Meet the American Association of Wine Economists (Not a Joke)

What’s that, you say? A strong nose of utility, a nice sharp yield curve, and a racy finish with just a touch of … is it, is it — yes: understated liquidity.

The newly founded American Association of Wine Economists has a 5-member board of directors (I’m disappointed and surprised to not find Richard Thaler among them) and an academic journal, The Journal of Wine Economics.

The AAWE’s mission statement, as expressed in the journal’s lead editorial: “The JWE is meant to provide a focused outlet for high-quality, peer-reviwed research on economic topics related to wine. Although wine economics papers have been, and will continue to be, published in leading general and agricultural economics journals, the number of high-quality papers has grown to such an extent that a specialized journal can provide a useful platform for the exchange of ideas and results.”

Among the articles in the first issue: “Measurement and Inference in Wine Tasting,” by Richard E. Quandt, and “Assessing the Effect of Information on the Reservation Price for Champagne: What Are Consumers Actually Paying For?” by Pierre Combris, Christine Lange, and Sylvie Issanchou.

Sounds good, but I think I will wait for the Beer Journal.


wcw

I find the results of Champagne label study, the abstract of which notes, "[p]articipants are unable, or unwilling, to put different values on the Champagnes after blind tasting" to be pretty interesting.

To a certain extent this makes sense (you just cannot get a 1996 Salon for what I would like to pay). Not having access to the study itself, I can't speak to its method, but if they put a '96 Salon in front of me, I would up my bid as a result.

However, I am totally willing to put a price on blind tastings -- those prices are simply informed by the quality I can get in a given price range at Champagne-specialist D&M here in San Francisco.

Beer is less interesting to me economically. It would appear to be mostly a sales story and partly a brand-loyalty exercise.

Blandy

WCW,

"Beer is less interesting to me economically. It would appear to be mostly a sales story and partly a brand-loyalty exercise."

Don't discount beer too soon, I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia there is a huge boom in the beer market especially for boutique and microbrewery beers.

Maybe the relative quality of US beer compared with Australian beer has biased your judgement. And no, Fosters is not the only Australian beer, in fact it's one of the worst, and I'm surprised it's in such high demand overseas. Coopers is way better.

Frolic

THis makes sense, because a lot of mainstream wine writers are already obsessed with economics. I've read so many wine columns concerned with marketing and market share.

This might also be a reason that wine writers do poorly in competitions for food writers.

prosa

"I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia there is a huge boom in the beer market especially for boutique and microbrewery beers"

Very definitely true in the United States as well.

"And no, Fosters is not the only Australian beer, in fact it's one of the worst, and I'm surprised it's in such high demand overseas."

American advertisements for Fosters incessantly play up the Australia theme, but the version sold here is actually brewed in Canada.

wcw

I remember the "microbrew boom" of the early '90s when a few of them even IPOd via offerings included with six-packs. I sent away for one out of curiosity (Mendocino Brewing, whose beer was good but whose business plan wasn't). Reading the prospectus, and checking out the 10-K for BUD, I concluded that all the real action economically was and likely would stay in the mass market. Should we in the US drink better than Bud? Sure. Do we? No.

As for quality, I don't like what shipping does to beer. I don't like what it does to wine, either, but I can stick bottles in the garage for a few months to rest. Beer likes to be fresh. Here I drink Anchor Steam other west-coast product. Next time I visit Sidney, I'll try the non-Fosters alternatives there.

Blandy

wcw, prepare to see the light!

As to the shelf-life of beers, it really depends on how it is made. Filtered beer is best fresh, but many bottle-fermented beers actuaaly have a best-after date.

As to the Fosters Australian theme: trust me, no Australian in their right mind would choose Fosters over another Australian beer.

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wcw

I find the results of Champagne label study, the abstract of which notes, "[p]articipants are unable, or unwilling, to put different values on the Champagnes after blind tasting" to be pretty interesting.

To a certain extent this makes sense (you just cannot get a 1996 Salon for what I would like to pay). Not having access to the study itself, I can't speak to its method, but if they put a '96 Salon in front of me, I would up my bid as a result.

However, I am totally willing to put a price on blind tastings -- those prices are simply informed by the quality I can get in a given price range at Champagne-specialist D&M here in San Francisco.

Beer is less interesting to me economically. It would appear to be mostly a sales story and partly a brand-loyalty exercise.

Blandy

WCW,

"Beer is less interesting to me economically. It would appear to be mostly a sales story and partly a brand-loyalty exercise."

Don't discount beer too soon, I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia there is a huge boom in the beer market especially for boutique and microbrewery beers.

Maybe the relative quality of US beer compared with Australian beer has biased your judgement. And no, Fosters is not the only Australian beer, in fact it's one of the worst, and I'm surprised it's in such high demand overseas. Coopers is way better.

Frolic

THis makes sense, because a lot of mainstream wine writers are already obsessed with economics. I've read so many wine columns concerned with marketing and market share.

This might also be a reason that wine writers do poorly in competitions for food writers.

prosa

"I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia there is a huge boom in the beer market especially for boutique and microbrewery beers"

Very definitely true in the United States as well.

"And no, Fosters is not the only Australian beer, in fact it's one of the worst, and I'm surprised it's in such high demand overseas."

American advertisements for Fosters incessantly play up the Australia theme, but the version sold here is actually brewed in Canada.

wcw

I remember the "microbrew boom" of the early '90s when a few of them even IPOd via offerings included with six-packs. I sent away for one out of curiosity (Mendocino Brewing, whose beer was good but whose business plan wasn't). Reading the prospectus, and checking out the 10-K for BUD, I concluded that all the real action economically was and likely would stay in the mass market. Should we in the US drink better than Bud? Sure. Do we? No.

As for quality, I don't like what shipping does to beer. I don't like what it does to wine, either, but I can stick bottles in the garage for a few months to rest. Beer likes to be fresh. Here I drink Anchor Steam other west-coast product. Next time I visit Sidney, I'll try the non-Fosters alternatives there.

Blandy

wcw, prepare to see the light!

As to the shelf-life of beers, it really depends on how it is made. Filtered beer is best fresh, but many bottle-fermented beers actuaaly have a best-after date.

As to the Fosters Australian theme: trust me, no Australian in their right mind would choose Fosters over another Australian beer.

swqnxljd rvpfyxcj

vjgzpink stalf zcwvqr ofnvx jcfi hxrtzscy shuao