Dan Berger and Barry Herbst are with Steve Jaxon today on California Wine Country. Steve Jaxon begins by asking Dan Berger about the Wine Glut, the overabundance of wine on the market right now. Dan tells about how wine is like many other agricultural products, there are cycles of scarcity and abundance. In 2009, wine was scarce and prices were high. This year, prices are falling pretty much across the board. Even Trader Joe’s has lowered the price of its Charles Shaw “Two-buck Chuck” back to $1.99 after having moved it up to $2.49 for several years.
Steve takes the chance to ask wine expert Dan Berger his opinion of Two Buck Chuck. The answer, is you can’t expect it to be the same wine all the time, but there is so much Cabernet Sauvignon that they sometimes do get some good values. Dan describes how Bottle Barn operates in this environment, where they focus on delivering the best value to retail buyers with their selection and prices.
Brands that were selling for $30 per bottle are selling for $12.99 today, such as a Pinot Noir that he just opened. The problem is that the supermarkets are usually not as savvy about stocking wine but if you have a smart wine buyer at a supermarket, they can have a very good stock with some great deals.
There is also a lot of consolidation happening in the wine industry now. Constellation just sold 30 brands to Gallo. Gallo is a 70 million case company and they just added another 10 million or more.
Bottle Barn is still selling a lot of SF Chronicle Competition award winners. The 2019 Rosés are about to come in. They do tastings in-store Fridays and Saturdays.
They have a bottle of Enkidu Zinfandel wine that they all enjoy. Dan and Barry agree that red wine blends are dropping in price and many more producers are adding them to their portfolios, since they give great flexibility to create products. Dan notes that between 12% to 15% of the fruit that was grown last year was not made into wine, there was so much. Barry Herbst has noticed that some producers are discounting upon release. This is a good time to be a retail wine buyer, as Dan Berger reminds us that these are excellent wines that simply can’t sell at their previously expected prices.