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Wine Prices Rise

December 27, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Wine Prices Rise

A decade or so ago, cheap domestic wines helped the popularity of the drink skyrocket and suddenly there were dozens of brands on the shelves.

"There's a lot of supply and a lot of choices and with that comes wonderful things for the consumer because we're not locked into something we're not going to appreciate or don't want to pay for," Good Spirits Fine Wine & Liquor owner Heather Taylor Boysen said.

But as the popularity of wine has grown, in some cases, so have the prices. 

White French wine first started going up in the market this summer. And the price of red French wines is also on the rise after the lowest production in 40 years because of problems with the weather and disease in the crops. 

But France isn't the only place with weather troubles when it comes to grape production. The crops in California two years ago will affect prices in the store in the coming year.

"They had a really tough growing season; temperatures fluctuations all over the board. We're starting to see some of those 2010 products come in. Our choices are going to be less; only because there was less juice," Boysen said.

Smaller grape harvests combined with rising demand have the price of Merlot rising by 13 percent.  If you drink white wine, Chardonnay prices are up by five percent.  But that doesn't mean you can't still find a decent $10 to $15 bottle of wine.

"Yes, there are really, really great wines in that $10 to $15 price range that are absolutely lovely. I think that's one reason more people are drinking wine. The price point makes it less intimidating," Boysen said.

And while you may see deals on Champagne through New Year's, you can save even more by buying a sparkling wine instead of the kind that comes from the Champagne region of France.

"I've actually seen some price decreases in sparkling; which is really nice and some of those high end French sparklers I've seen some decreases in and some of it is $10 to $12 a bottle," Boysen said.

You can find some of the best prices on wine and liquor at warehouse stores.  We checked and found that membership fees cannot be charged for alcohol purchases, which means non-members can take advantage of discounts at stores like Sam's Club in Sioux Falls.

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