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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for July 2000



WineDay B.C. (Buyer's Cap)



How much to pay for Chardonnay?

Use the WineDay B.C.


The Rest of the Story

A wine rated in the 70s is of ordinary quality, but usually inexpensive. A wine rated, say 89, is very good, but almost always much more expensive. Is it worth the additional expense to get the additional quality? Our Buyer's Cap will give you the answer. Let's apply it to...


California Chardonnays

We'll start with a $7 bottle, rated 79. To step up to a rating of 80 will cost you an additional $2.20, on the average. It costs another $2.40 to buy an 81. Here are all the costs up to an 89 rating.

Rating Price of the Wine Cost to Go Up One Point
79 $ 7.00 $2.20
80 $ 9.20 $2.40 (80 is a tad above average.)
81 $11.60 $2.90
82 $14.50 $3.00
83 $17.50 $3.10
84 $20.60 $3.30
85 $23.90 $3.60 (85 is are worthy of real respect.)
86 $27.50 $4.00
87 $31.50 $4.30
88 $35.80 $4.80
89 $40.60 --- (89 is a very good wine.)

Using the Buyer's Cap

Ah hah. with the lesser Chardonnays, I can step up a point for a little over two dollars. But, to step up a rating point with the classier bottles, it'll cost over $4. Ouch! Here's the way I use the cap.

What to buy on the way home? The two of us are having marinated catfish. An 81 rating will have to do. I ask my wine salesman for his best Chardonnay in the $11 to $12 range.

Next week we're having good friends for dinner. I want a better wine, about an 85. So I ask the shopkeeper for his best Chardonnay in the $23 to $24 range.



Here's an example of a wine I wouldn't hesitate to buy if I wanted a particular rating.

Rating The Wine
80     Farallon Chardonnay, North Coast
81     Roudon-Smith Chardonnay, Monterey
83     Clos du Bois Chardonnay, Alexander Valley
84     Charles Krug Reserve Chardonnay, Carneros
85     Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley
86     Steele Chardonnay, Lolonis Vnyd., Mendocino County
87     Guenoc Chardonnay, Genevive Magoon Vyd., Guenoc Valley
89     Ovation J. Phelps Chardonnay, Napa Valley



The relationship between rating and price for California Chardonnays is based on averaging the results of about 80 tasters' votes over a period of six months. That's a lot of wine glasses to wash!


This page created July 2000