Friday, May 28, 2010

Trading Down

Trading down is a common term in the real estate business. The typical example relates to 'empty nesters' who no longer need a huge home after the kids move out, or as it relates to our current economy, where people are downsizing their homes (and lifestyles) to save money. When money is tight, people change their habits and consume less/borrow less (I sure wish our government would figure that out, but I digress!). This trend is no different in the wine business. Retailers say that the over $20 market is dead and restaurants are selling less by the bottle versus by the glass (which ironically is a higher markup than by the bottle). Either way, this is a shift in consumption habits and it can create some opportunities for bargains! For example, many restaurants are offering half-price (or other similar discounts) bottle sales on special nights. Wine shops are using closeouts to move older products. Even California vineyards are using '2nd labels' like France's Bordeaux region (e.g. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Carruades du Lafite) or selling off some of their production to people like Cameron Hughes that I talk about all the time (even the Wall Street Journal talks about his wines, not just what you can find today at Sam's Club). There are still bargains to be found--even for 'name-brands'. A recent AJC delivery included flyers from Sherlocks (Chateauneuf du Pape for under $25?) and Bullock's (Ravenswood Vintner's Zin for under $7) and last week I found several fun deals (as always) from Total Wine and More. Other local retailers such as Pearson's and Tower send email deals so be on the lookout for specials. Just remember that trading down in price shouldn't mean you have to trade down in quality! Ask for suggestions at your local retailer; most have great staff members to help! Keep an eye on my wine blog as I put tips on there from time to time (and I plan a post called "The $10 Connoisseur" listing some fun wines for $10 and under (thanks for the idea, John!). Cheers, Bo

Friday, May 14, 2010

More about Carmenère

About 98% of the world's Carmenère is produced in Chile and you can find many bargains of this yummy Bordeaux-blending varietal. However, this article focuses on how a "humble" (in quotes as it costs around $80 compared to many sub-$10 examples) Carmenère won an exclusive tasting in NYC. How exclusive? Try beating Opus One, Château Lafite-Rothschild or Stag's Leap SLV for an example? My message is to seek out something different than a garden-variety Cabernet for dinner this weekend--try something new and fun like a Carmenère and you may be surprised! Cheers, Bo

(Bonus article: info on Malbecs here!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

More on Direct Wine shipping

While THIS ARTICLE is about Michigan laws, the concept is the same. Contact your Congressman today and stop this silly new law!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh goodie! Another good find at Sam's

It should be NO surprise to learn that I am a zinfandel lover. For those of you who are new to wine, I am not talking about pink zinfandel, but the beautiful rich red zinfandel, friend to spicy foods and bbq alike! I had to run to Sam's Club to pick up some items and saw that they have an old friend for sale at a fair price of $7.98--Rosenblum Vintner's Cuvee. Similar concept as Ravenswood's Vintner's Zin, but less production. If YOU are a zin lover you will already know that I just mentioned 2 of the 3 R's--the most famous zin producers are Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. All three make other wines, but their single-vineyard products are incredible! Sure, I'd love a Biale "Black Chicken" or a Neyer's zin, but a) they are hard to find and b) pretty pricey but then again most of the single vineyard products from the 3 R's are up there as well. How about agreeing that all are great but the 3 R's are pretty much bulletproof? For $8, I am looking forward to seeing how good this 'lot' of Vintner's Cuvee is! See you again soon, Bo