FROM GALLO HEARTY BURGUNDY TO the Domaine de la Romanee Conti, the wine drinking boom of the past decade has suddenly exploded into a full fledged runaway market phenomenon. No fad like waterbeds or backgammon, the soaring cost of fine wines is a product of supply-and-demand patterns in America, Europe, and as far away as nouveau-riche Japan. But the mad scramble of panic-buying that has hit the American wine market this year is due at least as much to the justifiable fear that two dollar devaluations in two years, coupled with upward revaluations of European currencies and the possibility of a 15 per cent surcharge on future imports, may boost the prices of European wines beyond the reach of dollar-bound Americans.
Buying wines strictly for investment is risky, foolish, and more than a little irresponsible. Wine brings too much pleasure to be treated as an investment commodity like stocks, gold, or pork futures. If you don’t want to drink the wines you buy, you shouldn’t buy them; the person who barges into the civilized world of wine-drinking in search of nothing more than a quick profit is as much a menace to decent folk as the functionless coupon-clippers R.H. Tawney condemned in The Acquisitive Society fifty years ago. But if you enjoy wines (or want to enjoy them), there are good reasons for buying them now instead of later. And if you know what you want, where in Texas should you try