The current wine market offers not only a diversity of wine types and flavors, but pricing for a single bottle of wine also varies greatly. Many consumers can’t afford to buy fine vintage Champagne, so getting a bottle of cheap wine for $10 appears like an excellent consideration. But is it worth paying more for delicate wines? How does the cost affect the taste properties of the alcoholic drink? Check out the article to determine the difference between cheap and expensive wine.
Cheap wine vs. expensive wine
1. Location of producing
There is a common belief that great wine is made primarily in the vineyard. Thus, the vineyard’s location appears like the primary factor that affects the final price of a bottle of wine. This factor includes the actual landscape and the site for grape growth determined legally. You might be surprised that a hectare of vines in the Champagne area can cost around a million euros. Some wine grapes grown in various famous vineyards in Burgundy and Champagne are worth stunning amounts of money. As a result, the price for wines produced from such grapes is pretty high.
2. Adding of sugar
Another distinctive feature of cheap vs. expensive wine relates to added sugar during production. Top wines feature a balance in alcohol, sugar, tannin, and acidity content. But multiple winemakers still add residual sugar to wine in order to make it sweeter and thereby more affordable. It prevents natural grape sugars from converting into alcohol. On the other hand, producers of expensive wine won’t add any sweetener to wine to enhance its taste. High-quality grapes play a crucial role here.
3. Barrels for the fermentation process
The material of barrels and tanks used for fermentation and aging wine process also affects determining the final cost for a wine bottle. Most of the world’s most expensive wines are aged inside the oak barrels. A standard new French barrel can cost up to $860, while it can hold around 300 bottles of wine. Putting wine in the oak barrel also adds delicate oak flavors, such as nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar. However, producers of more affordable wines prefer steel and concrete tanks for wine fermentation. It makes the final cost of wine cheaper than wines aged in oak barrels. Anyway, steel and concrete alternatives are gaining more and more popularity these days.
4. Time of aging
A majority of expensive wines involve complex grapes and aging in barrels for decades. The universal rule sounds like the more wine is aged, the higher the price. Don’t forget to add the cost of storing and monitoring the barrels with wine throughout the years. Nevertheless, time can genuinely make some wine types taste better. The aging process tends to decrease tannin and acidity content in the wine and change the fruit flavors.