More wine retailer foolishness

wine retailer foolishnessYou’d think I’d find something worth drinking among a dozen bottles, but you’d be wrong

Some notes after buying a dozen bottles of wine at various retailers over the last week; sadly, most weren’t worth drinking, let alone writing about. Call it more wine retailer foolishness:

• Points are bad enough, but they’re despicable when they’re so obviously fake. A Dallas mom and pop had an $11 rose from France that I had never heard of – Rose of Scarlet, complete with a Gone with the Wind style front label. Is this dry, I asked? Yes, I was told. It got 92 points. But really dry (because why would anyone put that label on the wine if it was any good)? Yes, I was told. It got 92 points. Of course, the wine tasted like a bottle of French rose with a Gone with the Wind style front label – not really dry, without much rose freshness, and way too much fruit. If it got 92 points, the score came from the winemaker’s mother.

• Premiumization run amok. A couple of years ago, I bought a bottle of the 2013 Spy Valley riesling from New Zealand at a prominent Dallas retailer for $16. Over the weekend, it was $18 at the same retailer. The wine has not necessarily improved with age, but it cost $2 more? And why was the store selling an out-of-date riesling for the same price as the 2014, which was next to it on the shelf?

• Trader Joe’s wine continues to baffle me. Its prices on national brands are a couple of dollars more than other retailers in Dallas, and buying its private label stuff is a crapshoot. Most of it is cheap and tastes that way, and I’ve bought just one wine in 15 years that was worth what it cost. How so many of my colleagues can rave about its wines baffles me. And the Texas section consisted of one wine stuck in the lower left hand corner of the shelf, and it wasn’t even technically Texas wine – it was a dreaded for sale in Texas only.

More about wine retailer foolishess:
Wine pricing skulduggery
Beware wine vintage skulduggery!
The Kroger wine proposal

3 thoughts on “More wine retailer foolishness

  • By Paul Moe - Reply

    I saw Meiomi Pinot Noir in a Trader Joe’s in Fort Lauderdale, FL, yesterday for $16.99. I wanted a syrah, and the bottom shelf where they were offered for sale consisted of a bunch of private label wines n the $8-$12 range, and Qupe for $28.99 ( I don’t know which bottling). An off the topic question relating to TJ’s. How can you be in that business and NOT sell cold beer? That was my first, and last, trip into that retailer.

  • By JP Eastridge - Reply

    Since your gut told you the rose of Scarlet would probably be bad, why did you buy it? I try to educate my customers to trust themselves when shopping; I’m here to answer questions and give guidance when they really don’t know where to start. As to the Spy Valley incident, that I understand. With modern inventory control, it’s very difficult to price two vintages separately without risking significant loss on new purchases. There are ways of dealing with the issue, but I can understand the duplicate pricing; they deserve some slack for that.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Why did I buy the rose? Because that’s my job, to go bravely where no other wine writer would go. And I would respectfully disagree about the riesling — do you see car dealers do that?

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