Who Needs a Sale When You Have Empire Wine?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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I stopped and visited New York Retailer Empire Wine last summer on our way to vacation in Michigan. What an operation. Located within a large strip mall, I never would have thought to stop in if I wasn't aware of their reputation online. I couldn't believe the volume of wine they were pushing through their registers on a summery Friday afternoon.

One thing I want this site to be about is helping friends find better wine values. Part of that is finding outstanding retailers who sell wine on razor thin margins. As I'm writing this I'm imagining co-workers and cousins looking for specific retailers to order from, and specific wines to get started with. I think 6 or 12 of the wines below would make a great stash of wines for the holiday season.

With deals swirling around this weekend I thought it would be a good opportunity to peruse their selection and make a few recommendations:
  1. Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel 2010 $23.95
    $23 for what's sure to be a delicious red from Cakebread? Sold.
  2. Failla 'Sonoma Coast' Pinot Noir 2011 $31.95
    Great producer. Love the ~$30 price point for high quality California Pinot Noir.
  3. Snowden 'The Ranch' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $37.95
    Not the prettiest label in the world but this one over delivers for its price point.
  4. O'Shaughnessy 'Howell Mtn.' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $74.95
    Bumps the price up a bit over the Cakebread/Caymus/Silver Oak ~$60 level, but it's worth the splurge.
  5. Beaurenard 'Boisrenard' Chateauneuf du Pape 2010 $69.95
    97WS, great vintage. Getting harder to find these 2010s.
  6. Soter 'North Valley' Pinot Noir 2009 $24.95
    Soter's a great producer and I'm looking to try more 2009 Oregon Pinots before they disappear.
  7. Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2011 $23.95
    People love this producer and I'm hearing good things this 2011 Cru Beaujolais.
  8. Belle Glos 'Meiomi' Pinot Noir 2011 $15.93
    Stunningly low price, even when shipping costs are included.
  9. Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $16.95
    Tasty fruit forward Napa Cab at a great price.
  10. Ridge Vineyards 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $34.95
    Hard to go wrong with Ridge and priced in the mid-$30s this is a nice value.
  11. Bodegas Volver 'Tarima Hill' Monastrell 2009 $8.95
    I always like including a bargain Spanish Monastrell to round out a case. Original referral on this one came from The Capital Grille. Big and bold.
  12. Bodegas Borsao Tinto 2011 $5.95
    Robert Parker called this "Possibly the single greatest dry red wine value in the world" and rated it 90 points. Plug this into the WWP QPR Calculator (what's that?) and you get 3.36: Very Good Value. I've enjoyed other Borsao wines before and I'd bet this one is good too. What do you have to lose at this price point?
Wine Retailers: Do you have an e-commerce site I can peruse and build up a similar list? Drop me an email and let me know.

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