About two weeks ago, on February 20th, WTSO (Wine Til Sold Out), one of my very favorite purveyors of great QPR wines, had another one of their Cheapskate events – all the wines are priced from $7.99 to $18.99, offered in the quantities of four, new wines are offered every 15 minutes or sooner, and all the notifications about new wines are only coming out on the Twitter. While I was on vacation and couldn’t take advantage of any offers, my faithful computer did its best to collect the information (which in the end of the day made me upset as I saw how many great deals I missed).
As I have done it before, I would like to share with you all the data, so you too can get upset – or not, as you can instead be happy about all the money you saved. Let me add few observations here. There were about 130 wines offered. Very few wines lasted 15 minutes, many wines disappeared in a matter of couple of minutes. I counted four very strange glitches, where the wine was seemingly offered at WTSO web site, but not showing up in the twitter stream – if you followed the event and saw that too, I would like to know what you think about it. This is definitely a first time for me observing such a discrepancy (not that this is all that essential though).
Before I will leave you with the data, here is the usual guide to rating abbreviations: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO - Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound.
Enjoy and cheers!
And why would anyone want to bring that “end of the world” craziness back, you ask? I’m sure many of the “preparedness kit” sellers would love that, as they would make ton of money [again]. My case is exactly opposite – I’m talking about saving money. On the critical “end of the world” necessity. Yep, wine.
As you could’ve notice in this blog, I’ve been a long time aficionado of Wine Til Sold Out (WTSO), which offers amazing savings on the wines. About half a year back, thedrunkencyclist introduced me to another value wine source – Last Bottle Wines. Last Bottle Wines operates very similarly to WTSO – one wine at a time, usually at a great price, and minimum number of bottles to buy in order to get free shipping. There are few differences compare to WTSO – for one, the wines are not shipped during hot months, unless you will make special arrangements (everything you buy is accumulated and shipped once weather allows). Another distinction is the fact that less than $10 wines are offered quite often.
Getting back to the “end of the world” connection. Couple of days before the end of the world was supposed to take place (December 21st, 2012 for those who happily dropped that date from the memory), Last Bottle Wines declared “end of the world” marathon. They were offering tremendous number of wines at a great prices, with no minimum quantity in order to get free shipping. Caveat? If the world ends, you are not getting your wines. Fair? I think so. Also, all the wines you buy are accumulated into one order which shipped after the new year. Fair again.
The only way to learn about new offerings was by clicking “refresh” in your browser all the time. But this inconvenience was a small price to pay for the gems which were offered. Well, forget the gems – great value wines we are talking about.
Need an example of a great value wine? Easy. 2007 Vine Hill Gatos Locos Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains. Beautiful smoky nose. Dark dense fruit on the palate, ripe plums but precisely ripe and not over-extracted, coffee notes. Supple tannins, good acidity. Structure. Finesse. Balance. All for $9 (no, I’m not missing at least 1 in front or 0 at the end). And the person of a limited intelligence, who is writing this right now (yep, me), bought only two bottles (!). Well my only excuse – I had no idea…
All in all I got 5 different wines, for the total of one case (12 bottles), for which I paid a whooping $78…
I also tried 2006 Clos Chanteduc Cotes du Rhone, which was very good, but not as amazing as the Gatos Locos Pinot.
So this is my case for asking to bring the “end of the world” back – may be, may be the Last Bottle Wines would do another sale, and I will be able to find more great wines at a great prices. On another hand, there is always hope that they would just have another sale without waiting for the next “end of the world” to be declared. We can even drink to that. Cheers!
Last Monday, November 26th, was Magnum Monday at WTSO (first event of this kind, if I’m not mistaken). During the period of 18 hours (from 9 AM Eastern until midnight), only large format bottles were offered for sale. There were total of 28 different wines offered, majority in the magnum size (1.5 liters, equivalent of 2 standard size bottles) with the exception of one wine which offered in the Imperial size (6 liters, equal to 8 standard size bottles). The most expensive wine was offered at $450, and the least expensive one was priced at $49.99. For many wines, free shipping was offered with the purchase of one bottle, and for some it was necessary to buy 2 to get the same free shipping. The very first wine offered was sold out within 3 minutes, and few other wines lasted only for 4 minutes.
Large bottles are very popular among wine collectors, as they considered to be better aging (better wine/air ratio compare to the standard size bottles), and the prices were good for many wines, so I would assume that the event made many people happy. Below is the guide to ratings and the table with all the information I was able to collect.
