How Does the Wine Distribution System Work?

The three-tier distribution system (Maker – Distributor – Retailer) goes back to the repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933.  The states were put in charge of the laws around distribution of alcohol, but the states and the federal governmentwere mostly concerned about collecting taxes.  Most states have outlawed the ownership of the entire chain of distribution to make sure there are clear demarcation points where they can collect, except in some special cases like brewpubs. Continue reading “How Does the Wine Distribution System Work?”

What is the Difference between a $10 and $100 Bottle of Wine?

If you answered $90, you are only partially right.  You can spend a widely varying amount on a bottle of wine, from a bottle of Barefoot wine at under $5.00 to a bottle of  of Chateau Petrus at nearly $5,000.  They are both wine, made from grapes, so what causes this difference?  And what goes into the costs?  It turns out it starts from the very ground the grapes are grown on and goes from there. Continue reading “What is the Difference between a $10 and $100 Bottle of Wine?”

What Sets the Alcohol Content of Your Wine?

Making wine starts with grapes and most importantly, ripe grapes. The secret of the grower is to bring the grapes to their ultimate peak of ripeness, given their local weather and geography.  The trick is to pick them as ripe as possible before colder weather or storms that can ruin a harvest arrive. This means the grapes have the most sugar possible and that’s what the winemaker needs to produce a great wine. Continue reading “What Sets the Alcohol Content of Your Wine?”