The Premium-Tasting Vodka That Costs $10 a Bottle

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When you pay more, you get better quality, right?

Not always. Case in point: A Reuters blog focuses on vodka—or rather, Wodka, a vodka produced in eastern Poland that gets high scores in tastings, and yet which only costs $10 or $12 for a 750 ml bottle. It’s not unusual, mind you, for a martini made with Grey Goose or Ketel One to cost that same amount in a trendy bar.

Wodka was given a rating of 90 points (exceptional) by the Beverage Tasting Institute. That’s the same exact rating given to Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, by the way, which retails for about $30 a bottle.

So why the huge price difference? Grey Goose has managed to establish itself as a premium product, and consumers are willing to (duped into?) pay $30 or more per bottle. Whether people are paying top dollar because they really believe Grey Goose tastes better, or simply because they believe drinking this vodka somehow demonstrates one’s excellent taste (and status) probably doesn’t matter to the people making money selling Grey Goose. They just hope drinkers continue to be willing to pay a premium for the product.

But if you’re less interested in status, and more into how a beverage actually tastes on your tongue, there’s a strong argument to give cheaper priced products a try. Here’s a quote from the Reuters story explaining the Wodka approach:

“We’ve taken an egalitarian approach to the brand. We could charge $25 a bottle for it, but we don’t and as a consequence, we make a lot less money. We hope people pick up on that — buy into the honestly and integrity of the product,” says James Dale, President of Panache, which owns and distributes Wodka.

It’s been demonstrated that consumers often like the taste of less expensive foods just as much as the big-name brands.

Here’s your excuse to do some fun taste tests. Do them at home, or make sure you have a designated driver.