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Convert money to happiness by occasionally spending it on expensive wine
Old 10-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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Convert money to happiness by occasionally spending it on expensive wine

How money can buy happiness, wine edition | Felix Salmon

Sounds like a plan to me!

Ha
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:02 PM   #2
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And if I can buy happiness with a common bottle of wine around $10, would that not be even better?

Actually, a long time ago, I found that an expensive bottle of Cognac*($100-$150) was even a better buy. It lasts me a lot longer than a bottle of wine, and good for so many sipping sessions in front of the fire place, listening to music, watching the snow fall.

* Feel free to substitute your favorite poison here. And when it comes to Cognac, my wife bought me these expensive bottles. When I buy them myself, a $50-60 bottle gets me just as happy. Yes, money can buy happiness, but the frugal ones never stop considering cost/benefit ratios. They can then buy happiness in higher volumes.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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I can easily drop $40-$50 a bottle at a restaurant but I always end up with the good enough $10 wine at the store. I love wine so I should probably splurge once in a while. You can get a lot better for $20-$30 at the wine store than you can for $50 at a restaurant.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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You can get a lot better for $20-$30 at the wine store than you can for $50 at a restaurant.
Of course, but how do I sneak my own bottle to my favorite restaurant?

When I dine out, which is not a weekly event, I do not mind spending money to enjoy a good dinner with company.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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When I dine out, which is not a weekly event, I do not mind spending money to enjoy a good dinner with company.
I agree. But I have a hard time translating that to wine purchases for home consumption where I could get more bang for the buck and frequently entertain guests. I will buy good meat or fish, and spend a lot of time preparing the meal but I usually end up serving pedestrian wines.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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Talk about pedestrian wines, I do not think my palate knows the difference with more expensive wines (this after a couple of experiments). And by expensive, I mean bottles of $30-50, not one of those stratospheric prices.

However, I could tell the difference between different grades of Cognac. Even that ability is degrading with time though, and if I cannot tell the difference, I will not pay for the difference.

And these are the things that lead me to believe my expenditures will follow Bernicke's schedule. I will be drinking moonshine before too long now.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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I live in wine country and it is a pleasure to visit local wineries and taste and choose the wines that appeal to me. When I find something I really like, I buy it, invite friends over, and cook a special meal to enjoy together. I rarely spend more than $30.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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Never been a wine drinker. In the past year, I learned - via an Italian restaurant - that I have developed a wine allergy, so I have to be careful about the foods I order. At least, if one must develop an allergy, it's good to develop it towards something one never consumes lol. My last bottle of wine was Boones Farm Apple Wine on my 18th birthday. Got toasted. Probably why I never liked wine after that *grin*
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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Never been a wine drinker. In the past year, I learned - via an Italian restaurant - that I have developed a wine allergy, so I have to be careful about the foods I order. At least, if one must develop an allergy, it's good to develop it towards something one never consumes lol. My last bottle of wine was Boones Farm Apple Wine on my 18th birthday. Got toasted. Probably why I never liked wine after that *grin*
I am intrigued. What were the symptoms of the wine allergy? Is there any chance it might have been a chemical reaction to sulfites?
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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I agree. But I have a hard time translating that to wine purchases for home consumption where I could get more bang for the buck and frequently entertain guests. I will buy good meat or fish, and spend a lot of time preparing the meal but I usually end up serving pedestrian wines.
Me too. I think it is Puritanism. Meat and fish = food. Wine equals alcohol, which of course we probably wouldn't be drinking if we were good people.

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Old 10-29-2013, 07:47 PM   #11
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I know I could train my palette to distinguish very fine wine, and once I do, I would be disappointed with the less expensive stuff. However, I've resisted doing that all these years because the more ignorant I am about wine, the better the cheap stuff tastes.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:55 PM   #12
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I know I could train my palette to distinguish very fine wine, and once I do, I would be disappointed with the less expensive stuff. However, I've resisted doing that all these years because the more ignorant I am about wine, the better the cheap stuff tastes.
I don't think there is a direct correlation between price and quality. Sometimes a high price is due to branding. The best wines are usually produced in smaller quantities and are snapped up by select vintners or locals. What reaches the liquor store or supermarket shelves is usually not great wine.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:02 PM   #13
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I don't think there is a direct correlation between price and quality. Sometimes a high price is due to branding. The best wines are usually produced in smaller quantities and are snapped up by select vintners or locals. What reaches the liquor store or supermarket shelves is usually not great wine.
Interesting! So how do I find the good stuff without overpaying?
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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At a party, I met a woman who said she worked at a winery in Washington state. She said that they once had a wine that did not sell well when priced at what they thought was a fair price below $10. When they repriced it to more than $10, it sold well.

