10 Wines to Buy Now at Total Wine

Saturday, June 18, 2016

An amazing wine at an amazing price
(compare at $65 retail)
I stopped in at the Natick Total Wine yesterday to check in on how things have progressed since opening six months ago.

Their entry into the Massachusetts market was notable, to me, for the impressive assortment of domestic Pinot Noirs they had featuring wines normally reserved for mailing lists and restaurants. Fo example: Wines like Kutch, Roar, Radio Coteau, and Elk Cove La Boheme. They even had single vineyard bottlings, and they were offering them at tremendous prices.

I was wondering whether this could last.

The reason for my skepticism was that the assortment in Natick was unlike other Total Wine locations I've been to. Sure, they usually have good deals on high production national brands. But other locations hardly ever carry wines like the ones I was seeing in Natick the first few months they opened.

So how did things look yetserday?

To cut to the chase: The deals are drying up.

They still had Kutch but they've jacked the prices up to the point they're not a good deal anymore (probably due to pressure from the winery). That's a story in itself, and makes me hesitant to mention the best deals by name for fear of other wineries getting wind of it and putting pressure on the distributor to "encourage" Total Wine to increase prices on certain wines.

They still had Radio Coteau at a good price. They didn't have Elk Cove La Boheme any more. I didn't see the Roar bottling they had previously for $31.49. And I didn't see a lot of interesting new additions to the Pinot Noir section.

Their wheelhouse remains high production national brands

I find Total Wine to be terrific for picking up daily drinkers. They're strongest domestically, but when they have a higher production import that you like, they usually have it at competitive prices.

Here are 10 wines I've enjoyed in the past and  restocked on yesterday...

There's only so much Meiomi you can drink, so try this. Just $13.94 if you buy 6 or more mixed bottles.

I never seem to be able to keep enough Alto Moncayo on hand, and it's great to be able to pick up each of these bottles at very good prices any day of the week.

This has to be the best $7 bottle of wine on the planet. Haven't had it in a while, but I'll pop it soon.

I've been digging the Michael David wines lately (rich and juicy) and Total Wine has them at great prices across the board.

I see this served in a lot of lounges (Ritz Carlton Boston, Air France lounge for example) and it's pretty good. For $9.97 I'll either enjoy it on its own or as part of an Aperol Spritz.

They've got it for $12.14, so you could technically get it for a bit less with the Wine.com deal but I don't have any on hand at the moment and that just isn't acceptable.

Okay, this one I've never had but I liked the label, saw it was a Dave Phinney wine from France, and it had a 92 Wine Advocate rating. It could have been a shady shelf talker but for $17.99 I'll take my chances.

2013 EnRoute Pinot Noir

I cracked this open last night. AMAZING. 94 points for me. Textbook Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. If I had to guess which wine Total Wine has right now that is at risk of a price hike it's this one. With a $65 release price and a $35.99 shelf price I'm loving this buy.

Bottom Line

The small production deals are drying up at Total Wine Natick. But they've still got great pricing on a ton of terrific daily drinkers. If you like a wide assortment of higher production domestic national brands this is probably the best place to buy it.

Question of the Day: Does your local Total Wine have many small production/mailing list/restaurant only wines?


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