Friday, October 27, 2006

Saturday Wine Shopping--Friday edition

We needed parmesan cheese and sponges--what an excuse to go to Costco! No one in their right mind would go to a Costco on a Saturday if they could possibly avoid it, so I set out today. Because the local Alhambra warehouse has an uninspiring wine section, I decided to go to the hipper nearby demographic of Los Feliz and check out their warehouse's selection. Final assessment: it was better, but probably not worth the trip. I was clearly spoiled by 7 years of shopping at Costcos in Sonoma and Napa.

Even so, I came home with a great buy on white burgundy, inspired by Brooklynguy's recent wine tasting event experience: the 2002 La Chablisienne 1er Cru Grand Cuvee ($16.99) which is just becoming drinkable. I'm going to hold on to it for a while, though, just to remind myself that you have to buy wine like this whenever and wherever you find it. When it peaks in 5 years it will be very expensive if you can get your hands on it at all. I also purchased another bottle of the 2004 Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva ($12.99), another great buy on a great value red. I took a flyer on the 2003 Ferrari-Carano Siena ($16.69), a Sangiovese blend from the Alexander Valley. Don't know this wine, although I love Ferrari-Carano's Fume Blanc which has been an excellent wine for the money over the past few vintages. I've never had one of their reds, and with fall coming (slowly to be sure in LA) there is certain to be pasta in my future.

Perhaps the best bargains of all, however, came not in wine but in wine accessories and books. I picked up the new edition of Jancis Robinson's The Oxford Companion to Wine ($39.99). This is a huge encyclopedia of wine lore, nicely presented and surprisingly easy to read for a reference work. I will have to do a better review of it in an upcoming post, but Costco shoppers might want to be on the alert for it at their local branch as this is a pretty hefty savings off the retail. I also picked up some of those neoprene bottle holders by Built NY, which were tucked back next to the endpacks in the wine section. Good for toting wine to picnics because they both insulate and protect (the stuff is wetsuit material), they came in sets of 2/2 bottle and 3/1 bottle for $16.99 a set. Lots of folks are getting these at the holidays given the price!

1 comment:

Cheers said...

Another great wine tasting accessory/gift is the SWILL Wine Tasting and Club Starter Kit (www.swillparty.com). Based on the highly successful SWILL wine tasting club in Allegany, NY, SWILL guides you step-by-step on how easy it is to start your own wine club or just host a party. The SWILL club has also published a fundraising calendar benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org).