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
Three free bottles of Ryan O’Connell’s “KidCab”
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The 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade
O’Vineyards O’SYRAH 2006 was blessed at the Blessing of the wine during the Prosper Montagné Association’s 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade!
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
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!
A Happy Winemaker’s Table
We are lucky that our International visitors seemed to share different months of the year!
Our customers word of mouth is our best advertising. Google search is also very important, keeping us busy… since Tripadvisor somehow moved us from the Carcassonne area to the whole Department of Aude.
People who have visited us know that O’Vineyards is in the Carcassonne Metropolitan area, only minutes from Carcassonne airport, Carcassonne train station and the Medieval City of Carcassonne!
Here is the lastest Tripadvisor review we got from Cindy and David Phillips who were sharing our Winemaker’s Table with Stan & Polly Jurczak from UK and Katsuhiko & Yuriko Toyoshima, Tsuyoshi & Mariko Kuwahara from Japan.
“All I can say is that I can’t wait to go back again!
Domaine O’Vineyards is a delightful vineyard about 8 km from Carcassonne. Hubby and I had a delightful two night stay with Liz and Joe earlier this week. We were spoiled from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. We enjoyed a fabulous wine tasting with Joe, from tanks, barrels and bottles. By the time we left I think we sampled nearly every wine they produced, and every one was just fantastic. We enjoyed two delicious meals cooked by Liz – I don’t even know how many courses there were, served with a generous amount of wine. Liz even took me into the kitchen to teach me a recipe or two!
Their dog, Muse, took us for a walk through the vineyard, through Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet vines. The vines were just starting to bud and I can’t wait to return in the summer to see the vines in full leaf and grape.
Would I return? I’m definitely returning! “
Reviewed 10 April 2013
London, England, United Kingdom
Tripadvisor Senior Reviewer
With Naked Wines & Gressingham Duck
As seen on Gressingham Duck
“This is your chance to win a romantic vineyard trip for two.
This prize includes three nights at Domaine O’Vineyards in Carcassonne
A romantic meal for two in the Hotel de la Cite’s Michelin-starred restaurant La Barbacane.
Two runners up will receive a case of wine from Naked Wines.”
Saint Vincent Celebration in Carcassonne
“We do good with very good,” was the motto of Prosper Montagne, master French chef and culinary writer, recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of French cuisine.
Club Prosper Montagne is unique. It brings together all areas of Food and Drink: butchers, bakers, chefs, chocolatiers, farmers, restaurateurs, caterers, winemakers,… all are committed to develop quality products.
The club radiates throughout France with presidents by region . Its scope of action never stops expanding. Internationally, delegations are also present in Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Alphonse Caravaca, President of Prosper Montagné Carcassonne put together a great event, celebrating the Patron Saint of Grape growers & Winemakers with a delicious private 350 sold out Lunch.
On Saturday January 19th, festivities will start at 11:00 with Deputy Mayor of Carcassonne leading the parade. Participants will be guided through the streets of the Bastide St Louis to the Church of St. Vincent where will be held the blessing of the wine!
Truffles supplied by Philippe Barriere will be the hi-light of the Celebration. Lunch will be served by a young and talented caterer.
The five winemakers representing the Region are:
Joe O’Connell, O’Vineyards,
Raymond Julien, Chateau Mirausse,
Jean Louis Poudou, Domaine de La Tour Boisée,
Domaine de l’Horte,
Alphonse called a meeting to verify the final preparation…we drank and ate as much as we talked!