Cheap Eats: Bottle Rockin' Wine Deals

We asked three local wine experts for some tips on finding vino values in restaurants and on the homefront.

TRAD IRELAND, wine director of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar:

Costco, Costco, Costco. I can’t say it enough. It’s the largest seller of wine in the country, which means it’s one of the largest buyers of wine. This is a great place to get every-thing, from your high-end Bordeaux to your everyday back-porch sipping wines. I look for the Kirkland label, an exceptional value because it’s unused juice that the wineries don’t bottle but sell to Costco. You get the same wine for far less money.

Also, look for Washington State wines. Bottles from here are some of the best quality, and they don’t carry the heavy price of Napa wines. Washington has some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah on the planet.

RYAN NELSON, chef/owner of Late Harvest Kitchen:

Consider lesser-known varietals. A glass of Vinho Verde (pronounced VEENyo VAIRD) from Portugal is typically better priced than, say, a Chardonnay from California. And try it at a retail outlet first. Wine shops and liquor stores usually mark up the product by 1.5 percent, while restaurants add between 2.5 and
3 percent.

DENIS LYNCH, beverage manager of Vine & Table Gourmet Market:

Shop the “Value Regions.” These are wine regions where you can get great bang for your buck. Argentina, Chile, Spain, Portugal, and Australia are a few that spring to mind.


Illustration by Oliver Hibert

This article appeared in the August 2013 issue