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Aug 31, 2007 05:02 PM

September 2007 - Grocery Outlet

The deal for me is the $3.99 Chateau les Gravettes boxed 2002 Bordeaux (5 liters) from France

To me it is the best boxed wine I've had to date and than includes Black Box. The box is all in French. There is an English box by the same company that is labelled Bordeaux Merlot. Not sure if this is the same wine just with English packaging.

Beer is big currently. All the following are 6 bottles for $3.99

SLO Brewing Company (blueberry, extra Pale Ale, Amber ale)
Ringwood Brewery Old Thumper ale
Stite (amber red, golden pilsner, light lager)
Autentica Clara Cerveza – Guatemala
Baja = Guatemala
Cintra Brazilian Beer (Skip it. Not very carbonated and flat tasting)

Other beer deals
Henry Weinhard 12 cans $6.99
Coors 5 liter mini keg $7.99

In other areas

Froodia bars - $2.99 for 12 (usual retails for $15 - $25). Cherry is best
Watermelon $3.99 (report that it is good)
Del Monte sliced pineapple 3 for $1
Del Monte canned vegetables 2 for $1
Russel Stover 12 oz candy box $3.99
Hershey's Pot of Gold $3.99

Scary looking natural chicken broth 59 cents.

On the latter, the can is all Chinese with English labels slapped on. I started to worry after buying it that it might have been made in China ... Nope ... one of the few English words on the original label is "Product of the USA". It is by Swanson, made in NJ and better than the average canned broth.

I've had some meetings in Oakland this week and was checking out the Oakland Grocery Outlet. It is a nice large store that also sells refrigerated beer and wine which is a nice feature.

They also sell hard liquor. Most of it is by a company called Potters ... gin, rum, vodka, scotch and liquors like amaretto, mudslides, triple sec, etc. They had some Han Soju. I don't buy hard liquor often enough to know if the price or quality is good.

Another nice thing about the Oakland GO is the nearby street vendors

What's Up Dog cart

Taqueria Barajitos Taco Truck

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  1. Well, doh, the Cordier wines are two different wines

    2002 is the Chateau les Gravettes
    2003 is the Bordeaux Merlot

    The 2003 is lighter and fruitier and that's all you will get from this wine know-nothing. I like them both ... a lot. I bought four more boxes of the 2002 and I'm probably going to get some more of the 2003.

    From the box tasting notes "The brigh ruby red wine has a beauiful bouquet of cherries and blackberries. The Merlot gives a soft roundness, whilst the Cabernet provide structure and velvety tanins to give a wine of perfect blanace."

    Out of all of that, I agree the 2003 is softer and velvety.

    The 2003 box in English says they use reflexive pouch to protect it from light. Why they need to protect wine in a box from light ... don't know.

    Anyway, I can't find anything about this wine on the web.

    It seems to be a highly regarded company

    They also just came out with a single serving boxed wine with a straw aimed at a younger audiance, but this isn't the same.

    I just know I really like this wine and it went beautifully with a smoky pork stew.

    18 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Reading about that wine makes me want to through a big party -- I wish I'd known about GO the two years I ran a hospitality suite for a convention!

      If the wine is in a reflective pouch, you could even take it out of the box, let's say if you wanted to take it backpacking. I'm having an image of French hikers walking up the trail sucking wine from their packs. LOL!

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        There's a good reason for a reflexive pouch.

        You might hold off on the wine until someone else who knows wine tries it. One of my friends who knows wine gave it a try and said it has a lot of sediment in it. He's, uh, currently decanting it to see how it tastes. This is his first encounter witn wine of the boxed variety.

        1. re: rworange

          Nothing wrong with sediment. It's natural in aged red wines and shouldn't adversely affect the wine's taste. Just not pleasant to eat it though, hence the decanting.

          1. re: rworange

            What did your friend think of the Bordeaux Merlot after decanting? I love these GO posts. I appreciate all the detail and am also grateful for David Carlson's input.

