Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

The recession and fine wines

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 12:24 pm in Corkheads.

Not sure how I missed this story about wine investments in the Wall Street Journal, but it’s just as poignant as it was back in October.

For those of us who don’t have $120,000 to spend on age-worthy Champagne, I think it’s interesting to note that wine isn’t necessarily the full-proof investment this article makes it out to be.

Sure, you can buy up a stellar vintage, like 1996, but what about cork taint? Theft? Natural disaster? Short of storing and insuring your wine with a professional cellaring operation, like Subterraneum, who’s to say what can happen to it?

Sorry to be so glum. On the bright side, I’m starting some reporting on a recession-issue I’m sure many are pondering. What the economy is doing to high-end boutique producers.  Will those cult Napa  Cabernets come down to earth? Are vintners halting or reducing production?

If you’re privy to such experiences, feel free to share. The story’s running in Food & Wine on Feb. 25.

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  • Bobby Fitzgerald

    In the face of this recession we have actually added a reserve wine list to a “Upscale Casual” restaurant. In Scottsdale, AZ we have added the following Cabernets at “affordable-luxury” restaurant prices:
    2005 Rockaway $110
    2001 La Jota 20th anniversary $120

    We are seeing a trade down from the high-end steakhouses to our brand and introduced this offering to retain this customer.

    I lived in Napa in 1994 when I opened The Rutherford Grill and visit every year. Thanks for keeping me in touch in between…

  • morewines

    According to the 2008 Crush Report yield was down a bit. You can get a link to that report on my blog. I work in the wine industry in the Livermore Valley. While January is usually slow, I do not see less people this year than any other year. However, they are not buying a half case or a case they are buying maybe two or three bottles. Livermore Valley has a tendency to have good wine without the big price tag.