The magazine has selected some of the most desired french bottles (Chateau Petrus, Dom Perignon and a Roumier cru) and a low-price bottle to investigate what is their cost and comparing this with the retail price.
If we take Dom Perignon, the most famous cuvée of Moet Chandon, the total cost amounts at 17-22 euros (with a largest share for advertising, 5-10 euro, entirely different from Petrus, which does not spend on publicity and focus on the character of rarity and exclusivity). Due in particular of the enourmous number of bottles produced (5 millions per year) at non prohibitive final price (the bottle leaves the property at 75 euros and has a retail cost of 130 euros), Dom Perignon is a golden toy for Moet Chandon.
What is the reaction of wine producers?
Giampaolo Paglia has done a great job and an immense work in favor of transparency, both for unveiling his production costs and his selling prices. In particular in a moment of crisis, where consumers do not want to pay excessive prices for wine bottles, it is important that other producers follow Giampaolo Paglia's example. There is the need to establish more trust between consumers and producers and also to put more responsibility on the shoulder of the rest of the chain, notably wholesalers, final retailers and restaurants.
With regard to the latter, Giampaolo Paglia proposed to print the selling prices on his bottle's etiquettes. This would allow even more transparency.
Provocation? Perhaps it is if we know how un-transparent is the price system and how much in particular restaurants charge wines. But it is a very good provocation indeed and would provide in particular Belgian consumers with a greater power not to accept the standard practice in belgian restaurants to multiply the price of the wine by 5-6 times (in Italy the situation is different: have a look at the wine list of Ristorante Bovio in Piedmont and you will see that you can afford a good bottle for 20-25 euros and a barolo for 50 euro, usually twice the basic price).