Are “Bin End” Wines Really A Good Deal? How To Avoid Getting Tebow-ed At The Bin

Vinted on January 10, 2012 binned in wine buying, wine news

It seems that venerable news-aggregator has stumbled upon the apparently news-worthy advice that shopping in the “Bin End” section (so named, as I understand it, because these were often literally bins of wine stacked up at the end of the aisles in wine shops) of the wine store is a good place to find vinous bargains.

To the tape:

“…you can also score some discounts by looking for your wine or liquor store’s “bin ends” section, or bottles with scratched labels, wines or vintages that are bout to be rotated out of stock, or just not a great seller at that store.”

But not all is a bowl full of rosés in those end bins. The trouble with the bin-end-bargain advice quoted by Lifehacker (which is a re-blog of wine buying tips from – the rest of which are much more sound, by the way) is that quite often the wines offered in bin ends aren’t much of a bargain at all.

If you’re not careful, shopping those bin end bargains might actually leave you more disappointed than a Steelers fan after an improbable NFL post-season Tebow-ing (full disclosure: I’m a long-time Steelers fan, so, yes, this is cathartic for me, okay?)…

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A Tawny Bargain And A Tawdry Pecan Pie

Vinted on January 9, 2012 binned in overachiever wines, wine review

Occasionally, I actually agree with Robert Parker’s reviews.

Yes, really.

Such as in this case, when it comes to a 10 Year Tawny Port to which RMP Jr. dolled out 94 points, in sharp contrast to many other long-established critical voices who deigned to bestow it a high-80s score, probably because it retails for $33 (and usually less) for a 500 ml bottle.

And at over $25 a bottle, it’s a total bargain.

Yes, really.

This is a Tawny to which you need to devote some time, because it takes a good long while for it to totally unfurl (disrobe?) in your glass, after which it’s gorgeous to behold; gorgeous enough that it’s nearly as good as 30 Year Tawnies I’ve had which cost nearly three time as much.

So, yeah, I’d call that a bargain, even at a price tag over $25.

In another example of extreme positive wine pairing serendipity, I reached into the sample pool and grabbed the Churchills 10 Year Tawny Port on a whim over the holidays, in the hopes that it would match well with pecan pie.

This wine rocked the shizz out of that pecan pie. This wine owned the pecan pie. Hell, this wine is a pecan pie – toasted nuts, sweet dried fruits, spices, a slight sherried note and beautiful balance…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For January 7, 2012

Vinted on January 7, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 09 Amavi Cellars Syrah (Walla Walla): So bright you might just mistake it for Grenache; a damn good, meaty, overachieving Grenache. $29 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla): The Walla tangy intensity is there, but you’d better *really* be into mushrooms. $29 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Amavi Cellars Sémillon (Walla Walla): The basic plot is that Mango meets Citrus; much food-friendly, tasty then merriment ensues. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration (Napa Valley): Thoroghly darker than – and “singing” just as lovely as – its namesake. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Paramour (Napa Valley): A supermodel eating blackcurrants in Daisy Dukes after planting herbs in the garden. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian (Napa Valley): Blackberries, olives & astringent coffee? You’re right, it doesn’t completely work. $90 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Blackbird Vineyards Arise (Napa Valley): Like plucking a perfectly ripe fig right off the tree, then dipping it in (tasty) booze. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Red Wine Blend (Paso Robles): Get past the sweet fruit edge, & your next slice of BBQ chicken pizza will thank you. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Old Vine Zinfandel (Paso Robles): Sporting as many layers as the meat lasagna with which you really should pair it. $14 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): A juicy, simple, steak-&-potato wine at a very juicy, simple, steak-&-potato price. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Project Paso Chardonnay (Paso Robles): Yeah you’re in apricot/vanilla territory but there’s a good view of crisp apples from here. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Penley Estate Chertsey (Coonawarra): Can’t say I dig everything going on in this black raspberry cola, but there’s a lot going on. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Pewsey Vale Riesling (Eden Valley): Surprising; Like a late round draft pick who ends up with a long career starting at free safety $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Backsberg Chardonnay (Paarl): No oak? Usually no problem. But in this case it also means not much balance (or personality either). $14 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva (Cava): Probably delivering more tasty apple flavor than the fizz yer local bar pours for its NYE toast $10 B- >>find this wine>>



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