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Inexpensive but decent wine from Penna State Store

I'm not only a beer noob, I'm a wine noob. And since I can't get wine at Costco he he what would be a good wine (under twenty bucks) to go with my costco chicken tonite? I would love to have a thread on wine from the Penna state store stay up here in the penna board, as they do get new stuff in every month and I need guidance from my fellow hounds.

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  1. Try Thirsty Lizard Savignon Blanc. $7.99 for a full litre. Comes in a box

    1. Meanage a Trois. It is a CA white blend and about 12$ in PA.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chuckles52

        Thanks Fried and Chuckles, at those prices I can buy them both. Wheee! I got mauled at Costcos so I'll hit Penna.s sterile no nonsense liquor store tomorrow. Jersey is so much more fun to shop.

      2. Since I' m close to DE, i usually go there instead, but if PA stores are all you have, then try some of the ones suggested

        1. After doing a little research on wines in a box, I tried Seeberger Riesling and I think it is a nice white wine to have in the frig. The box stays fresh for about a month but I always manage to get through the box before the time is up.

          1. You have to go with a nice red if you'r doing the Costco chicken - Menage a Trois, Gnarly or Parallel 45 from France are all good, low cost, reds that really go well with rotisserie chicken!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bucksguy14

              Thanks for all the suggestions. Heading there today if I ever thaw out. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr.

            2. try a french red- LA VIEILLE FERME COTES DU VENTOUX RHONE RED, 8.99 a bottle. Lovingly referred to as the "chicken wine" in my state store, both because it goes with chicken and because it has a chicken on the label.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bigley9

                That's funny, we also call it the chicken wine. It's also available in 1.5-liters, at least it is at Total Wine in DE. Very good for the money, I try to keep one on hand just in case.

                1. re: Bigley9

                  One I forgot - definitely a value purchase!

                  1. re: Bigley9

                    Going to sip my way thru all the wonderful suggestions. Starting with the chicken wine. Having some now to warm me up before bed. Very nice. Boy was it hard to peel back that metal though. :) Thanks for recommending it Bigley

                  2. question for anyone who frequents the premium stores... did PA state stores permanently stop carrying spy valley's sauvignon blanc? that WAS formerly my favorite bottle around $15... but have not been able to find it for the last 6 months. i picked up a wine & spirits guide last time i was in there and was disappointed to not find it listed. :(

                    actually, the new zealand region in general is barely represented here in PA... whereas i used to go over the border to total wine in DE where there is an entire aisle of sauv blancs from nz. as a mostly vegetarian + seafood lover, these wines usually pair the best with almost any food i could think to order at a BYO. in fact, at my local "neighborhood store" at 2nd and girard, not only is nz almost entirely unrepresented (with the exception of nobilo, which i don't care for), but the australian section consists of a vast selection of yellow tail and i'm pretty sure that's it. no chairman's selections at the neighborhood store, however you can get jug wines aplenty. i always joke that this particular wine store didn't get the memo on the gentrification of northern liberties.

                    another wine that you can find at nearly all the stores is hogue's gewurztraminer which is generally too sweet for me except for when i'm eating indian or thai food. they DO carry this at even the most sparsely stocked state stores, it seems, and it runs i think $9 a bottle? the riesling is decent, too.

                    at the better state stores, there is a gruner veltliner from austria whose name i cannot recall, but i can always pick it out because of the bold red and white marking on the cap. it's either a big dash or a + sign, can't remember. it's a clean and crisp wine... if you like tart sauv blancs you might be into this. i can't remember its price. i'll try to pick up a bottle next time i'm at a good store.

                    i like my white wines if ya can't tell! :) reds, i drink them but i wouldn't know what i preferred if it smacked me in the face.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: rabidog

                      They have it at (spy valley sauv blanc) Columbus Blvd - I thought I recalled seeing it this weekend and when I search the web site they confirmed it was in stock!

                      1. re: Bigley9


                        I believe you can go to PA liquor control board web site and do a search of any wine - if the deal with it, you may even be able to order it.

                        1. re: centralpadiner

                          woohoo, thanks! we're going to check out the columbus blvd store now. my local store tried to order a case for me, and after holding my deposit for 2 months returned it saying it was no longer available. but that's great news... according to the search, they have 20 bottles there! :) it's listed at $14.99.

                          1. re: rabidog

                            reporting back from earlier this week... their website wasn't up to date with their offerings, or i wasn't able to find the spy valley. we got a different bottle of sauv blanc (i think kim crawford?) which was decent. to add insult to injury we got a different gruner veltliner (whose cap was identical to the red and white one i described, so watch out!) which resembled jug wine just a little too much. i wish i could remember the name of what never to get, but didn't keep the label. no luck with the wine stores!
                            i'm going to make another attempt at ordering a case in of the spy valley.

                      2. re: rabidog

                        That austrian wine sounds great rabidog. Going to try to look for it today. I'll report back if I find it. The state stores are even jolly this time of year, less like visiting a hospital waiting room. :) I have such a nice list now from you wonderful hounds.

