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A key factor in that price pressure has been the change in liquor licensing laws in 1989-90 allowing supermarkets to sell wine. Their buying power, and "stack it up and watch it fly" promotional activity has arguably put both a handbrake on price, while also helping to democratise wine by removing some of the "old snob factor" that could surround it: being able to buy a bottle with your groceries keeps it all down to earth.
That’s not to say that supermarkets are the only avenue for good-value wines. There can be a misconception that specialist wine shops are by nature "expensive" — in reality, a significant portion of the offering of any good wine shop or liquor store worth its salt, will be focused on the sort of wines that we can all afford to open any night of the week.
Several online retailers also focus on value-for-money offerings.
While the sheer volume of sauvignon blanc produced here means that economies of scale and market forces keep prices low, the other grape variety that has seen remarkable stability in price is chardonnay, our second-most planted white grape variety. Part of this is due to the years that it spent in the doldrums when it was rather out of fashion. But chardonnay is definitely back.
Many of the great-value chardonnays come from our largest producers. Their ability to make large volumes consistently well to hit price points is a skill very evident in the wines featured today.