            1. re: Atomica

              Well, the Potters info was worth the price of admission.

              Anyway, talked briefly to the friend and he said he was surprised there was no sediment because to him it was such a chewy wine. He even ran it through some sort of filter ... no sediment. He liked it better letting it sit out for a while. It is his first boxed wine so he is hung up on comments about the box which is the novelty here for him. I get the general feeling it is fine but he wouldn't buy it himself. There were no requests to pick up a couple of boxes for him where he requested a few more bottles of the Veramonte chardonnay.

              Oh, just remembered he thought maybe the wine was just past its prime and the reason for the price. It was the 2002 Chateau les Gravettes and not the 2003 Bordeaux Merlot

              1. re: Atomica

                Just read the wine board. It seems like RL agrees with my friend about the wine being past its prime.

                I asked GO about the wine and they said Jackson Family Wines (Kendall-Jackson, et al) imports it. GO did a warehouse cleanup load with them recently and it was part of the assortment - which means they are not likely to see anything like it again soon...

            2. re: Ruth Lafler

              Re: Ruth's comment on French backpackers. Yeah, I wonder if they have "wine hats" in the style of our beer hats!

              It sure sounds as if I should saunter over to the Oakland GO soon.

            3. re: rworange

              The Santa Rosa GO has at least 8 types of De Cecco brand imported Italian pasta for 99 cents per pound. I can't find a date on the Seme di Melone. There are at least 3 brands of organic pasta sauce in the aisle at good prices. A few more cases of 99 cents Bath brand crackers turned up too - what a tasty treat.

              1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                More at SR GO- still lots of De Cecco pasta & organic sauces. Still have small Scharfenberger bars for $.79 (mocha & milk chocolate). Other good buys are Horizon organic butter (half # for $1.49), Wildwood organic soy yogurt quarts, Earthbound organic kiwis ($.99 per bag) & prunes, lots of Amy's organic frozen dinners ($2.99) & pizza, Rumiano organic cheeses, Godiva cappucino ice cream with chocolate hearts ($.99 per pint). Seems to be lots of organic stuff now, both above freezer cases & in aisle across from pasta.

                A non-food note, Alba Botanica sunscreen $2.99 usually $8 dated 2008.

                1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                  The San Pablo store has those 1 oz Scharfenbergr bars too. They have some sort of Hardy's boxed wine for $3.99. My cold/ful got the best of me so I wasn't looking too closely.

                  1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                    Thanks, Stephanie-- do you think the SR store carries different items than others have described elsewhere?

                    1. re: wearybashful

                      I'm not sure how each store orders from the big list of what's available...SR seems to try for organics and specialty items. Berkeley store had a more desperate mood with a security guard, narrow aisles, ugly produce (might have been the day) and poor merchandising. SR has natural light and seems to be remerchandised daily.

                      Tell them what you want, they seem to respond well to suggestions.

                      1. re: Stephanie Sugars

                        Since I usually do the RWC GO, I can tell you that store seems to get some of the dry goods 1-2 weeks later than SR (based on when Stephanie reports them). And sometimes not at the French preserves people have been talking about this month.

                        1. re: kivarita

                          Each store orders on their own out of our warehouse in Sacramento based on what their customers are looking for, unless there's not enough to go around (like the French preserves) in which case the buyer here in Berkeley allocates it to the stores they think it will sell fastest in.
                          If your local store doesn't have enough organics, talk to the owner and let them know that's what you're looking for...

                          1. re: David Carlson

                            Do the LA stores get their orders out of the Sacramento warehouse as well? Just curious. Seems like a lot of the same stuff when I visit. I wish they'd hurry up with the Fountain Valley store.

                            1. re: choctastic

                              Yes, everyone pulls out of Sacramento. Fountain Valley is supposed to open today...

                    2. re: Stephanie Sugars

                      Thanks for the tip on the sunscreen -- I hate sunscreen, which means I don't use it as much as I should, but this had a pleasant texture and no fragrance, it did the job (a whole day on a sunny beach) and left my skin feeling soft (but not greasy or oily).