Guide to ratings: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, WE – Wine Enthusiast, W&S – Wine & Spirits, ST – Steven Tanzer, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, RP – Robert Parker, JS – James Suckling, JH – James Halliday, WRO – Wine Review Online.
|Time||Wine||Btl. size||Rating(s)||Orig. price||WTSO price||Min. # btls||% off|
|11:35 PM||Burgess Napa Cabernet Vintage Selection 2001 Magnum||1.5L||WE89 WS88||$125||$59.99||1||52%|
|11:07 PM||I Balzini Black Label 2006 Tuscan Red Wine Dai Colli Della Toscana Magnum||1.5L||WS92 WE92||$130||$59.99||1||54%|
|10:45 PM||Barbaresco 2009 Michele Chiarlo Reyna Magnum||1.5L||WE91||$95||$54.99||1||42%|
|10:00 PM||Diadema Super Tuscan Rosso IGT 2009 Swarovski Bottle Magnum||1.5L||WE93 JS91||$250||$99.99||1||60%|
|9:25 PM||Brut Champagne N/V Piper Heidsieck #84 Top 100 WS 2012! Magnum||1.5L||WS93 WE89||$100||$64.99||2||35%|
|9:04 PM||Barolo 2006 Sarmassa di Barolo Roberto Voerzio Magnum||1.5L||WA96+ WS93||$620||$449.99||1||27%|
|8:53 PM||Piancornello Brunello DOCG 2003||1.5L||RP90 WS89||$139.99||$69.99||1||50%|
|8:41 PM||Pommard Grand Epenots Pinot Noir 1er Cru 2009 ‘Clos de Citeaux’ Jean Monnier||1.5L||JHN94||$180||$89.99||1||50%|
|7:53 PM||Shingleback Shiraz D Block Reserve McLaren Vale 2004 Magnum||1.5L||JH93 WS92||$125||59.99||2||52%|
|7:10 PM||I Balzini White Label IGT Rosso 2006 Magnum||1.5L||WS93 WE91||$130||$59.99||2||54%|
|6:24 PM||Burgess Cabernet 2002 Vintage Selection Napa Valley Magnum||1.5L||$116||$59.99||2||48%|
|6:15 PM||Barolo DOCG 2006 Fontanafredda Magnum||1.5L||WA89+||$250||$99.99||2||60%|
|5:30 PM||Sette Ponte ‘Oreno’ Super Tuscan 2007 Magnum||1.5L||WE96 WS95||$250||$149.99||1||40%|
|4:54 PM||Brut Select Champagne ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ NV De Venoge Magnum||1.5L||WS91||$120||$62.99||2||48%|
|4:17 PM||Belpoggio Brunello DOCG 2007 Magnum||1.5L||JS92 WE92||$199.99||$99.99||1||50%|
|4:00 PM||Corton Grand Cru 2007 Domaine Louis Latour||1.5L||WS92||$200||$69.99||2||65%|
|3:24 PM||Diadema Super Tuscan Rosso IGT 2009 Swarovski Bottle Magnum||1.5L||WE93 JS91||$250||$99.99||1||60%|
|3:15 PM||Barolo ‘Tortoniano’ Michele Chiarlo 2008 Magnum||1.5L||WE92 WRO92||$125||$69.99||1||44%|
|2:31 PM||Brut Champagne N/V Piper Heidsieck #84 Top 100 WS 2012! Magnum||1.5L||WS93 WE89||$100||$64.99||2||35%|
|1:55 PM||Roda Cirsion Rioja 2006 Magnum||1.5L||WA95 WS92||$600||$299.99||1||50%|
|1:09 PM||Burgess Napa Cabernet Vintage Selection 2001 Magnum||1.5L||WE89 WS88||$125||$59.99||1||52%|
|12:38 PM||Barolo Riserva 2004 ‘Roggeri’ Ciabot Berton Magnum||1.5L||$200||$114.99||1||43%|
|12:10 PM||Mont Redon Rouge 2009 Chateauneuf-du- Pape Magnum||1.5L||ST92 WS91||$125||$59.99||2||52%|
|11:25 AM||Phelps Insignia 2009 Magnum||1.5L||WA93-96 ST94||$429.99||$314.99||1||27%|
|10:40 AM||Shingleback Shiraz D Block Reserve McLaren Vale 2004 Magnum||1.5L||JH93 WS92||$125||$59.99||2||52%|
|10:24 AM||Silvio Nardi Brunello 2007 Magnum||1.5L||JS95||$175||$99.99||1||43%|
|10:13 AM||Grand Cru Burgundy White 2007 Corton Charlemagne Domaine Louis Latour Magnum||1.5L||WS93||$300||$129.99||1||57%|
|10:09 AM||Stormy Weather Cabernet Napa Valley 2006 Cellar Selection Magnum||1.5L||68%|
|9:52 AM||Barolo ‘La Villa’ DOCG Fontanafredda 2001 Magnum||1.5L||WA94 W&S93||$285||$139.99||1||51%|
|9:49 AM||St. Supery Red Wine ‘Elu’ 2005 Napa Valley Imperial||6L||WE91||$800||$349.99||1||56%|
|9:45 AM||Burgess Estate Cabernet Napa Valley 2005 Magnum||1.5L||WE90 W&S90||$100||$49.99||2||50%|
|9:03 AM||I Balzini Black Label 2006 Tuscan Red Wine Dai Colli Della Toscana Magnum||1.5L||WS92 WE92||$130||$59.99||1||54%|
|9:00 AM||St. Supery Cabernet Napa Valley 2004 Magnum||1.5L||91||50%|
121 wines (if my count is correct) during 18 hours, lots of 90+ wines, including 95-99 rated, great names (Joseph Phelps, Dominus, Antinori Solaia, Tattinger and many others) – “wow” is the only descriptor I can use here. Some (quite a few) of the wines lasted only 3 minutes – “you snooze, you lose” was in the full effect.
