The issue of Burgundy wine prices is very difficult, and being in Burgundy does not make it any easier. We all know this is an expensive passion, and in the end, there are numerous factors that lead to the price we ultimately see as consumers.
The price from the domaine
Domaine prices have increased – in some cases quite a lot – as demand has exploded over the past decade or so. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with this. There is great demand for the best wines, and the vignerons that make them should reap the reward: It’s as simple as that.
The flip side of that coin is that many producers make boring or even bad wine, and nonetheless think they have the right to charge the big euros. They don’t! Eventually they will learn that people paying 100€ or more for a bottle have a sense of quality, and their sub-par wines will be excluded more and more from restaurants and the market as a whole.
Restaurateurs in Burgundy
Some restaurateurs in Burgundy apparently think they should share the best producers’ good fortune, and they have increased wine prices in their restaurants significantly, doubling them in a few years.
I will say this just once: You don’t make the wines, and we know the prices from the domaine. Excessive mark-ups on non-hyped producers are both in bad taste and will, in the end, prove bad for your business.
I drink wine for pleasure in restaurants, and there is a limit to what I can and will pay. If restaurateurs feel an urgent need to increase their profit on wine, then they are barking up the wrong tree with me.
Yes, I will eventually change my behavior, and yes, if you bark too loud I will fall from the tree and you will see me (and my credit card) no more! So don’t take me for a fool, monsieur! And don’t stand under your tree!!
I have eaten in many different countries, and let me tell you a secret: There are surprisingly few high quality restaurants in Burgundy these days, and sadly, many are focused on revenue rather than quality. The food is often expensive, sloppy, boring, or even flawed, made from substandard products by laisser faire sous-chefs!
Believe me, I can drink beer, cider, or water with my food and drink the good wines at home. I can even upgrade my cooking skills!
It will be a sad day in Burgundy if local wine is no longer widely present in its culinary life. But this will be the case if normal people can’t afford even simple Burgundy wines.
I can buy a Cinsault – even a South African Cinsault – for my Boeuf Bourguignon. It would work, but it would make me sad.
Restaurants with excessive wine prices will be removed from the Winehog Recommended Restaurants with a special mention.