The bar and restaurant industry was hit hard after 9/11 and fully expects the same during this economic period. Spending is already down, but people are still going out. All indications point to a continuation of this, with guests spending less per person. Instead of buying that $200-300 bottle, your bigger spenders will opt for the $100 options. In the wine and liquor shops, consumers will also cut down. Expect guests to search for better values and purchase many wines for $15 or under.
Now how does one go about enjoying tasty beverages while still curbing expenditures?
- Experts. Seek them out in magazines, websites, and local wine shoppes- they will be most accessible and apt at steering you in the right direction.
- Drive or walk. Eliminate shipping costs and club memberships. These extra costs could be taking a few bottles out of your inventory!
- Alternatives. You like Champagne? Buy sparkling wines. Like microbrews? Spend less on larger production beers. Try wines from less expensive areas like South America, Italy, and Spain. Also remember every country (even France) produces inexpensive quality wines. My wife and I enjoyed E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge for $10.99 tonight- Yum.
- Sales. Many shoppes and wine outlets always have sales. Try to catch them on the days they offer the best bang for your buck. My entire reserve cellar is comprised of "finds" from these sales. In most cases I was purchasing wines from 40-50% off!
- Research. Make use of your technical resources and see what others are saying about certain wines. I see it all the time- wines from the same regions over and underpriced. Many inexpensive good wines can be rated the same and cost half as much as better known/marketed ones.
Just remember that economic problems are cyclical and hope for the best. As long as we are able to adapt and adjust we can still enjoy most from the life we have grown accustomed to. So crack open a beer or pop a cork, and toast to the future!
(Image courtesy of flickr)