Food & Drink

This Infographic Shows Why Some Wines Are so Expensive

Courtesy of VinePair

When it comes to wine, we tend to follow certain guidelines: $15 dollars or less, especially if we're buying more than one bottle. We usually shy away from anything priced at $30 or above, we rely heavily on Two-Buck Chuck, and, whether it's accurate or not, we stick to the belief that no one can taste the difference anyway. But have you ever wondered what's actually behind that higher price tag?

Well, VinePair has the answer for you, with this handy chart that breaks down what goes into a $30 bottle of wine, from the cost of the glass bottle to the actual wine production. VinePair, which did its research at Forlorn Hope Wines in Napa, California, found that the consumer cost generally follows the standard retail markup of 45%, and that the biggest cost in the production of a bottle of wine is the cut that goes to the distributors and retailers.

Wines from boutique wineries cost more than those from large-scale retailers like Costco because of the huge difference in production volumes. Big retailers buy wine buy the truckload, and tend to not feature wine from boutique wineries, as they're produced by the case. In short, mass-produced wines are easier to make and sell than wines from small producers -- so that more expensive bottle isn't necessarily a rip-off, but rather a necessity for the boutique winemaker to make any sort of profit on their product. 

Scroll down to check out the full graphic, and decide for yourself whether the extra $15 is worth it.

Courtesy of VinePair

Lucy Meilus is a staff writer for Thrillist. She hopes to one day live in a world where all wines are created equal. Follow her on Twitter at @Lucymeilus and send news tips to