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What’s up with the BevMo 5 cent wine sale?!

I love Beverages & More, I really do. Where else can you find such an awesome variety of beer, wine, liquor, and accompanying snacks and party ideas under one roof? I went there yesterday to pick up a bottle of rum and browse the wine shelves for a Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir that I’m just itching to add to my collection. Well, they didn’t have the bottle of Hahn, but I did bring home a 12-pack of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA for the nice price of $13.99 (BevMo member price), the first of which I am enjoying as I type this.

  A lot of customers in the BevMo store I went to were there for the semi-regular 5-cent wine   sale,  where you buy one bottle and get another of the same bottle for a nickel.  In times past, I would have gone bonkers for the wine sale and loaded up a basket with 6 or 8 bottles. But this time I barely looked at what was featured. There are a few reasons why I’m not so big on the 5-cent wine sale anymore, and I’ll lay them out.

First, most of the wines in the 5-cent wine sale have been featured many times in the past. The selection really does seem to be a constant repeat of whatever they had from the last 5-cent wine sale, and the one before that. A lot of these wine producers partner with BevMo to promote and sell these wines off in bulk quantities. When you see the same wines at a different store, an individual bottle is usually a few bucks less than the BevMo “regular” price. So it seems a lot of these bottles are being marked up before you get your second bottle for 5 cents.

Second, I just haven’t been impressed with very many of the wines I’ve bought in the 5 cent sale in the past. Sure, there have been some intriguing finds, and some very drinkable stuff for the value. But more often than not, mehhh. At this point, I have a lot of very good wines at home and I don’t have the space to fill up on more bottles that, chances are, will just disappoint my palate and make my drinking feel more like an act of work than pleasure.

Third, has anybody noticed just how MUCH of the wine featured in the 5-cent sale is given rave reviews and outstanding ratings? Seriously, go there and take a look around. “93 Points, Wilfred Wong” is about as common a tag line on every price sheet as “That’s All, Folks!” is to the ending of a Looney Tunes feature short. I didn’t know who Wilfred Wong was, so I looked into it. Turns out he is a taster in the employment of…you guessed it!…Beverages & More. Now he’s got some cred in the wine world, to boot, and probably a keener set of sniffers than myself…but when I want to know what a critic thinks about a movie I haven’t seen, I don’t go to the website for the movie or the theater chain. The 100-point rating system is not science, and everybody has their own taste. Is it too much to ask for a little independence in the ratings being used to market wine to the masses?

That said–I want your take on this! Have you picked up any really good finds in the BevMo 5-cent wine sale, and what were they? I want to know about your scores, and I want to know about that basement swill you ended up pouring down the drain! And if you have any tips about other places where you like to pick up some really good wine values, I’d sure like to know about that as well.




Welcome to Vines & Steins!

In a flash of hops-induced inspiration, this is my new blog! For those who know me, I’ve become quite the enthusiast of craft beer and wine, and I also love to write. Vines & Steins started as a short-lived column that I produced as a freelance writer for a local online magazine a few years back, but I felt limited by that publication’s focus on one geographic area for its coverage. With this blog, I’ll be covering beer and wine from all over, but certainly very California-centric and San Diego-centric (gotta support my peeps and write about what I know!)

Why beer AND wine?

The easy answer is I don’t discriminate! Sometimes I’m in the mood for a hoppy hand-crafted brew, and other times I crave a glass of really killer wine to arouse my senses. And sometimes both in the same sitting! I’ve been a passionate follower of the craft beer scene for 16 years now, and started exploring wine with an equal passion about 14 years ago. My hope is to create a unique forum where we can share our interests and latest finds, and compare our tastes. Let’s keep it fun, lighthearted, and opinionated! I want to know what you’re a fan of, and why!

So uncork that bottle, pop that cap! We’ve got a whole world of tasting to blabber on about…