Masi wine sticker shock
I have been preparing myself for import wine sticker shock. Like every other American, I have watched as the dollar has dropped and dropped. I have read how food prices surged more than 20% last year. So I knew eventually it would happen to my favorite wines – and it has.
(Update on June 9, 2008: Masi prices are coming back down!)
Usually, the price jump came with the release of the new vintage. Somehow this made things a little easier. The last several vintages from Europe have been good, so I could take solace in the fact that the newer wine was good – maybe even great – and therefore should cost more.
But all good rationalizations must come to an end. This Friday I went to my favorite wine store to pick-up some Italian wine for a WineEnabler.com birthday party. About a month ago, we had tasted several wines from Masi, and we found them to be really good. Since we were having Italian food, I thought the wines from Masi would be a great fit. I was in a hurry, so I went straight to the Italian wines and started grabbing bottles of wine.
Just as I filled the first case, I took a look at the price on the bottle. It was 25% higher than it had been one week ago! I assumed the bottle was incorrectly priced, so I brought it to the attention of the staff. The clerk said “Oh, I am sure that is incorrect” and went to check the computer. She returned a minute or two later looking a little bewildered. “That is the correct price,” she said. “All the Masi wines have gone up 25%.”
I know that the dollar sucks, but what are the Masi people thinking? This is the exact same bottling that they were selling for 25% less about a week ago. By increasing the price in one step, they have forced wine buyers to ask if the wine was really 25% underpriced before. Increasing the price gradually would have at least allowed the current buyers some time to get used to the new price. Previously Masi Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese 2005 had been one of my house red wines at $12.25 per bottle. At the new price of $16.25, there are other offerings that are simply better.
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