The event took place on Tuesday, October 2nd. As before, I did my best to collect the data, which is always challenging. Below is the table containing all (hopefully) wines offered during the event.
Guide to ratings: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, WE – Wine Enthusiast, W&S – Wine & Spirits, ST – Steven Tanzer, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, WRO – Wine Review Online, RP – Robert Parker, JS – James Suckling, BH - Bourghound, IWC – International Wine Cellars, CG – Consumer Guide, IWR -International Wine Review, TWN – The Wine News.
Again this is one of those posts which was supposed to be quick, short and easy, a sequel to the first post about great value wines which can be found at Trader Joe’s stores. This post was started on April 30th! And it was hanging in the drafts section until now. Why? Beats me…
Last week, while visiting state of Washington, it was an “aha” moment – why not explore the local Trader Joe’s with the two-prong goal – fine some local Washington wines and spend not more than $20.
I was able to accomplish both – spent $19.97 (okay, before taxes) on three bottles, and two of them were from Washington! Here are the notes:
Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot Columbia Valley (13.3% ABV, $8.99) – blend of 65% cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Only after I took the first sip and got over the initial “hmmm, this is nice!” I realized that this is a non-vintage wine. In general, I have a tendency to avoid non-vintage wines outside of sparkling category, which might be a mistake – I had a great experience with Mitch Cosentino’s Ol’ Red, which was also a non-vintage wine. The Barnard Griffin Cab Merlot had dark garnet, very inviting color. It needed about 15-20 minutes of breathing time to open up. It had a nose of dark fruit with the hint of cocoa. On the palate, it had supple blackberries, dark chocolate, tobacco and may be touch of cinnamon (just a nice touch) – soft, balanced, easy to drink. This was definitely the wine to drink again. I don’t know if you can find it outside of Washington state, but I would suggest you will look for it – worth a try. Drinkability: 8-
2008 Snoqualmie Syrah Columbia Valley (13.5% ABV, $6.99) – took me a little while to realize, why the name Snoqualmie sounds so familiar – I used to drink Snoqualmie Naked Riesling before, and I remember liking it quite a bit. So instead of giving you a description of this wine, how about I will just tell you – go get it by the case – is that a sufficient description for you? Dark, dense, a bit chewy, ripe plums and blueberries on the palate, good tannins, touch of pepper, good balance. The wine only started to open up on the second day, actually showing some mouth-coating tannins, so I’m sure it got at least 5-7 years of life on it (or more). Definitely the wine I would be happy to drink every day – yeah, only Trader Joe’s in Connecticut don’t sell wine… Again, this wine is worth seeking. Drinkability: 7+
2009 Santa Barbara Landing Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County (13% ABV, $3.99) – this wine was a pure experiment – how can $3.99 California Chardonnay taste. Admittedly, I was not blown away at all (was that really expected at that price level?). This was the wine without sense of place. In a blind tasting, it would puzzle many, I think, as it lacks any of the characteristic traits – butter, vanilla, toasted oak. It has some overall sweet notes, may be somewhat of a white peach pedigree, but that is about the only characteristic I would give. Lacks acidity and balance. Was it terrible? No. Would I drink it again – no. At that price range (little as it is), Vinho Verde from Portugal would give you a lot more pleasure. Drinkability: 6-
2010 La Ferme Julien Luberon AOC Rhone Valley Vineyards (13% ABV, $4.99) – blend of Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Rousanne (aspiring Wine Century Club enrollees, take notice – 4 good varieties). Green pear and lemon zest on the nose, grapefruit with some gooseberries on the palate, very nice acidity, overall very good balance. Drinkability: 8-
2008 Babble Mendocino County Red Wine (13.7% ABV, $6.99) – blend of 36% Petite Syrah, 26% Syrah, 17% Merlot, 10% Carignane, 10% Grenache and 1% Malbec. Deep purple color, hint of blackberries on the nose, touch of oak, some cherries and a bit of spice box on the palate, very gentle tannins, good acidity. Paired very well with TJ’s Pulled Beef Brisket in smoky BBQ sauce. The text on the label is priceless and somewhat nicely mocking all the “over-sophisticated” wine reviews. Drinkability: 7+.
I need to mention one more great value discovery from Trader Joe’s stores – Poggio Basso Grappa.
