The most gratifying occurrence for any wine drinker is to discover a great tasting wine for less than you’d expect to pay. I’m not talking about that wonderful little Barolo for $9.99 that was actually missing a 9. I’m talking about the wine you find yourself buying again and again because it tasted good yet was relatively inexpensive, so you felt like it was a good value for your money.
As a Sommelier I'm always getting requests to seek out the Holy Grail of all wines; a well-balanced, well-made Burgundy for $9.99 or less. I think that’s called a pipe dream. I did, however, find wines that I would consider a good value. The actuary in me demands a specific calculation to quantify, in precise terms, what constitutes a “good value”. I’ve devised an equation which takes into consideration the price and quality of the selection, then minimally adjusts for numerical accolades and the dust-on-the-bottle.
An example of an OK value would be because, although the wine is considered superb, you’re paying a high price for that prestige. I would consider Gazela Vinho Verde for $4.99 a good value because the quality of the wine is moderate even though the price is low. William Fevre Chablis is a great value since the quality is proportionately higher than the price. Lastly, Daou Cabernet Sauvignon for $25 would be an outstanding value because at $25 you get high quality wine.
At any price, the best wine is the wine that makes you happy.
Annette Solomon, CS