There is a misconception that good wine has to have an absurdly high price tag, and anything lower than that generally means lower quality. While yes purchasing wine can be an investment, that does not mean a cheaper or a “cheap” bottle of wine isn’t worthwhile. Some would argue that a cheap bottle of wine might be better in some contexts. For example, a weeknight when having your wine with dinner should ordinarily not be an occasion when you purchase wine worth Kshs 10,000. You’re much better off buying the sub-Kshs 5,000.

“Expensive wines have an edge that most cheap alternatives don’t posses but that does not mean cheap wines are a bad choice.”

Multiple factors have to be considered when pricing a bottle. It’s a combination of elements including land, labour, storage of the wine, marketing, time, and region. Some of these considerations also determine the taste of the wine.


Affordable wines are produced on properties where grapes thrive most. Grapevines that produce more grapes lack complexity, sweetness & richness.

With more land and grapes, winemakers can produce more. The bulk of cheap wines is made from grapes grown in hot regions with fertile soils with less flavour.

These environments grow grape crops easily and quickly, but they lack the subtleties of different climates that bring complexity to the final product.  

Whereas hilly regions with low-nutrient soil or near rivers producing fertile soils produce fewer bunches with more flavour.


The grapes in your wine were either picked by machine or by hand and you can already guess which costs more. When enjoying a good bottle of wine, it’s nice to appreciate the time that went into it.

But it’s not just about the labour, but quality control. Hand-picked grapes are chosen by people who have been trained to collect good grapes and discard bad one whereas a machine will pick anything and everything and throw it in a pile.

Photo by Ion Ceban


Quality wines are stored in oak barrels for a period. Using oak to age wine is more expensive since they elevate flavours such as vanilla and baking spice.

Plus, it exposes the wine to oxygen which decreases the intensity of the tannin and develops a smoother taste. Moreover, oak barrels are expensive. Time changes the taste of the fruit flavour in a wine. As well as reduces the acidity & tannin in a wine.

However, the older the wine does not mean the better. Take white wines & rosés mostly consumed during the summertime when they are better enjoyed young and fresh.


A beautifully made bottle of wine might cost more than a plain-looking one. Though you may not want to purchase this bottle just yet. Chances are the less expensive wine makers would have put more time and money into the wine as compared to the packaging.

Overall, expensive wines have an edge that most cheap alternatives don’t posses but that does not mean cheap wines are a bad choice. You should choose cheap wines if you’re on a budget like to experience familiar flavours, and just starting to experience the complex yet beautiful art of wine tasting.

Whether you are on a budget or prefer the finer things in life. Le Decanter has the perfect wine for you. You can scroll through and find the perfect wine for the occasion. We offer vintage wines and a variety of affordable wines on our website.

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