So I'm in the "Water and Wine" aisle at Meijer, (Catholic joke?) refilling water bottles, staring at the wall of wine. Literally, the other side of the entire aisle, and more, is wine. Not surprising for a super-store, sure. But when you stop and think about it, that is a hell of a lot of wine. I got to wondering how much all that wine was worth.
Top to bottom, I'm looking at five shelves of wine. Looking a little closer, there are 2 to 6 more bottles behind each bottle I can see. Each "column" if you will, on a shelf is 3 to 7 bottles deep. After I finished getting water, I counted 101 "columns" from one end of the aisle to the other. Then I found a whole 'nother smaller "appendix" of wine (or perhaps it was a liver). Four more shelves, 15 bottles wide, again 3 to 7 bottles deep. So at a minimum, all this is 1,695 ((3 x 5 x 101) + (3 x 4 x 15)) bottles of wine on the wall (take one down, pass it around, 1,694 bottles of wine on the wall...) At most it's 3,955 bottles ((7 x 5 x 101) + (7 x 4 x 15)). Between 1,700 and 4,000 bottles let say; I might have miscounted because a couple of store managers spotted me counting I think, and were giving me funny looks.
The cheapest bottle of rot-gut I saw was $3.29, and the priciest was $25. Lets do the math: $3.29 x 1,700 = $5,593.00 at a minimum, and $25 x 4,000 = $100,000.00. Ok, very few bottles were 25 bucks, so it's not a hundred thousand dollars worth of wine. But most weren't $3.29 either, so it's all worth more than $5,593.00. I didn't collect all the prices -- remember those dudes were wondering if they needed to hit the alarm -- so I can't calculate a good average price. Lets assume $10. That'd be $17,000 to $40,000. Assuming $15 would be $25,500 to $60,000. Averaging the "low" $17,000 and the "high" $60,000 is $38,500. My math may be getting funky by now, but any way you slice it we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars.
Wow. And this is only one of four Meijers I know about in the area. Makes you wonder what the inventory of an average liquor store is worth. Or an actual winery...