Just curious, how many of you, my readers out there, just had shivers after reading that word “Grappa”? If you did, it is okay, because you simply were deprived of great grappas. Grappa is distilled spirit, made out of grapes, also known for high alcohol content (around 55% is typical). Even 10 years ago, a lot of grappas reaching the US were made out of grape leftovers (skins, seeds, etc.) after the wine production, and was showing in the sharp, attacking taste (not really drinkable, if you ask me). Now situation is different, with a lot of grappas made out of single grape (which is usually listed on the label in such a case), and not leftovers, but actual grapes. These grappas are delicate, flavorful and effervescent, and really give you a lot of pleasure – but you have to pay for it, as most of those excellent grappas will be priced north of $50.
Here comes Trader Joe’s with its Poggio Basso Grappa del Piemonte (40% ABV, 500 ml) – while this is not a single-grape grappa, it is perfectly balanced, with nice fruit profile, very delicate – it is a powerful spirit, but perfectly drinkable and enjoyable all for (you knew that the puncheons was coming) $9.99. No matter what you think of grappas, if you have an access to the Trader Joe’s which carries it, you owe it to yourself to try it – you might discover your new favorite drink.
That’s all for today, folks. Cheers!
About a week ago, on Wednesday, August 8th, Wine Til Sold Out … yes, did it again. It was their “Super-Wednesday” sale, which usually takes place once in 3 month. That was one “no holds barred” event, I can tell you. And I don’t even mean the prices, which are usually unquestionable at WTSO, I’m primarily talking about the speed at which wines were disappearing…
90+ different wines were sold, in the total quantity of more than 72,000 (!) bottles. I managed to get only one of the wines, and three times I was … yes, late (the most upsetting one was when wine disappeared while I was entering my credit card info!).
Anyway, in case you missed the event, I got it all for you here – well, most of it, as some of the wines went too fast (hmmm, I think I already said that). As usual, here is the guide to ratings: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, WE – Wine Enthusiast, W&S – Wine & Spirits, ST – Steven Tanzer, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, WRO – Wine Review Online, RP – Robert Parker, JS – James Suckling, JH – James Halliday.
Let’s start from the usual routine – the answer for the Wine Quiz #21 – Do you Know the King? Similar to the previous quiz, this one also had a diversity of opinion as to which wine is called a “King of the Wines”. And the answer is … Barolo!
Believe it or not, but until the middle of the 19th century Barolo was a sweet wine (it probably sounds funny for anyone who experienced the power of Barolo) due to the deficiencies of the winemaking process. In the second half of the 19th century, invited French oenologist managed to change the winemaking process which resulted in production of completely dry wine. This dry Barolo wine became so popular among nobility of Turin that it was often described as “the king of wine” (here is a link for you with more information on the subject). Now that you know the king, you can enjoy Barolo even more (but don’t forget to decant it!).
Now it is time for the wine news. Let’s start form the Wine Blogging Wednesday #79 – Summer Reading, Summer Wine. This is probably one of the more difficult WBW events, as you are required not to drink the wine yourself, but rather explain to the world what kind of wine your favorite fiction character should be drinking, and why. I’m still not decided if I will will be writing my blog post for #wbw79 – may be yes, may be no – but I’m sure it will be fun to read what the other people will have to say.
Now, all the wine lovers who like value – please pay special attention. Wine Till Sold Out (a.k.a. WTSO) Cheapskate Wednesday is coming up on August 8th. Starting at 6 am Eastern, deeply discounted wines will be offered for sale every 15 minutes or may be even faster. All the wines will be priced in the range of $7.99 to $18.99 and you will have to buy 4 bottles or more to get free shipping. These “marathon” events are usually offering great values and shouldn’t be missed – here are couple of reports (one and two) I compiled from the past events in case you want to have a frame of reference. Get your cellar ready!
Moving along. Next, I want to bring to your attention two more interesting posts. First, W. Blake Gray wrote about the results of market research of consumers’ emotional attachment to the brand (of course primarily concerning alcohol brands). This is pretty short post (here is the link) – read it, some of the results are staggering and hilarious at the same time.
Last but not least: if you love wine and live in a close proximity of Boston (remember, airplanes are known to greatly shorten the distances), there is a restaurant you must visit until the end of August. Why? Because this restaurant (Troquet) is offering mind boggling dealson superbly aged wines (1966 Bordeaux for $75? unreal…) – for more details, please read this post by Richard Auffrey who writes The Passionate Foodie blog.
That’s all for today, folks. Hope you enjoyed this Meritage, and don’t worry – the next Wednesday will be here much sooner than you are expecting, so we will be talking again. And… don’t forget to leave a comment. And – think about your #WBW79 post. Cheers!
If you follow the wine discussions in the social media world, one of the most controversial (and therefore, popular and recurrent) subjects is price of wine. There is a full range of opinions out there, as you can imagine, from some people religiously advocating cheapest possible wines as their one and only choice, to those who pay $2500 for a bottle of Screaming Eagle or Chateau Petrus (to tell you the truth, I’m really curious as to what percentage of those spending the money on Screaming Eagle actually end up drinking it versus selling later on at an auction – but this is a subject for the whole another post). There had being also posts and articles advocating that consumers must buy only cheap wines due to the fact that majority is incapable to understand the difference between cheap and expensive wine anyway – here you can find my response to one such a post.
