News & Politics

Signs of an Economic Recovery?

An e-mail advertising wine for nearly $700 a bottle made us wonder if it’s a sign the economy is bouncing back.

Photograph by Flickr user Josh Kenzer.

This week I received an e-mail from Calvert Woodley Wines
and Spirits

that read, “Lafite Rothschild is one of a handful of wine names
that stops people in their tracks.” No argument there, but
the price of the 2011 vintage–$689 a bottle, or more than
$8,000 a case–caused me to wonder if this is a sign of an economic
recovery. Are people spending this kind of money again?

It’s a 30 percent drop in the bottle price from a year ago, as if a price break will lure tight-fisted wine connoisseurs back
into the habit. After the economy crashed in ’08, casual wine buyers, and even collectors, balked at astronomic prices.

Wine Spectator gave the 2011 Lafite a score of 93 to
96 points. Whether you think it’s a sign of recovery or just a ripoff,
the bottle you buy today won’t be available for pickup for
another year, and won’t be drinkable for several years after that.