There’s a good chance you’ll be uncorking a bottle of wine to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but choosing that wine can be a task in itself, especially when it comes to the price.
“This is Veuve Clicquot. It’s dry, bone dry, the bubbles are nice and tight and it runs very steady,” said Heinen’s downtown wine consultant Mike Graley as he pointed to the $180 bottle of champagne.
It’s a price point, many people can’t often afford.
“Reality is, most people coming in are going to want to spend $10,” said World Market wine expert Holly Christensen, who loves a good deal. “My favorite is La Vieille Farm. They have it here in the Pinot Noir. $7.99 almost all the time. If I could plumb my faucets to serve that when I serve the cold tap on I would be in heaven.”
Christensen’s top tip is to ask your local store when it does resets. It’s the only time the state lets stores discount wine.
“That’s when you can come in and get a lot of amazing deals on some wines you wouldn’t want to pay the full price for,” she said.
Christensen said many restaurant house wines can be bought in the store, so customers shouldn’t be afraid to ask their server what it is. A lot of times the wine is pretty affordable. A popular brand is Sterling, which Heinen’s sells for $9.99.
Heinen’s has an entire department of 55 bottles of wines that cost less than $10. Graley calls the section a steal.
“You can come here and pick something you might recognize or you might not recognize, but you know you’re getting a good quality for a good price,” he said.
Red blends are red hot right now and are often priced well.
“I think really, pound for pound you’re getting more for your money because you’re not paying the Napa Valley Cab, but you can get a Napa Valley Meritage Blend for about half that price,” said Graley.
He said 19 Crimes Red Blend is the store’s number one seller. It retails at Heinen’s for $9.99.
When it comes to box wine, which got a bad rap in the past, Graley and Christensen said they’re both Bota Box fans. Many boxes ring in at less than $20 and hold four bottles of wine.
“Years ago they were really looked upon as cheap wines, but the quality now, it’s not embarrassing to serve them,” Graley said.
“I think Bota somewhere along the lines realized there was a market for beyond the college student for boxed wines and they really upped their game in the last three to five years,” Christensen said.
Christensen also recommends people buy wine at the case discount to save money.
When you buy six bottles of wine, you get 10-percent off your purchase at any participating store any time of year.
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