Why am I talking about the
cheap value wines all of a sudden? While in California, I visited Trader Joe’s store near by. In Connecticut, where I live, Trader Joe’s sells only beer. In Massachusetts, Trader Joe’s has very good selection of wines (I wrote a few posts about those wines before – here are couple of links for you – one about Amarone and one more generic). Wine selection at this Trader Joe’s in San Diego definitely beats the Boston store hands down – great representation of many regions, with a lot of wines offered at a great prices. So I decided to run a simple experiment – let’s see what I can get for a $20. I spent $21 on three bottles of wine, and when I tasted the Dearly Beloved Forever Red … this blog post was born.
I will give you my tasting notes a bit later, but let me tell you – this wine was simply very, very good – at the price of $6.99, which I’m sure constitutes cheap wine in anyone’s book. I wonder how many people would reach out for this wine because of the label alone, which looks very cool, and then will put it back because they would think at $6.99 it can’t be good? I would very likely ignore this wine too, if I would not be conducting this experiment (not anymore, of course – after tasting it, I know I need a case). So what is driving the consumer behavior around the cheap wine? Outside of elitism, clever wine marketing and all the wine press which is trying to convince us that only more expensive is better, I think we have one fundamental issue coming out from our experience with cheap stuff. How many of you came back from the dollar store just to realize that what was looking almost as a treasure chest full of stuff for $10 or $15 is actually a $10 or $15 worth of junk, none of which can be used for its intended purpose? How many of us bought the cheapest tool just to understand that probability of killing oneself is a lot higher than probability of actually accomplishing the job you got the tool for? How many of us used cheapest possible material for a project, only to regret your decision every minute after and ending up paying a lot more than we would if we wouldn’t be so frugal to begin with? I think this experience is programming us to effectively disregard the cheap option simply from the fear of disappointment.
We transpose this experience onto our dealings with the wine world – and in a lot of cases we effectively end up losing. I have to tell you that I had a lot of $15-$20 wines, which end up being not good at all, with or without any comparison with this Dear Beloved wine. I tasted many $50 and $100 bottles which are not bad, but don’t give you nearly as much pleasure as this wine. Am I saying that from now on I will only be buying the wines for $6.99 or less? Not at all. And if anyone wants to spoil me with Chateau Petrus or DRC, I will be forever obliged. But if we will be able to avoid making assumptions and judgements based on the price of wine alone, we would be far better off in finding the wines we like at the prices we can afford. This is not simple. I would love to conduct a simple experiment – pour this wine to the two different glasses and tell people that wine in one costs $6.99, and the same wine in another one costs $19.99, and see how many people will wholeheartedly advocate the $19.99 wine to be far more superior to the $6.99 one. I’m sure it will be a fun exercise – something you should try at home (if you do, I will be glad to hear about your results). So we really need to work on our wine buying habits – we definitely will be far better off if we do.
Now, let me share the tasting notes with you. First, here are all three wines ($20.97 total + tax):
Let’s start with 2011 Caves du Journalet Cotes du Rhone (13% ABV, $4.99) – very soft and round. The wine rolls very smoothly in your mouth – very subtle tannins, good red fruit, good acidity – nice balance, nothing stands out, just round and smooth. Very easy to drink. Doesn’t give you any amazing “oompf”, but I’m sure would be a great party wine as it will appeal to the broad audience. Drinkability: 7.
Next – 2009 Dear Beloved Forever Red Central Coast, California (13.5% ABV, $6.99). Very nice nose of blackberries and some spice. More of the same on the palate – good red and black fruit, plums, ripe blueberries, warm spice, hint of eucalyptus, medium to full body, round tannins and and acidity, very balanced ( and stayed that way for 3 days). This is the description of much more expensive wine, but – $6.99 is $6.99… Definitely the wine to buy by the case. Drinkability: 8.
Last one - 2009 Blason de Bourgogne Montagny Premier Cru, Burgundy (13% ABV, $8.99) – Burgundy for $9? Can that be even drinkable? Nice and balanced. Nose of white apple and lychees. Very round on the palate, white fruit, with distant hint of vanilla and toasted oak, may be a tiny touch of butter. Good balance, good acidity – should be a good food wine. Drinkability: 7+.
That’s all for today folks. I’m glad it is a #WineWednesday, so this post will hopefully give you some food for thoughts. What are your great experiences with the
cheap value wines, and what are the “not cheap wines” you regretted buying? Share it all here. Cheers and happy #WW!
Once again, Wine Till Sold Out (a.k.a WTSO), one of my favorite online wine stores, had its “Super Wednesday” – an event which takes place about 4 times a year where the wines are sold online in rapid succession. Compared to some of the past “Super Wednesday” events (here is the post about the one from about a year ago) WTSO changed the model slightly. Previously, during Super Wednesday WTSO was offering wines at any price range, but as of lately, the wines are limited in price up to $18.99, and therefore all the wines have the same minimum quantity requirements of 4 bottles (minimum quantity is required to receive a free shipping, you can technically buy wine in any quantity). Considering that limited cost, these events are even called “Cheapskate Wednesday” now.
