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Are the French Just Greedy?

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  • Publish Date: Jul 1, 2010

Are the French Just Greedy?
Bordeaux's top 2009 wines cost $1,000 a piece.

Imagine you visit a car dealer one day and the price is $20,000. You go back the next day, and the price is $60,000. You'd be pretty miffed, right? Now imagine if the can of Coke you buy for $1 from a vending machine, which costs 5 cents to make, were sold to you for $50.

Many Bordeaux wineries are pricing their 2009 bottles along the same lines. Among the chateaus that U.K. magazine Decanter is tracking, the average price increase on a bottle of wine from 2008 to the critically acclaimed 2009 is about 100%. The award for most egregious increase goes to Mission Haut Brion, with a 391% leap!

One could argue that all's fair in games of supply and demand. After all, some crazed fans probably paid $100 or more to be first to see Eclipse, right? But with wines, whether you're talking about Chateau Margaux or Uncle Ed's Cuvee, a bottle usually only costs about $10 to make. When you consider that some 2009 Bordeaux wines already cost $1,000 per bottle, is a $990 mark-up fair?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Check out for more coverage, and click here to tell us what you think of Bordeaux's pricing practices.

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Jul 1, 2010
I'm all for free market pricing, so my hat's off to them if they can pull it off. The increase seems pretty extreme though. In some ways it hurts the region for more affordable wines, where people may assume that all French wines have been inflated that same way.

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