Monday, April 28, 2008

wow - unexpected bargains

Sure, Ken Brown pinot noirs are really good stuff and are a good pick when you run across them, but I call out this bottle of 2005 Santa Rita Hills for a specific reason. On a recent R&R trip to San Francisco we ran into a small grocery to pick up some wine, cheese, etc for a picnic lunch. Gorgeous spring day and it had to be done. Scanning the wine shelves it was easy to see they organized horizontal by varietal and vertically by price. Down there on the bottom shelf, not where I expected to find a wine I was willing to buy, sat a few Ken Brown pinots. No price. Asking a busy checkout clerk, she had someone run check and came back with $9.99 - bottom shelf, right? I went back and got the other two bottles, so ended up with $120 worth of great wine for 30 bucks. The point? When you know the wines you love (in this case pinot noir) always consider lower-priced bottles that have vineyard designations or special appellations (in this case Santa Rita Hills) that indicate limited production. The wine industry is complicated and mistakes often get made, so price is not always a good indicator. In fact, let me know sometime if you want to hear about a bottle of 1973 Stags Leap Cellars cab that was on a clearance shelf in the busiest wine shop in Houston on the busiest day of the year. . .

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