Quite honestly, I like the old model more – when it comes to the unknown wines, even at a lower cost, I usually buy one bottle just to try, and then more if I like the first one – as I don’t know majority of the wines offered in the events such as this one, paying $40 to $76 for 4 bottles of wine I might not like is not a great proposition – my preference is to look for the gems (and WTSO is The Place to find them), and to get one or two bottles of the wine which looks more interesting instead of four bottles of unknown wine.But if you know the wines, then of course there are lots of values to be had – but you have to act fast – and you have to use Twitter, as it is the only place where each new wine is advertized.
Anyway, I collected information about all the wines which were offered. I used different approach this year, so between improved Twitter and automated web site snapshots, I was able to collect a lot more information compare to the previous posts. Before I will present the full table to you, here are some of the comments and notes. The whole event took about 18 hours, from 6 AM Eastern until midnight on the same day, February 15th. About 100 wines had being offered, from $7.99 to $18.99. Some wines lasted only for a couple of minutes, and some lasted for 20 minutes or a bit longer ( very few). A lot of wines had being rated on the 100 points scale. Here is a quick guide to the rating abbreviations: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO - Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, MS – Mari Stull, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max). And here is the table:
|Time||Wine Name||Rating||Orig. Price||WTSO Price||% off|
|6:00a||Soda Rock Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006||JHN91||$35.00||$14.99||57%|
|6:08a||Bodegas Y Vinedos Pujanza Pujanza Rioja DOC 2007||WA91||$34.99||$16.99||51%|
|6:30a||Encantado (You Know The Winery!) Carneros Chardonnay 2010||$32.00||$13.99||56%|
|6:36a||I Greppi Greppicante Bolgheri, DOC 2008||WS90||$29.99||$15||50%|
|6:48a||Bodegas Silvano Garcia Vina Honda Crianza Jumilla, Spain 2006||WA91, ST90||$21.99||$12.99||41%|
|6:59a||St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Sonoma County Syrah 2006||$20.00||$12.99||35%|
|7:17a||Villa Andretti Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009||$28.00||$11.99||57%|
|7:24a||St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Claret Sonoma County Red Blend 2007||41%|
|7:28a||Toad Hall Cellars Carneros, Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2007||JHN91-92||$25.00||$14.99||40%|
|7:32a||Clos Du Bois North Coast Chardonnay 2010||50%|
|7:39a||Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007||WRO89||$35.00||$18.99||46%|
|7:42a||Andre Farjon La Deveze Cotes du Rhone 2007 By Philippe Cabie||40%|
|7:47a||Thumbprint Cellars Three Some Winemaker’s Reserve Sonoma County 2008||$45.00||$17.99||60%|
|7:55a||Adobe Road Winery Alexander Valley Meritage 2005||62%|
|7:59a||Chateau Galand Bordeaux Superieur AOC 2005||$31.49||$12.99||59%|
|8:04a||David Bruce Winery Los Gatos Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2009||$24.99||$14.99||40%|
|8:19a||Turn 4 Bennett Lane Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008||$25.99||$15.99||38%|
|8:33a||Inman Faily Wines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006||ST90||$45.00||$17.99||60%|
|8:44a||Wine Guerrilla Coffaro Vineyards Block 1 Old Vine Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2009||$40.00||$17.99||55%|
|8:52a||Bouchaine Vineyards Napa Valley Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2006||92||53%|
|8:59a||Shadowood Alexander Valley Merlot Reserve 2008||JHN92||$31.99||$13.99||56%|
|9:03a||Chateau de Lyde Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2009||$17.99||$9.99||44%|
|9:15a||Mario Perelli-Minetti Winery Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007||93||64%|
|9:18a||Montes Limited Selection Leyda Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 #82 Top 100 2011 WE!|
|9:22a||Villa Petriolo Chianti DOCG 2008||$19.99||$9.99||50%|
|9:37a||Mathis Wines Sonoma Valley Grenache 2006||MS90||$39.99||$15.99||60%|
|9:53a||Starry Night Winery Lodi Zinfandel 2007||50%|
|9:59a||Bodegas Ondarre Reserva Rioja 2004 #58 Top 100 Wines 2010!||WS91, D****||$22.99||$11.49||50%|
|10:18a||Kingsford Manor Winery Napa Valley Rose Wine 2010||JHN88||$18.99||$8.99||53%|
|10:33a||Chateau Pavillon Bel-Air Lalande de Pomerol 2006||91||55%|
