Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Drink World-Class Wine Without Paying World-Class Prices

This is a picture of the latest additions to my (very small) cellar. Through my winemaker uncle I have access to pretty much unlimited wine storage in their facility in Portland (granted, it's three hours away, but all the better to forget about the bottles for a few years, and hell, it's FREE). From left to right, they are:

2004 Dominus Estate
2008 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru
2005 Produtorri del Barbaresco Pajè
2005 Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta
2008 Nicolas Joly Savennières Les Clos Sacrés
2009 Ridge Geyserville (375ml)

Thing is, I can't really afford any of these wines (except the Ridge wine, though esp. the Dominus, which retails around $125). The fact that I possess them is a testament to my luck and my hawk-like deal-finding ability. The Dominus I got from my dad who won it in a raffle in 2009, and after seeing it sit on his shelf for nearly two years in imperfect storage conditions (he's not much of a drinker...he'll have a very occasional beer, but I'm not sure I've ever seen him open a bottle of red wine), I gave him a lecture about wasting fantastic wine, told him I would store it for him, and that we could open it together in 10 years. It hope it's still good. But I saw him recently, and he asked if I had drunk it yet, so he's obviously not attached to the idea of trying it himself. Nothing cool happened to me in 2004 (Junior-Senior year of High School...unremarkable), so I'll just have to find an arbitrary special occasion...maybe if my band ever has a reunion...

But the rest I did purchase, at or near 50% off. The Chablis, the Barbarescos, and the Geyserville were all half-price purchases I got from after they put out a couple of 50% off coupons on some deal-of-the-day sites I watch. The Nicolas Joly I got for $30 (reg. $40-$50) from Lot18, a well-known wine flash sale site (I didn't even pay for shipping-I put a bottle in my cart, then left it, and they sent me a $10 credit to use on my first purchase, so shipping was free), which is only one of several sites I watch daily for wine deals. Others are Invino, cinderella wine, vinfolio (pricey stuff...I just look, I can't buy), and WineShopper. There are several others, but these are the best I've found. Any new good ones I haven't heard about? Woot Wine is ok, but they only do domestic stuff.

Anyway, I'm really excited to try all the wines, but the Ridge I'm especially excited about, because it holds quite a bit of sentimental value; 2009 is the year I got married and the year my daughter was born, and this is the FIRST of the many 2009 vintage purchases I will be making over the next several years to be stored and opened at anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events over the next century.

Check back in 10 years and I'll probably have consumed and written about all of them.

So what's in your cellar? And what else should I put in mine?

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