One of the nice benefits of the grocery wars in the Southeastern U.S.: a few stores are using huge, impressive selections of great wine as a point of differentiation.
One great example is the Ansley Park Kroger in Atlanta, Georgia, which is having a 10% off mixed-cases sale this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The Ansley Kroger arguably offers the most impressive selection of $20-40 bottles in the city, as well as some great bargain buys, so this is a great opportunity to try some things – assemble a case and enjoy a mix of malbecs you haven’t tried in different price ranges.
If you live in Georgia, this is a sale I wouldn’t miss.
The best bottle of South American wine you can usually pick up at Whole Foods Market is Colomé Estate Malbec. Owned by the Hess family and sourced from a desert vineyard in Salta, it’s one of my absolute favorites. There’s an elegance to this wine that belies its mid-$20s price.
However, the Whole Foods price of $28 is a terrible value. It’s why I tell people only to buy it during the store’s 20% off sale, when it drops to around $23.
As a reminder, I don’t sell wine, and I don’t get any kind of financial incentive from the wines I recommend. I figure if I turn you on to great wines at great prices, the karma will come back to me eventually. A world where people are buying less Cigar Box and Diseno is a world I want to live in. If you like what I’m doing, maybe you’ll buy me a bottle sometime.
We know what we’ll be reading over Sunday morning coffee.
The annual Argentina wine review from Robert Parker is out!
This vast and comprehensive article, written by Luis Gutierrez (who has been doing a great job the last two years as the Argentina reviewer), is as far as we’re concerned, the most important piece of wine journalism this year.
We encourage you to subscribe at eRobertParker.com, or subscribe to Wine Advocate magazine, but we’ll be sure to share a few key highlights here…
Congratulations to Tapiz for scoring an extremely impressive 95 points from James Suckling for their 2013 Alta Collection Malbec.
Tapiz used to be a great place to eat lunch in Mendoza, but not a place you would detour to for the wine. But new winemakers and a motivated team have clearly led to something special here.
Tapiz Alta Collection is widely distributed in the States, and you can often find it under $20. I would grab a bottle of this quick, before the score inflates the price. Check with Costco, who often has had this in stock.
Once you’ve been seduced by the steak, the tango, and of course the delicious malbec on your Argentine vacation, it’s hard to resist the urge to fill your suitcase with as many bottles as you can find.
But the truth is, there are many reasons NOT to buy wines during your Argentina vacation. Many of the best wines are available in the US, at the same or better prices as you will find in Argentina. Shipping is incredibly expensive, to the point where it almost never makes sense. And checking wine in your baggage comes with its own set of hassles.
The good news is, there are still some compelling things to look for – and new mobile smartphone tools that can help you make better decisions on the fly, in the store. For example, WineSearcher.com or its app. Do a price search with US retailers, as you’re viewing the bottle in the Argentine wine shop. Use eRobertParker.com ($99/yr) to check ratings and reviews while you are in the store.
A few thoughts on this from the taxi, as I head on my own trip to one of my favorite wine stores, Terrior in Buenos Aires, to stock up.