herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Drinking in style

As with clothes, some wines seem absurdly over-priced, writes Martin Moran

It was recently london fashion week -- fascinating for style editors perhaps, but I find catwalk shows car-crash stuff: awful, but you're compelled to look. Anorexic models prancing along runways in ludicrously priced costumes that no sane women would wear. What is the point?

Fashionistas though, I guess, might laugh when they read that a bottle of wine has sold for a fortune at auction. Why, when you can buy dresses or wine so cheaply, is there any point in producing a version of either that costs thousands?

Thankfully I get to taste, if not drink, a lot of fancy wine I can't afford to buy. And although sometimes they disappoint, quite often they set the benchmarks by which others are judged. Wonderful wine isn't cheap to make and neither are classy clothes, nor cars, nor art. Throw resources and talent at a project in an attempt to create something stunning and it ends up costing.

The idea is that these tortured artistic souls, in whatever field, are pushing the envelope, taking their art to the limit and creating artefacts that some millionaire will enjoy, but that will also influence their industry at a high-street level by setting trends and standards.

In the world of wine haute couture, the iconoclasts aren't just the iconic French classics but increasingly include superb Shiraz from Australia, cutting-edge Californian Cabernet or even magic Malbec from Mendoza. If they're too pricey, then take your style cues from them and hunt for similar but cheaper versions.

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