|10:38a||Sergio Mionetto Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Sergio Rose N/V||$14.99||$12.09||19%|
|10:55a||Oriel Wines Sygnet McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004 93WE!||93||73%|
|10:58a||Chateau De Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2009 By Aelie Aubert||WS89||$18.99||$10.99||42%|
|11:15a||Spicerack Vineyards Punchdown Sonoma Coast Syrah 2008||ST88+||$29.99||$13.99||53%|
|11:30a||Soda Rock Winery Alexander Valley Chardonnay 2009||$28.00||$14.99||46%|
|11:45a||Bodegas Rejadorada Rosum Joven 2009||$12.99||$7.99||38%|
|12:00p||Pessagno Winery Idyll Times Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007||WE90, CG90||$40.00||$17.99||55%|
|12:05p||Brancott Estate Classic Range Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010||WRO91||$13.99||$8.49||39%|
|12:15p||Veraonte Winery Ritual Casablanca Valley, Chile Pinot Noir 2007||40%|
|12:22p||Grupo Bodegas Olarra Ondarre Cava Brut Millenium N/V||$21.99||$10.99||50%|
|12:43p||Rouvre Saint Leger Laudun Cotes du Rhone Villages Blanc 2009 by Philippe Cabie||$30.00||$17.99||40%|
|12:57p||Kunde Faily Estate Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007||WS87||$20.99||$9.99||52%|
|1:15p||Azienda Agricola Piancornello Rosso di Montalcino DOCG 2009||90||45%|
|1:21p||Terre Domini Solare Prosecco N/V||$12.99||$8.99||31%|
|1:38p||Infinity Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009||$24.99||$12.99||48%|
|1:53p||Thumbprint Cellars Winemakers Reserve Four Play Alexander Valley Red 2009||JHN91-92||$45.00||$17.99||60%|
|2:09p||Juslyn Vineyards Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2008||WA87||$34.99||$14.99||57%|
|2:17p||Bodegas Poesia Clos Des Andes Malbec Reserva 2006 92 WA! 90-92 ST!||WA92, ST90-92||$36.99||$16.99||54%|
|2:33p||Nord Vineyards Estate Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004||90||68%|
|2:37p||Boisset Faily Estates Lyeth Sonoma County Meritage 2008||$19.99||$10.99||45%|
|2:52p||Petizos Mendoza Malbec 2007||$14.99||$9.99||33%|
|3:00p||Bodegas Beronia Rioja Rosado Tempranillo 2010||$21.99||$10.99||50%|
|3:15p||Mockingbird Hill Winery Sonoma County Chardonnay Reserve 2010 By Zach Long||JHN91+||$27.00||$12.99||52%|
|3:27p||Chateau Le Gardera Bordeaux Superieur Grand Vin De Bordeaux 2008||WS89||$15.99||$8.99||44%|
|3:36p||Sola Winery Napa Valley Zinfandel 2006||58%|
|3:41p||Clos des Miran Cuvee Speciale Cotes Du Rhone 2009||$15.99||$9.99||44%|
|3:51p||The Barrister Sonoma County Red Wine 2010||JHN92||$35.00||$14.99||57%|
|4:04p||Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel Pena Roble Ribera del Duero Joven 2007||90||56%|
|4:13p||Maxwell Creek Winery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009||$22.99||$11.49||50%|
|4:18p||Chateau Tanesse Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2009||$20.99||$10.99||48%|
|4:33p||Doolittle Farms Moniz Vineyards St Helena, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008||JHN92||$40.00||$17.99||55%|
|4:38p||Noyes Wines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2007||JHN91-92||$34.99||$18.99||46%|
|4:54p||Bodegas Poesia Pasodoble Mendoza Proprietary Blend 2007||WA89||$15.99||$9.99||38%|
|5:09p||Lincourt Vineyards Santa Rita Hills Unoaked Chardonnay 2010||JS90||$19.99||$12.09||40%|
|5:23p||Yokayo Wines Buteo Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007||50%|
|5:31p||Pope Valley Winery Eakle Ranch, Napa Valley Red 2007||JHN91||$30.00||$13.49||55%|
|5:38p||Cline Cellars Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007|
|5:42p||Villa Rocca IGT Pinot Grigio 2011||$15.00||$9.99||33%|
|5:56p||Orentano Wines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2005||$36.00||$17.99||50%|
|6:14p||Fitch Mountain Cellars Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 by Mike Duffy||pp|
|6:18p||Cantina Pieve Vecchia Chorum Montecucco Sangiovese DOC 2007||WE88||$18.99||$9.99||47%|
|6:36p||Madonna Estate Carneros, Napa Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 2008||JHN92||$40.00||$17.99||55%|
|6:52p||Conti Serristori Chianti Classico DOCG 2007||$19.99||$10.99||45%|
|7:08p||Vina Almirante Albarino Vanidade Rias Baixas 2010||WA90||$23.99||$12.99||46%|
|7:19p||Mumm Napa Carneros Pinot Noir 2007||$32.99||$16.49||50%|
|7:26p||Bell Canyon Cellars Napa Valley Estate Vineyards Red Blend 2009||JHN91-92||$27.99||$12.99||54%|
|7:33p||Bodega LuzDivina Aigo Vinademoya Mencia 2006||WA90||$21.99||$9.99||55%|
|7:54p||Mazzocco Winery Mendocino County Hopland, California Sauvignon Blanc 2009||JHN88-89||$16.99||$9.99||41%|
