Because they do cost less. And below is the reason…
I noticed at the bottom of the story that there was a comment. I also knew, given the nature of the question, it was going to be unlikely that the publisher of this site was going to be able to answer it. Honestly, I had been in the wine business for over 16 years before I even had that answer. It took working with Delfim Costa of Enoforum Wines, based in Évora, Portugal to have an answer to the question.
And, it’s just not a topic discussed anywhere that I’ve seen.
QUESTION from Terry:
Visiting France a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see wine priced very reasonably. For $5-$10 you could buy quality which would cost you double that in the U.S. Some say wine here, both imported and domestic, is overpriced in general, at least compared to Europe. Is that true?
ANSWER from Jo:
…It’s not that wine is over-priced in the US. I wrote a blog on the cost of a bottle of wine. The Cost of a $50 Bottle of Wine
The breakdown is staggering for the fees associated with producing a bottle of wine. It’s priced fairly in the US (mostly), given the stream of people who must be paid within that system.
What causes imports to be less expensive is that the cost of living for land, supplies, and labor in other countries is less; consequently, it costs less to make that bottle of wine.
The next consideration is the costs involved in importing the wine… the licenses, the taxes, the transportation, the storage of it, and now the sales and marketing to support in the US… But it still remains less by comparison. (It costs more to live here than most places where wine is produced in the world, right?)
You can always travel the world to get your less (cost of living) expensive wine, but now you have all the expenses of going abroad. It’s cheaper, in the long run, to let the pros bring it into our country, but it’s definitely more fun to go get it yourself. ;^)