I'm a large buyer of wines from France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, and if you haven't noticed, the dollar has been gaining strength over the past year against the Euro, with anywhere from a four to eight percent variance meaning one dollar will get you anywhere from 92 to 96 percent of a Euro. What's more we've been blessed with really great vintages the past few years as 2011 to 2016 so there's plenty of great wine in the pipelines and in the cellars of producers.
But as I look at wine prices for newly arriving 2016 wines from the Rhone Valley and elsewhere across France of late, instead of seeing wine prices drop by 5-10 percent which would reflect the dollars strength, I'm seeing pricing going up.
Who's to blame. Likely the importers and the shipping/logistics chain. A stronger dollar means they can do make more profit. Ultimately this hurts the winemaker, and the wine consumer. This means the domestic wine producing market should think how to take advantage of the dollar's strength here at home by pricing wines more smartly, being more aggressive in the direct to consumer market, which bypasses the middleman and make the winery more money.
A strong dollar should mean that you can buy better wines from overseas, at better prices, but it seems only the importers are getting the better deal, while the consumer pays more for less.