It’s probably not a crisis yet, but the 2015 $10 Wine Hall of Fame points to serious changes going on in the world of cheap wine. Just four wines made the Hall this year, compared to 16 and 12 the past two years. Meanwhile, five dropped out, and I considered just a dozen for inclusion, compared to the 100 or so I looked at last year.
In this, there’s a chance that cheap wine could become nothing more than what it costs, and what it tastes like won’t matter nearly as much as it does now. Blame this on the increasingly powerful role Big Wine plays in the market, and how it uses demographics, focus groups, and flavor profiles to decide how to make wine. This may be profitable, but it’s not much fun for the consumer.
Nevertheless, there is terrific wine in the 2015 $10 Wine Hall of Fame, but why not? This is still the Golden Age of Cheap Wine, no matter what may be on the horizon. Click here for the entire list, or the $10 Hall of Fame link at the top of the page. The Hall’s selection process and eligibility rules are here.
Not surprisingly, three of the four wines that made the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame were Spanish, given that Spanish wine may offer the best value in the world. The other wine was a huge surprise — the Louis Jadot Beaujolais, a wine that I never expected to be here but was happy to add.