There’s a reason Paul and I started the Wine Thief. We liked wine, but our budget, not so much. When we started our pipe dream, seven years previous to actually opening, our options were limited. There were a few specialty wine stores around, but they weren’t too welcoming once we sheepishly threw out “oh-about-ten-dollars” as our hopeful price point. There were also big liquor stores, where $5 bottles reigned. But there we couldn’t seem to find any help, and stumbling on a gem of a bottle seemed a rarity. We wrote wine notes that differed from what the experts said in a composition notebook. Chocolate? Really? All we tasted was something reminiscent of sand and maybe, just maybe, leftover spaghetti. We talked about the kind of store we would open. Small. Friendly. Tested wines that we thought were solid and that we could talk about. Oh! And all the wines would be under $10.

Thirteen  years later, here we are. We discovered that having a store with all wines under $10 a bottle was difficult, but under $20? Easy. There are so many great wines out there, and even now, with the store and so many wine options, we rarely buy a bottle over twenty bucks. Because most of the time, there’s really no need to (unless you’re trying to impress or your gift is going to someone who cares about such things but that’s another post).

So I was actually really pleased to be forwarded the following podcast of Freakonomics, and if you have twenty-or-so-minutes, I recommend a listen. It’s about how the cost of wine—more than flavor—seems to drive how good we think a bottle is. So I kinda misled you with the title of this post: you don’t need to hone your budget palate. Stand proud and—dare I say—flaunt it!

Freakonomics podcast: “Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?”

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