Twenty-five dollars is my sweet spot when I'm wine shopping for my wife, Kelley. There are plenty of selections below $10 that might be superior to the $25 bottle I choose, but I wouldn't know.
My choice is completely driven by the packaging and price.
A producer might be able to offer a 500ml bottle for $12 at retail, but is there a chance he'd sell more at $19, $28 or even $48?
I sip tequila over ice in the summer and switch to scotch in the winter. My tequila is Casamigos – a brand founded in 2013 by the actor George Clooney, who then sold it a few years later for about a billion dollars.
There are 4 Casamigos varieties – blanco, reposado, añejo and mezcal – which correspond to their aging periods. I'll reach for one randomly, because they are all that good. They're at the high end, usually ranging between $45 and $60 for a bottle.
Once in a while when I'm at the store holding my $50 tequila, I'll feel a little guilty about selecting a $24.99 wine for Kelley, so I'll find one with a higher price to even things out and ease my conscience.
I've fallen prey to an abnormal market behavior known as the Veblen effect: A product's higher price alone will actually make me choose it over the others.
Thorstein Veblen was an economist who observed the patterns of conspicuous consumption. When the price of Veblen goods such as diamonds, luxury watches, Gucci shoes and Birken bags decrease, demand will fall because status-conscious consumers will see them as less exclusive.
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