It’s tax season and 1040 forms are never fun, especially when the balance ends up in the government’s favor, not yours. Whether or not there’s a refund in sight, this list will afford some sips that are both tasty and economical. We discovered nine great deals for $10 or less in the wine departments at Bay Area Costco, Cost Plus World Market and Grocery Outlet stores. Cheers!
Costco: This ▪ big box retail behemoth is one of the biggest wine buyers in the country. What you may not know is that Costco has a dedicated team devoted to negotiating terrific prices on amazing wine. Try these three:
▪ 2012 Starmont Carneros Chardonnay ($9.49): This stunner comes from the winery’s estate Stanley Ranch Vineyard in Napa. The wine is full of ripe apple and pear notes with snappy acid, a creamy mouthfeel and just a kiss of spice.
▪ 2015 Commanderie de la Bergemone Rosé ($7.97): This French wine is as sunny as the Provencal countryside. This sustainably grown cabernet sauvignon, grenache, syrah and cinsault blend has a pale coppery hue and fresh strawberry aromas.
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▪ 2014 Montes Classic Cabernet Sauvignon ($6.89): Wine Spectator magazine gives this cab 90 points and rates it number 42 on their 2016 Top 100 Wines list – and they’re not wrong. Blackberry and black cassis fruit, cinnamon and earthy aromas leap out of the glass. The tannins are super soft, and the finish is leathery and tobacco-tinged.
Cost Plus World Market: We found it challenging to find many bottles here for $10 or less. But you can experiment here with peace of mind. If you don’t like the wine, just bring in proof of purchase within 60 days for an exchange or refund.
▪ NV Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava (9.99): At this price, we'll toast with this dry, crisp Spanish sparkler on any occasion. With its toasty apple and pear fruit flavors, this cava is made like a pricey Champagne. Wine & Spirits Magazine named this bubbly a “value brand” for several years running.
▪ 2016 La Playa Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99): This mellow sauv blanc from Chile’s Curico Valley is a pale lemon hue, with refreshing citrus and floral aromas, fresh acidity and tropical pineapple flavors.
▪ 2014 Honoro Vera Garnacha ($9.99): Do you buy wine for the label? We do, too. The colorful eye-catching artwork on this Spanish garnacha (the grape also known as grenache) enticed us to pay $10 for a wine we didn’t know. Now that we’ve tasted this rich, earthy, full bodied wine with black fruit, herbal and anise notes, we’d buy it again.
Grocery Outlet: This bargain market lives up to its billing with the mother lode of wine deals. We didn’t recognize many of the wine labels, but when we spotted these three, we knew we’d struck gold. If you don’t like the wine, take it back within 30 days for a refund or exchange.
▪ 2015 Michel-Schlumberger Chardonnay ($4.99): This wine is a gem from a well-known Sonoma producer in Dry Creek Valley. Lemony, apple and peachy aromas evolve into lush peach and pineapple flavors, with a long creamy finish. You can’t beat the price, and after tasting this $5 chard with a friend, she ran out to buy a case ($60).
▪ 2013 Fabio Viviani Wine Collection Chardonnay ($4.99): We were surprised to find “Top Chef” alum Fabio Viviani’s California wine here. We were even more pleasantly surprised to taste apple and pear, kissed with caramel.
▪ 2011 Cousino-Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon ($4.99): When we saw this sustainably-farmed wine from a Chilean winery we’ve actually visited, we couldn’t believe it. Founded in 1856, Cousino-Macul is nestled in the Maipo Valley within the Santiago city limits – and this wine is even better than we remembered. The silky tannins have softened over time and the wine has tart cherry and black currant notes and a long, spicy finish.