about 3 table spoon of olive oil
put the sauce to the refrigerator.
Before serving, mix the salmon and the sauce.
Burbot in butter sauce
I like the small fresh burbots! Have to wake up early to get those at the fish market!
Very fast and easy receipe! Saute the fishes in a small amount of butter. add the garlic and parsley. When the garlic is golden, add some more butter, add the chopped parsley. Cook only one minute. Serve immediately!
I like to serve dishes, French or fusion, that our World Visitors can discover and appreciate. Travelers from Japan love sea food but I knew enough not to feed them shrimp tempura. I treated them to a Liz’s bouillabaisse.
Here is the receipe:
As for all my ingredients, the fish need to be very fresh! Then add onions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, salt and pepper.
I use the carrots for the color and the potatoes to thicken the broth and give it more of a “bisk” look and taste.
Sauté the fish before in a little amount of colza oil.
Sauté oinions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes.
Put all ingredients together in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the bones, keeping only the meat of the fish.
blend fish and vegetables with some fresh dill. Serve hot. You can add on top a grilled toast covered with ementhal or gruyère cheese. or a grilled garlic toast!
At O’Vineyards our visitors from around the World are fascinating and unique!
The power of word of mouth: halfway around the World, in a Brisbane beauty salon, Jacinta was recommended to visit us by someone she just met, Barbara who was with us in January for her honeymoon!
Adorable truth from Babe’s mouth: Piper 13, traveling with her parents from the US, told us she will be back when she will be 21!
“A unique and lovely experience”
Reviewed April 22, 2013. by Jacinta McMahon. Melbourne, Australia
TripAdvisor. Senior Reviewer
This photo of O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast – Carcassonne is courtesy of TripAdvisor
We recently stayed at this gorgeous setting whilst travelling through southern France. We deliberately looked for a bed and breakfast away from the hustle-bustle of the city, Carcassonne, but close enough to allow us to visit, see the sights and then return to some peace and serenity. O’Vineyards certainly provided us with that!
On arrival we were greeted by both Joe and Liz, and of course, Muse. Located at the end of a quiet road the house is literally surrounded by vineyards in every direction. We sat for a while, sipping on a lovely glass of their wine, chatting about the area, our travels and plans. Liz and Joe are both so friendly and interesting, without being too familiar or intrusive.
One point I must mention is the effort Liz went to in getting us connected to the internet- for some reason we were having trouble with the wifi and our macbook and iPad. Liz did not give up until we were connected, even contacting the internet provider and working through things systematically to ensure we had access. Also whilst we were staying with Liz and Joe we needed to do some printing, scanning and faxing- again, Liz went out of her way yo help us with this, and charged no extra for her time and efforts.
Following some ‘down time’ we met Joe and Muse out in the vineyard to learn more about the wines they produce. It was so informative and interesting and included many tastings and some very funny discussions. There was no wine snobbery here! Just genuine interest in sharing his knowledge and expertise. More tastings followed!
Then came dinner- what a gastronomical delight! It was so enjoyable to sit and feast upon such a beautiful meal. Liz is certainly a very talented chef and it was delightful sharing the table with Joe and Liz and sharing our stories. Conversation flowed so easily and the night flew by, with Joe promising us that we would not have a headache the following morning!
Breakfast was enjoyed out on the deck, overlooking the vineyards, with Muse sitting at our feet.
The whole experience at O’vineyards is first-class. So lovely to share some time with genuine people, in a beautiful setting, with great food and great wine. And no headache the next day!
Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful and overlook the vineyards
This is for you, our International Visitors who appreciate the Foods served and Wines that accomodate them! Good foods start with very good ingredients! Receipes posting soon!
This photo of Domaine O’Vineyards is courtesy of TripAdvisor
This is an official map of the Carcassone Region
The purple colored area designated the Carcassonne Metropolitan area, including Villemoustaussou which is desserved by the Carcassonne public transportation.
O’Vineyards is located in Villemoustaussou, at just 10 minutes from the Carcassone airport, Carcassonne train station and the Carcassonne Medieval Castle.
Carcassonne Metropolitan area