BevMo 5 Cent Sale
- JAB Jun 17, 2010 10:45 AM
Well, personally, I think it's pointless to recommend to you (for example) a White Rhône when you might not like it, or a White Zin when it happens to be a wine you detest . . . or vice-versa. When you simply say "Anything worthy?" it doesn't really provide the anyone with much to go one in terms of a response.
But if you had said something along the lines of "I really love ____________ -- anyone find anything worthwhile at the 5¢ Sale?" then we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.
I think the Canoe Ridge 2007 Cabernet is probably worth checking out, as is the 2007 Martin Codax Albariño and the 2007 Terruzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi . . . for me, personally, that's about it.
Fort Ross has a good reputation, although I've never heard of that cuvee of pinot noir. I'm guessing it's the leftovers not good enough to go into the regular bottling.
Columbia Crest has a good reputation for budget wines. They're owned by a tobacco company. For $5.50 a bottle you can't go wrong with the riesling.
Bridlewood is part of Gallo. They make a syrah I'd buy in a restaurant if I saw it on the menu at a reasonable price and there was nothing better in the price range. I might give their viognier a try.
Remember that they jack up these prices before the sale so it's not as good of a deal as it seems.
I take it JBL you're not a fan of Bargetto? Since they're based in the Santa Cruz Mountains I was always intrigued by them, but if you think they're a pass then I guess not.
What's in my local store is the '08 Gargetto Gewurz. I bought some and may try it tonight. Curious as to whether you hestitated on it because of something you know about the '08 or just because of BevMo's confusion.
BTW, I can't find the Martin Codax on the BevMo site and didn't see in in my local store. I've developed a fondness for Albariño.
+1 on the Martin Codax Albariño...and if crisp riesling is your thing, the 2007 Columbia Crest Grand Estates is a good bet.
Unless you live there nothing worth buying as shipping costs will delete any savings. No great wines on the sale.
You guys do realize the 5 Cent Sale is a total sham, right?
Two-thirds of the wines are special labels that only BevMo carries with the added bonus of huge markups. When you do find these wines somewhere else, they are usually at a lower price indicative of their true value.
The other third are closeout specials where BevMo pays pennies on the dollar compared to the original costs for items that are old vintage or old label, etc. Trader Joe's also buys closeouts like this, but they don't try and claim the original $12 bottle cost as the basis for their pricing when they only payed $5 per bottle when they bought 1200 cases on a closeout deal.
You may find a nice wine or two in these sales, but you definitely aren't getting the best deal. You're better off going to Grocery Outlet. Heck...shop Grocery Outlet, buy one bottle of each thing that looks interesting, then go taste in the parking lot. Go back in and buy whatever you liked. You'll get a lot more for your $$ then you ever would in the BevMo 5 cent sale.
Someone recently sued BevMo based on the same assertions, using an example of a wine they found at another retailer below 5¢ sale price per bottle. I don't know where the suit is now, but it was pretty well documented by the plaintiff.
I wouldn't disagree with you as a general statement but, if you know your wine and do some price-checking, the 5¢ sale (at least this last one) did have some good buys in it. This sale was a bit unusual in that regard, likely due to price pressures in the wine industry making better deals available. If BevMo buys up the end of an inventory run at a price better than other retailers have gotten, then there can be a good deal available.
As with anything else, it helps to do your homework. On this last sale I bought some Schug '08 Carneros Chardonnay for $27.04/2 = $13.52. The best price I found on Wine-Searcher was $19.99. I also picked up some Torii Mor Chardonnay (mostly Washington fruit) for $20.04/2= $10.02. This was apparently a winery closeout as BevMo was the only listing on searcher's free site. The winery price had been $18.
You're correct that the end of vintage closeouts are the best deal. However, even those deals are deceiving which is where the lawsuit comes into play.
You pointed out the Schug Carneros Chardonnay '08 at $27.04 for 2; a good deal no question. However, the lawsuit that was brought on BevMo for the 5 Cent Sale challenges that pricing. A quick check of Wine-Searcher shows this wine retailing for an average of $19.99 elsewhere; while BevMo would be at the extreme high end at an everyday price of $26.99 that they base the sale on.
Okay...so the standard response would be "big deal...I didn't pay $26.99, I got two for basically that price." True...but the lawsuit addresses the sham part of the deal that BevMo expects their customers to gloss over. It takes a little math work and some understanding of BevMo's margins.
BevMo makes an average of 40% margin on each bottle in the 5 Cent Sale. Read that carefully....each bottle, not each sale. Therefore you take $27.04 and divide it by two bottles, and you're actually paying $13.52 per bottle. A great deal for a $19.99 avg. retail wine? No doubt, but based on BevMo's margin requirements, we can ascertain that they paid around $8 per bottle for this wine. Any other retailer who bought this wine, and there were several (remember, the free wine-searcher service lists only retailers who pay to sponsor their site), ran this wine for an average of $11.99.
The lawsuit against BevMo is all about the faux everyday retails (in the Schug example - $26.99) versus the 5 cent sale price. Any other item that legitimately retails everyday for $26.99 may deal down on special to $23.99 or in rare occasions down to $21.99, but it would never possibly drop to almost half off. If the sale were truly legitimate, it would offer the 5 Cent Sale on every wine they carry.
The problem with the 5 Cent Sale isn't that there aren't some great deals to be found; the problem is that BevMo deliberately tries to deceive their customers with this sale. It's not something you'd stand for in any other business, so why accept it from them?