                      3. Some more info for you if you'd like to further explore the world of affordable wines in PA:

                        California reds: a lot of wines by Estancia have decent QPR (quality-to-price ratio)
                        California white: Blockheadia Ringnosii Sauvignon Blanc*
                        White Italian: Tocai Friulano; Prosecco (sparkling, semi-sweet)
                        Red Italian: Rosso Di MONTEPULCIANO; Rosso Di MONTALICNO; Rosso (red) from Sicily, Tuscany, Puglia
                        Spanish reds: Jumilla (region) or Garnacha (grape name, good if you like Cotes du Rhone & Ventoux)
                        France (Rhone) the ones already mentioned for Cotes du Rhone (CdR) & Cotes du Ventoux (CdV). Also look for these wines under brand names Guigal and Fleury. CdR & CdV have superlative QPR, as it seems you've recently discovered.

                        * when I went to store on Chestnut (btw 12th & 13th Sts) the computer said they had 40 bottles of Blockheadia Ringnosii, but nobody could find it. And being a PA store, nobody really wanted to look. One employee insisted I must mean "Block 47" or some such brand name. No, I replied, look on your computer...please. It was excrutiating, but after a long time he finally found it beneath & behind some other boxes. PA State Stores can be a nightmare (storing their boxes of white Burgundy under the heating vent, which I've seen) but you shouldn't have this problem if you search in the general categories I listed above. I cannot, however, guarantee the staff will not be bored and surly on your next visit.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: CPaul

                          I must say the folks at the Columbus Blvd store are generally delightful. They have actually led me to a number of good selections and often follow up (did you like...what did you eat with it...) but then again, I am a "regular" ; )

                          1. re: Bigley9

                            The Columbus Blvd people are nice and are the only ones where I've taken a recommendation from (for a nice but unmemorable white) - some of them, oddly enough, seem like they know what they're talking about. However, they're the exception for PA stores. I once asked the 17th & JFK store whether they had more than the one Gerwurz. I found ... and I got pointed to the sake!!!

                            1. re: Ali

                              That's because State Store employees are civil servants -- gov't employees -- not usually trained to understand or recommend wine. It frustrates me no end on those rare occasions when I'm forced to shop at my local state store. The prices... the service... the selection... I could go off on a rant about each of those things. I've definitely been spoiled by having Moore Bros. so close to where I live.

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                Moore Brothers really is an experience, and I try to go as often as possible - but it isn't incredibly convienent to get to. They are also limited to the regions of wine they carry due to space and what they specialize in. But on the other hand, they always make GREAT recommendations and work within your exact tastes and budgets. You can even use your printed out sheet of wines the next time you visit and give them your thoughts. The more you go, the better your wine picks tend to be. You can even review your wines online! They also work within the exact budget you provide them.

                                When limited to PA stores, I try to go to the Columbus Ave one. Because I have a car, it's easy to buy my wines and load up. They also have a large amount of Chairman's Selection's wines, and even though it is no longer Jonathan Newmann, their are still good values to be had.

                                I tend to walk around the Chairman's Selection options and read about them. I try to only purchase wines with a rating, keeping it above 93 and the price below $25. I have some knowledge of wine and know what I like - I tend to not pick California whites described as oakey or reds described as earthy.

                                I also like to compare the list price to the Chairman's Selection price and see what seems like a good deal.

                                Then I try each bottle at home as quickly as I can. If I fall in love, I buy a case or so.

                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Not that this is so much help for you, Cindy, but the state store in Ardmore on Greenfield Avenue had, and probably still has, a wine manager who is serious about wine. Super nice guy, too, and very happy to make recommendations specific to what you're cooking. It's been awhile since that was my regular location, but worth checking into if you're local.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    I had an awful experience at the lansdale state store last week. I left empty handed. So not helpful there. I'm trying to find those high-end cream cordials, coole swan and vanilla royale featured on supertaster. Are such soothing nectars available to us poor winter ravaged pa ers or no soup err cordials for us???

                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      If you have an idea what you want, go to their web site and check if they carry what you want. It will tell you which stores have it, too.

                                      1. re: yayadave

                                        Thanks yayadave and fried clam. I was hoping for an Eagles Superbowl to keep me warm but I'm gonna have to hit the booze now. Sniff.

                                        1. re: givemecarbs

                                          Look at the bright side, Carbs, at least PA will still be in the Superbowl! We plan to visit one of the premium W&S locations and fine some good wine bargains and pretend it is the Eagles!

                            2. Moore Bros is a much better deal.

                              I also find that Thirsy Lizard is now on close-out in PA.

                              1. Alas, Thirsty Lizard is about to be closed out by PA. The good news is it is now $4.49 a litre bottle! Stock up now and save big time!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                  Ooo I saw some at the blue bell place inside super fresh. Shoulda grabbed it. Not goin anywhere today tho.