                2. My husband went to the Petaluma GO yesterday and found a gallon of Haagen Daz Chocolate ice cream for $2.99. Of course, it had a sell-by of June 27, but it was still fine. Haven't seen it at the Santa Rosa GO.

                  He also found 12-packs of Foster's for $4.99.

                  1. Skip the Potters, we carry it for one reason only - price. I'll stop short of calling it rotgut, but it's definitely not Chowhound quality...
                    Foreign labels, however, are usually fine. They're almost always produced in USA for export and sometimes get diverted to the domestic market because they're so much cheaper - they don't add as much to the cost for marketing when it's for export.

                    1. At the RWC GO today:

                      Scharffenberger mini-bars - 79 cents -- Mocha and Milk Choc.

                      I tried the Seeds of Change Bayano with cinnamon oil....too cinnamony and not at all pleasant like Ibarra (although that's not meant to be eaten out of hand).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kivarita

                        Yeah, that cinnamon oil is really bitter and unpleasant. I've eaten my share of Ibarra out of hand -- it's great to knaw on!

                      2. Tonight the Oakland GO had the sausages I liked last month: Chef's Gourment Smoked Chicken sausage with spinach and gouda (they also had a couple of other flavors). Not as cheap as the Casual Gourmet sausages, but I like them much better, and they're still a good deal at $2.49 for 13 ounces. Sell by date is October 14, 2007 -- I bought several package and threw them in the freezer. After all, to explain to Mr. Soup, the point of these threads about Grocery Outlet isn't that it's got cheap stuff -- that's a given -- it's that among the piles of cheap dreck are gems of deliciousness at great prices, and these threads help other hounds in their treasure hunt. Furthermore, some of these products aren't available at any price through "normal" retail outlets, as they're items that for one reason or another didn't appeal to the mass market and have been discontinued.

                        But the find (in the shelves over the freezer section) was some organic preserves from France: Les Comtes de Provence Confiture d'or biologique, 13 ounce jars for $1.99. I bought one of each flavor and used Melanie's patented parking lot testing method: the Clementine was good but not great, but the orange-lemon and grapefruit had just the right balance of sweetness, bitterness and acidity for my morning yogurt. Good, interesting citrus preserves/marmalades that don't cost an arm and a leg are hard to find, so I went back in and bought seven more jars!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Thanks, Ruth; I will certainly pay them a visit manana. I'd post a weekly report, but I don't shop retail enough to know what's a good price and I don't drink. C'est la vie.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Thanks. I was wondering about those preserves.

                            Posts about Grocery Outlet are no different to me than those about Trader Joe's, Cost Plus, Whole Foods, etc. As you said, a way of finding the good stuff often at amazing prices I'm not so much a TJ fan so I don't read those posts.

                            I actually thought a lot about including the Stover chocolates and Weinhard beer which got singled out because neither are really all that Chow-worthy. But overcoming my elitist food snobism, I know quite a few people who love Stovers and would be thrilled to get it as a gift and it was an outstanding price.

                            1. re: rworange

                              I'm sitting here eating the preserves with a spoon right out of the jar. They're really chewy, with lots of fruit and much less "gel" than marmalade. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to have to get even more!

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                Go back soon - there's not much and it won't be back.

                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                              I was in the area, so I stopped at the San Pablo GO and they also had the Chef's Gourmet sausages w/ the same sell-by date. Bought the smoked bratwursts. They didn't have any of the French preserves though. Saw the btls of Veramonte Chardonnay & Merlot too for $2.99 (or $1.99 each by the case). No selection of box wines.

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                Plenty of sausages left in the Pleasant Hill store as well, and I ended up buying the chicken with sundried tomato. I also picked up some Challenge butter, organic soymilk for 99 cents, and Nonni's biscotti for $1.59 (exp. December '08) then stopped by Safeway and saw the same boxes of cookies for more than double the price.