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Oct 18, 2012 10:43 AM

Wine Store in Orange County for Gift Certificate

Would like to get a gift certificate for a wine store in Orange County. Any advice?

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  1. High Times Cellars is one of the better purveyors in OC. You can call for gift cards (800)331-3005.

    If that does not work, Total Wine and BevMo both have outlets here in OC and both sell gift cards.

    1. Or Wine Exchange if not Hi Times

      1 Reply
      1. re: thompkin exchange, hi times and would also add wine club

      2. Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa ... hands-down, by a landslide, whichever term you prefer. The better half and I visited there yesterday afternoon, and were impressed with the selection, the nearly perfect cellaring conditions of the better selections (how perfect did a 56-degree room feel on a day with triple-digit heat?), its surprisingly competitive pricing and the knowledgeable, friendly staff on hand.

        Sorry, but I just can't recommend Wine Exchange as an option. Over the last decade-plus, I've found service to be seriously lacking, despite the good selection.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Dornfelder

          Some of the sales people at Wine Exchange can have something of an 'attitude', but the store gets in some really great value wines (especially imports) at good prices. I try to avoid the staff as much as I can, unless I find someone there who seems "interested".

          Hi Times IS hands down one of the best wine experiences in Southern California, let alone OC.

          1. re: Midlife

            Thanks for the +1 regarding the 'tude of the WE folks, Midlife. I've dealt with that even when I've paid for my wine, believe it or not. After all, I can't avoid 'em by walking out of the store without handing over the money for the goods!

            And you're spot on about HT being "hands down one of the best wine experiences in Southern California." Impressive praise indeed, considering that K&L, Wine House, Wally's, Twenty-Twenty Wine Merchants and the Woodland Hills Wine Company are also in the region.

            To return to the OP's post, however, I'll vote again for your asking for a HT gift certificate.

            1. re: Dornfelder

              Love K&L. Have been with them for a long time and I buy from them a lot. Enough for them to know me by name a lot. But at the Hollywood branch there are a couple associates who are complete A'tude holes. Sometimes there is a bad egg or two even in the best of the best.

              So far, I too have not encountered anything but nice from Hi Time.

          2. re: Dornfelder

            Wine Exchange's service isn't as friendly as Hi-Time but they are not unfriendly either. It is adequate for me. The prices at Wine Exchange are sometimes 10-20%+ less. They have a very interesting Burgundy and Riesling selection. I would not write off Wine Exchange for the serious wine enthusiast.

            I agree. Someone new to wine would be better served at Hi Times.

            1. re: Porthos

              +1 for your point, Porthos, about a wine newcomer's chances of having a solid experience at HT than at WE. And even though I'm someone you probably would call a "serious wine enthusiast" -- I'm planning to earn my CWS and CWE certifications next year -- I still need the wine merchants I work with to be helpful and informative, and appreciative of my business. Not to hijack this thread, but I will not allow my hard-earned bucks to go to shopping establishments who take their customers for granted.

              Too many strong wine options exist here, IMHO, to settle for less than a terrific shopping experience as far as wine's concerned. (While you're at it, Dive, please ask for a second HT gift certificate to send to yours truly.)

          3. I really like Total Wine and their prices are normally excellent. For instance I purchased a 750 ml bottle of Bertani Amarone 2004 from them recently for $89.99 and I thought that was a very good price for that wine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              Get on the mailing list. I have received coupons for up to 20% off wines ($20 of every $100 purchase). Not all wines are included, but a there are always alternatives. When I was buying a couple of bottles for my very small destination wedding, I saved a lot on some very nice wines.

            2. Thanks for all the advice. I went with Hi-Times. It is for a wedding gift for someone who just moved down south, so it should be a big hit. Thanks!