Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cheap luxury abounds, but I failed to load up on the best wine deal of all

    I just drove Lucy home from camp in Minnesota, and managed to stop by a St. Louis Costco to check out the wine selection. I've found that where the liquor store is outside the Costco store, as in Tennessee, the values aren't that great, but in states where wine is sold inside the Costco it's a good deal.
    This was certainly the case in St. Louis.

Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve (not Vintner's) Chardonnay, $14.99
La Crema Pinot Noir, $16.99
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, $17,99
Conundrum, $17.99
7 Deadly Zins, $10.99
Mirassou Pinot Noir, $6.89
Coppola Diamond Claret, $11.99
Meiomi Pinot Noir, $17.99

    The prices above are anywhere from four to eight dollars per bottle less than one would expect to pay at a retail wine store that had pretty good prices. Needless to say my local wine merchant may forget what I look like for the next month or so, although I might still make an appearance every now and then to buy a bottle of Las Rocas, which the St. Louis Costco didn't carry.
    The Costco also had an Italian red which had a Wine Advocate rating of 94 and a pricetag of $39.99 (I wish I had snapped a photo so I could remember it!). Generally a red wine with a Robert Parker 94 rating will have a price of $150 or more, usually $300-plus. Part of me wishes I had bought a couple of bottles, but I'm just not in the mood for $40 wine. My budget isn't, anyway.
    What I really regret is not loading up on the $6.89 Mirassou Pinot Noir. It's a decent everyday wine that's obviously easy on the wallet, and the $6.89 price is about $4 less than retail. I was so mesmerized by the Kendall-Jackson, Conundrum, and other low-end premium names that I failed to take full advantage of the best value in the store.
    It's certainly not worth a special trip, but next time I pass through St. Louis I may buy a few of the $15-20 bottles of wine, but I'll concentrate on finding a couple of dozen bottles of decent wine under $8.

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