Have you ever been looking for a bottle of wine, only to find yourself at the liquor store staring blankly and wondering which to choose? Red or white? Sweet or dry? How much should I spend?
I didn’t think so.
Thankfully, I found a handy wine buying guide from Seattle Stevie’s Wine Wednesday series, which she has graciously allowed me to share with you! While Maryland does not sell wine in grocery stores (weird, huh?), I think her other tips apply. (Plus you can always stock up in DC or Virginia, or another state that sells wine more freely.)
Here are Stevie’s tips (see the original post here):
You can find decent, inexpensive wine at pretty much any grocery store. But my top three favorite places for good, cheap wine are:
Trader Joe’s – Trader Joe’s has an incredible selection of wine at all different price points. Many wines are made exclusively for TJ’s, while others can be found in a variety of stores. We all know of Two Buck Chuck, also known as Charles Shaw. This wine isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. And you can’t beat the price. The one problem with Chuck, though, is that it’s basically made from leftovers of tons of different batches of wine, so every bottle is different. Sometimes you’ll get a really crappy bottle, and other times you can get a pretty decent bottle. It’s a gamble (but not much of a gamble since it’s so damn cheap).
Usually there will be displays on the ends of their aisles of some wine or another. Most of the time these are available in limited quantity, but are priced very reasonably. I always grab one or two of these bottles when I’m in the store. It’s a great way to try different wines, and if I don’t like it I usually cook with the wine instead of drink it. Same goes with the above mentioned Chuck.
Cost Plus World Market – If you have a Cost Plus in your town, go IMMEDIATELY to the store and sign up for their Explorer Rewards program. You get better prices on wine, plus other items and you get even more coupons than what they send in the mail. The prices on wine here are almost unbeatable and the selection is huge, without being too overwhelming. For 8 or 9 bucks, you can get a great bottle of wine.
QFC – This is a local grocery store chain (sorry for those not in the area) that has excellent prices on wine. They have longstanding relationships with several wine vendors, so they get much better deals when they purchase the wine – and the savings are passed along to you! How nice!
Also, if you’re in the military or a dependent, the Class Six usually has the BEST prices on wine. For example, there is a winery called La Crema in Sonoma, CA. Their wines are some of my absolute favorites, but in most stores are around $15-18 per bottle. My mum sees it occasionally at the Class Six for $3.99. WHAT?! Amazing.
Ok, now onto another favorite cheap wine:
I’m not going to talk about a specific varietal from Bogle because they’re all good. I’ve tried all their everyday grocery store priced wines and I love them all. The wines are available at Cost Plus, Trader Joe’s and almost every grocery store chain for $8.99 to $11.99. My favorites are the Pinot Noir and the Petite Sirah (not to be confused with Syrah), but the rest are delicious, too.
I know some of you are trying to learn to like red wine. I would highly recommend the Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is generally much lighter and slightly sweeter than most reds. Even when you pour it, you’ll likely notice the color isn’t nearly as deep as most red wines.
What do you think, readers? Any more tips to add?