|8:04p||Massimo Rivetti Serraboella Barbera d’Alba Red Wine 2005||91||65%|
|8:09p||Thumbprint Cellars Winemakers Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009|
|8:11p||Ottimino Ottimino Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2006||WE89||$32.99||$13.99||58%|
|8:27p||Abadia da Cova Ribeira Sacra Barrica Mencia 2008 93 W&S!||W&S93||$28.99||$13.99||52%|
|8:43p||Stonehedge Winery Terroir Select Pallini Ranch, Mendocino Zinfandel 2006||JHN90||$30.00||$13.99||53%|
|8:56p||Vinedos de Villaester Taurus Toro Tempranillo 2005||WA88, ST88||$14.99||$8.99||40%|
|9:15p||Maison Alain Paret Valvigneyre Cotes-Du-Rhone Viognier 2009||WS88||$22.00||$10.99||50%|
|9:27p||Abelis Carthago Lui Selection Castilla Leon Red 2005||WA90||$28.00||$14.49||50%|
|9:50p||Jermann Venezia Giulia IGT Sauvignon Blanc 2008||WA88||$35.00||$15.99||54%|
|10:06p||Oriel Wines Midnight Rabler Rutherford, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006||WS88, WE87||$35.00||$16.99||51%|
|10:16p||Carles Andreu Cava Brut Nature Reserve N/V||WA87||$33.00||$13.29||60%|
|10:31p||Benessere Vineyards Napa Valley Rosato 2009||JHN88||$18.99||$8.99||53%|
|10:47p||Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2007||89||58%|
|10:53p||Passalacqua Heritage EstateGia Domella Cabernet2006 by Nick Goldschmidt||WE90||$39.99||$14.99||63%|
|10:57p||St. Francis Winery Behler Vineyard Sonoma County Estate Merlot Blend 2005||JHN92+||$45.00||$18.99||58%|
|11:04p||Bodega Catena Zapata Catena Malbec Mendoza 2009 #58 Top 100 Wines 2011 WS!|
|11:10p||Croix de Basson Cotes de Provence Organic Red Wine 2007||$16.99||$9.99||41%|
|11:26p||Bodegas Vistalba Tomero Malbec Mendoza 2010||$19.99||$9.99||50%|
|11:33p||Valley Gate Vineyards Versada Vineyard, Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009||JHN93-94||$39.99||$15.99||60%|
|11:49p||Sonoma Acres Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009||JHN92+||$29.99||$13.99||53%|
|11:55p||Fattoria Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva 2007||91||53%|
Happy analysis! Enjoy! And don’t forget to grab a glass of your favorite wine while you will be at it. Cheers!
Few days ago, I was caught by surprise with the question: “We like Pinot Noir, would like to ask for your recommendation, and we need to find a bottle…” – as you can imagine, at this point I’m ready for action – of course, Pinot Noir, I can recommend many great wines – but then I heard the end of the question: “for 6 dollars”, and I immediately went into “oops” mode. Yes, I can recommend Pinot Noir, but not for $6! Closest I tried was something generic from Burgundy for $12, and it was unpalatable enough so I had a tough fight with myself to use it even for cooking. I know some good Chilean Pinot Noir, but even that would cost $15. Yes, I know good wines which would cost $6 – but those would be mostly Portuguese.
Well, when in trouble, ask for advice, right? This is exactly what I did – I stopped by my friend Zak at Cost Less Wines and Liquors in Stamford, and thought that I would puzzle him with the same question – I need a bottle of Pinot Noir for $6. Luckily, Zak didn’t hesitate much: here it is, $5.99, and it is quite drinkable, was his advice. I was still a bit suspicious, as it is a French wine, and as I already mentioned, I did have a bad experience with inexpensive Pinot Noir. But at such a price point, you wouldn’t argue too much, right? So I grabbed the bottle and decided to give it my best try.
I’m glad I did! This 2009 Maison Nicolas Pinot Noir Reserve was actually very nice, simple and round, with good dark fruit on the palate, medium body and pleasant finish (Drinkability: 7). No, it didn’t have silky smooth seductive charm of Charles Mara Pinot Noir, or the smokiness and finesse of Russell Hamilton Pinot Noir – but it was a Pinot Noir with all the characteristic cherries and violets which can be picked up on the palate. By the way, can you guess where this wine was made? Yes, of course it is France, but where in France? Nope, it is not Burgundy – this wine comes from the region without limits – if you said Languedoc, you are correct, this wine has designation of Vin De Pays D’Oc. Also I want to mention that this wine comes from Maison Nicolas which delivers wines from many different regions in France, a lot of them quite inexpensive.
The moral of this story is very simple – don’t be deterred by the low price of the wine, and ask for the advice – there is a good chance you will be happy in the end.