Food & Recipes

This Wine Startup Tells You Exactly Why Each Bottle Costs What It Does

With this wine you can be sure you're getting what you paid for.

If you’re a regular wine drinker, you probably have your go-to brands that taste great but are also affordable. Once you find a good one, you stick with it for awhile, but then that wine starts to get monotonous and you start looking for new ones. Finding that perfect balance of quality and affordability is no small feat, and figuring out which wines are worth the money can take some trial and error. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place where you can really see if a wine’s price reflects its quality?

Thanks to Mark Tarlov, a 64-year-old winemaker, this might now be possible. Tarlov has just started his own venture, Alit Wines, that’s using a pricing model that’s about as straightforward as it gets—think along the lines of Everlane, which sells clothing direct to consumers at transparent, competitive prices. Because he uses no distributors or retailers, Tarlov’s wines don’t have any markups. Their pricing reflects only his direct costs, including labor, equipment and packaging, plus a 45 percent profit margin, which means total transparency—not to mention lower prices—when it comes to buying the wine.

According to the Alit website:

“If we sold our wine the traditional way, through wine distributors and stores, it would cost the consumer at least 3X the price. But when we started alit, we were determined to sell it directly with no middlemen and no retail mark-up. For that reason, alit wine is available for purchase only online and you will pay exactly what it costs us to make the wine, plus a small cut for our team.”

To make it even more clear why the bottle costs what it does, Alit breaks down each cost per category so consumers can see why a bottle of Pinot Noir is $24.75. This can help wine lovers understand why their favorite bottle costs what it does, instead of worrying that they’re getting ripped off at the grocery store.

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Alit Wines

To reduce shipping costs, the wines are sold in three-packs with three-day shipping included. They currently sell Pinot Noir and Champagne, which can be purchased directly from the site.