Charlotte: Winestore, anyone been? What are your fave deals?
They opened a Blakeney location in my neck of the woods about a year or so ago(they also have a Southpark Morrison location). I've been going quite regularly and I have to say that I love this concept. Great bargain wines and a locally grown & owned venture between two Charlotte dudes. The tasting machines are a fun way to try several different wines affordably. The owner is often in the store and he's a fun guy to chat with about food and wine. This past Saturday they did a Silver Oak blind tasting and it was amazing! They had 8 bottles wrapped in foil and hooked up to the tasting machine - one was an '06 Silver Oak Alx Valley. The cost was $14 and interestingly enough I picked out the Silver Oak - mostly by color (I also thought it had a short palate). But my favorite of the 8 was a bottle called '08 Rockus Bockus Proprietary Red - $12.99/bottle!
I have gotten a few wines at pretty great prices too. '09 The Prisoner - $25, and a Portuguese wine for $40('04 Niepoort Batuta Douro) that I had at the famed Alinea in Chicago where it was $25/glass. Occasionally he is able to offer these great wines at low prices.
Anyway, if y'all haven't been, check it out. Here's a link to their website: http://winestore-online.com/
I did the same tasting at the SouthPark location. I thought every wine they offered was good, except one didn't quite have the depth of flavor that the others had.
The Rockus Bockus was the overall favorite, according to an email my girlfriend got (I highly recommend joining their email list). My favorite was the Clio (unfortunately not one of the less expensive ones), but there were about 4 others that I thought were fantastic (including the Rockus Bockus).
That was my first time there, but after looking at their prices, quality of wine, and set up, this may be about the only place I go from now on to buy wine.
Another CHer at the tasting - go figure! I just really like the concept and the store has a great vibe. Throw into that the prices are great and it's locally-owned and I was sold. The owner will even order hard-to-find wines for you. He's on the hunt for me now for a Beaujolais-Villages I had in Paris. Fingers crossed he can locate it for me.