Trading down in wine 2009 – did you do it? [poll]

Back in 2008, the prediction about 2009 was that wine consumers would opt for less expensive wine or stop drinking wine in favor of beer, vodka or shoju (actually, nobody said shoju).

So now that the book is closed on 2009, how did your wine buying and consuming change, if at all? Did you deplete your existing stock? Only buy wines on closeout? More dining at home? Hittin’ the Carlo Rossi?

Have your say in the poll and comments.

How did your wine consumption change in 2009?

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17 Responses to “Trading down in wine 2009 – did you do it? [poll]”

  1. The more I drink, the more I find myself willing to spend on a good bottle of wine.

    The recession didn’t directly change much in my life, so I didn’t need to make significant spending adjustments.

  2. Canada here work hasn’t slowed d own here, I purchased high prices wines not as much really but spent the same if not more in total value

  3. I was in the process of moving…so I drank all reserved wines (about two cases) in a matter of a week or two…

    Once they were gone I went on the prowl of finding great wines for under $20…you would be surprised!!

  4. Where I seriously cut back was on restaurant dining. Meanwhile, a mid-tier or even the occasional splurge-level bottle of wine seem like a comparatively inexpensive way to travel, have new experiences, learn new things. It makes bad times seem better.

  5. With all of the good deals on wine out there, any wine lover would be foolish not to take advantage and trade up quality! I probably have not spent more $$, but quality has gone up.

  6. I own a wine store and from my perspective people definitely bought more, less-expensive wine. My revenue was about flat (OK, down ~1%) but unit sales were up almost 4%!

    I found that about mid-year I was being offered more real value oriented wines from distributors that had been trying to push high-end bottles up until that time. There has been a real change in the buying patterns of customers and it will be interesting to see how long it will take for them to reverse the trend. I’m not holding my breath…

  7. My buying habits switched over during the springtime of 2009 but not necessarily. I worked in a wine shop (still do) and thus ended up chasing prestige. I ended up buying at around $25 or more a good chunk of the time (mostly CdPs and Ribera del Duero).

    During the spring, though, I ended up getting deep into low-intervention wines after tasting some Puzelat (ended up buying almost a case of Dressner’s stuff even though I’m a man of little means) and started searching out more subtlety than blockbusters. My range has lowered down to between $15 to $20 now and I buy less but I attribute it more to my aesthetics changing rather than the economy.

    As a bottle shop worker, though, I’ve definitely noticed some people trading down to more value buys than name brands. Malbec in particular seems to have benefited.

  8. According to Cellar Tracker (Thanks Eric!!), I drank 15% less bottles in 2009 compared to 2008 but the average bottle cost about 5% more in 2009.

    I purchased almost the same bottle quantity in 2009 as I did in 2008 but I spent 12% less in 2009.

    Looks like I was drinking more expensive bottles from my cellar in 2009…and there were some good ones!!

    That said, I didn’t really think too much financially about my buying habits in 2009. It was more about buying wine to drink than to collect and that’s why I spent less.

    Cheers to 2010!


  9. I have to say that I have far too much temptation to keep buying the wines that I like to trade down.

  10. I write a wine column for a local paper which has a “What’s On Our Table” selection. The wine must be under $15.00, readily available and a good value to price. When I leave out this section, readers revolt. In 2009 everyone was looking for a good deal. But even in good times, aren’t we all looking for solid well balanced wines at fair prices? Now, if we could only convince restaurants into fair mark-ups…sorry, just dreaming…

  11. Bob W – said with an enviable degree of precision! You haven’t already finished your 09 taxes yet, have you? 😉 Quicken/CellarTracker combo?

  12. Like Paul, the more I drink, the more I find myself willing to spend on a very good bottle of wine and champagne.

    The 2009 recession didn’t directly change much in my life of passionate. Now I buy my wine differently, because the market is changing faster than me!

    Happy new year for 2010 ! best!

    Hector from France

  13. I now find it difficult to pay the wine list markup. I’m finding it more enjoyable to pick up good bottles from wineries with little or no distribution and pay the corkage fee. So, I’m paying less for my wine, but I don’t think I would say I’m drinking cheaper wine.

  14. It’s the restaurants who are feeling the pinch of my penny. Ie., when I go out, it’s usually to a BYO restaurant where I’m taking my own wine (no trading down in my personal buying) unstead of paying the markup at a non-BYO joint. Cheers!

  15. I’ve spent the last year trying to keep the budget almost the same but trying to find wines from less known producers. I have found that this way both the quality is higher and more importantly the tastes are more unique with these small scale producers. Just cant find them everywhere. Best to visit the vineyards themselves or their local tastings.

  16. I would say that our wine consumption pricewise was up a bit from last year. I believe it is related to the fact that I semi-retired this fall. Life is too short to drink what one perceives as lower quality wine. I would add that I believ I have been less likely to grab a bunch of different bottles just to experiment. Instead I relied on the advice of a knowledgable person at the the store where much of our wine is purchased. Quakity/value seem to be more important this year.
    Did make another trip to Sonoma the highlight of which was a private tasting at a vineyard whose wine we had purchased about 5 yrs earlier at a co-op tasting rm. There we were happy to purchase several cases of wine we really enjoy. We still are involved in two vineyard wine clubs and enjoy them both.

  17. You missed one:

    Drank less wine overall but more higher priced wine.


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