Club Write-ups

New World Red
December 2022

Tim's Wine Market

One of my soft rules for club selections is that the wines must come from a brick and mortar winery. I use the term “soft rule” because in years past I would occasionally select a wine from a “virtual” winery, one that is not brick and mortar, if it was a particularly good value or fit a theme. The problem is that virtual wineries rarely have a story to tell, which as you know by now is the DNA of TWM. Unfortunately the pricing structure of domestic wines is going up so fast that few wineries in the US produce wine that fits within the budget of selections mandated by this club. The price increases taken over the past three years by domestic producers are a combination of macro market forces, the skyrocketing cost of making wine and consolidation at the winery level.

While the west coast drought is a problem for producers, those in the lower price ranges, sub-$20 per bottle, have also had to deal with the high cost of inputs as well. Farming costs have more than tripled in the past ten years due to a labor shortage, the high cost of fuel, fertilizer and other chemicals. At the winery inflation has had a huge impact on the cost of barrels, bottles, corks, capsules, labels and cardboard boxes for shipping. While it is possible to absorb these price increases for wines that cost $100+ per bottle, they are a significant increase for wineries charging less than $30 a bottle. Some wineries have told me their cost of packaging is more than the cost of wine if the value is under $15.

All this means that to support family wineries we have to lift our budget to meet the price range where they can survive. This month both features are virtual wines, good quality and value, but as you will see, not much story. Enjoy them and I look forward to bringing you some amazing new wines in 2023.

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2020 Alexis Soyer Black Gold

2019 Missing Spoke Cabernet Sauvignon

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