Eric Asimov is right: there's plenty of great wine that's still affordable

Really like Eric Asimov’s recent piece in The New York Times. He argues that while many fine wines are now out of the reach of ordinary wine lovers, there’s still plenty of great wine out there that you and I can afford.

It’s easy to look at the prices of top Bordeaux and the best Burgundies and feel a sense of sadness that we’ll never again be able to afford to buy them. It’s also a little upsetting to see price rises on wines we’ve had a nice relationship with, taking them into the special purchase only category. Take Cote Rotie, for example. I used to buy these wines quite regularly when they were in the £20-30 range; now they’re £40+ it makes me think twice.

But overall, would we put the wine clock back 20 years? I don’t think so. All things considered, there has never been a better time to be a wine lover than now. There are far more interesting wines being made now than there were 20 years ago. Look at the progress made by New Zealand Pinot Noir and Syrah. Look at the revolution in Portugal over this period. Look at the interesting new wines emerging from South Africa. Look at the progress of the natural wine movement. Australian fine wine has never been better.

As long as you can live without top Bordeaux and the sexiest producers from Burgundy, and are prepared to try something new, then, in Eric’s words:  ’We live in the greatest time ever to be wine lovers, with access to more high-quality wine in more different styles from a greater diversity of places than ever before.’

4 comments to Eric Asimov is right: there’s plenty of great wine that’s still affordable

  • Well of course we CAN live without “top Bordeaux and the sexiest producers from Burgundy”.

    But we’d rather live WITH them…

  • Richard

    For a newcomer (less than 5 years) to the fine wine world there is no question we can live with out the top of Bordeaux and Burgundy – quite simply we have no choice.

    Having never tried a Margaux or a DRC I can’t begin to imagine what I am missing…..or if I’m missing that much. The quality of wine coming from Portugal presently seems to be the best place to go hunting for great “value” wines. And as you say, the Australian fine wine scene is offering soo much at the moment.

    Over the next 5-10yrs you will see more and more people coming through like me who have no interest in the top marques because they have never tasted them and are seen only as part of an investment portfolio and so high in price that they are unattainable.

  • Steve

    Aw, no, we don’t want the septics to know about Assyritiko or dry Furmint, or the rest of the world won’t be able to afford them, just like happened with Chateauneuf. It’s bad enough that most premier cru claret is now used as bribes in Chinese building deals rather than being drunk by me.

  • I’m with Richard on this one and having recently spent some time in Bordeaux sampling some very good local wines at very modest prices, am more than happy to live without the topest of the top – Fantastic to enjoy something really great on occassion but with the wealth of very good wines available from Portugal,Chile and Oz we are hardly “scraping by” for quality

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