Apparently, many people do not want to buy "cheap wine" and are willing to pay more to get a "better wine".
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:12 PM   #15
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Interesting! So how do I find the good stuff without overpaying?
Taste it first. Only buy what you like.

If live near a wine producing region, this is easy. If you are visiting a winery and find something you like, see if you can join their wine club and have it delivered by the case to your door. Legislation may vary in your jurisdiction.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #16
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By expensive I assume you mean the $9 / bottle wine rather than the $3 wine at Trader Joes!
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:09 PM   #17
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Eh, do not sneer at Two Buck Chuck! I have posted this before, but this is a chance to repeat it.

From Wikipedia:

The Charles Shaw label is owned by the Bronco Wine Company, headed by Fred Franzia, formerly of Franzia Brothers wines...

At the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition, Shaw's 2002 Shiraz received the double gold medal, besting the roughly 2,300 other wines in the competition.

Shaw's 2005 California Chardonnay was judged Best Chardonnay from California at the Commercial Wine Competition of the 2007 California Exposition and State Fair. The chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of "Best of California" and "Best of Class".


Obviously, in a blind taste, wine experts and judges could not tell the difference. Or if they did, they liked the cheaper wine better. Do we really all have peasant's taste? Obviously, most people do not have the innate royalty palate.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #18
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When I was a working stiff, and living in the Bay Area, I became a wine snob. It didn't help that one of my close colleagues dad, was a agricultural professor at UC Davis and wrote of the early books on the wine making. Nor that I constantly was taking wine trips to Napa.

After retiring I discovered that being a wine snob was much too expensive to do while living in a Hawaii. While I can still taste the difference between $2 buck chuck and the good stuff, my palate has devolved :-(. But it did help my wallet. (BTW, the quality of $2 Chuck varies widely and was better early on according to what I've been told).

Interestingly enough at an Intel reunion I went to this month, all of the wine we drank was made by Intel alumni who became owners /part owners of wineries after retiring. The easiest way to make a million in the wine business is to start with $20 million.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #19
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At a party, I met a woman who said she worked at a winery in Washington state. She said that they once had a wine that did not sell well when priced at what they thought was a fair price below $10. When they repriced it to more than $10, it sold well.

Apparently, many people do not want to buy "cheap wine" and are willing to pay more to get a "better wine".
I enjoy a nice wine, but I'm not all that knowledgeable - so I have to confess that I'm often driven by the idea that a $12 bottle will be better than a $7 bottle. Without further information, what can you do but go by price as a guide (and country origin if you know a bit - a good quality Chilean Red will likely be cheaper than a similar quality California Red)? And there are so many wines on the shelf, I tend not to remember which ones we liked or not.

It's easier for me with beer. On one hand, my palette is more developed through home brewing and tastings with the home-brew club. And 'cheap' beer is usually all the same old light lager style with no real character. So while I'm not 100% sure I could tell a Merlot from a Pinot Noir in a blind test, I am certain I could tell a Pauliner Octoberfest (on sale at Costco now, and a fantastic example of the style) from a Revolution Anti-Hero (hoppy IPA), from a Bud light.

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Old 10-29-2013, 09:29 PM   #20
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When I was a working stiff, and living in the Bay Area, I became a wine snob. ...
Maybe you could help, or another poster - but years ago, I recall being served a Zinfandel that was described as 'spicy', and I thought that description fit, and I loved that wine (of course I do not recall the label).

Lately, I don't seem to find Zins that I would call 'spicy' - -at least not to that level. A friend of mine claims they have mostly been 'dumbed down', and you have to pay some big bucks and ask around to find a truly spicy Zin.

Any truth to that? I suppose I should ask when I'm at a good wine store, I always forget.

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