Supply and Demand…part 1

garnacha_borsao

The land of Garnacha vines, Spain (photo from winesofspainus.com)

Today I write my first installment of just one of the many ways and places I buy wine.  Costco.  Ok, I must say, I am not a shopper.  I don’t have time for “deals”.  I don’t clip coupons and I don’t buy what is on the discount rack.  I am interested in good wine for decent prices, mostly.  However, a recent trip to Costco to stock up on household staples had me reconsidering my stance on deals.

Spain-Map-Bodegas-Borsao

Map of Spain shows northern region of Bodegas, home of the Grenache grape.

Why? Easy, because I found 6 different bottles of lovely red wines, each for under $15, and one was $6.99 (!!). I don’t put a lot of stock into the ratings game of wines, because I like wine for different reasons than possibly those who are scoring it.  However, it is a guideline, and typically, if there is a point value assigned, I think about the purchase if it is rated, and under 85 points. If it isn’t rated, I don’t worry about it and purchase if I expect it to be something I’ll like based on location, vineyard, winemaker, etc, If it is rated and overpriced, I tend to pass (unless it is a few specific vintages/vintners, etc).  So, to my amazement, for the bottles that were rated, all were 90 points or higher. Then, time for the taste test, which is also why it has taken me this long to actually write about it, and I had an Econ midterm this week on (yes, you guessed it) supply and demand. I’ve now consumed one (or more) of each bottle I am going to tell you about, which are all good prices and great values right now.  Not only do I like Costco’s wines, but I am a huge fan of their well-priced olive oils.  When it comes to Spanish reds, I can’t really go too wrong.

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Wine Value #1.  Tres Picos, 2012, a Borsao 100% Grenache.  A few years ago, I purchased two cases, one to give as holiday gifts, one to keep.  Then the price went through the roof, and a bottle couldn’t be found for much under $25. And it used to be this amazing wine for about $12/bottle.  So, when I saw it sitting, not in the special wooden wine bins with the pretty signs, and not nicely laid out at eye level to be scooped into the huge Costco carts, but instead stacked, case upon case like a serious warehouse sale, honestly I hesitated. I had no idea what might have happened to that lovely bottle of Grenache, how could it have possibly fallen so far out of favor?  I proceeded cautiously and bought only 3 bottles, figuring I could always cook with them just in case they were not up to my previous standards. Once home, and a couple of hours had passed to wait until it was truly a decent time to open a bottle, ta-da! I was not disappointed. $12.99/bottle.  What a great deal.  Nothing has changed.  Fruits on the nose, lovely complex structure, deep purple hue, with leather and vanilla notes, and smooth tannins. The reviews agree with me (yeah!), as all of the point systems I could find online rate it between 90-93.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

This region of Spain (see map above) sits in a northern region, with a varied climate, and the granache vines grow for many years (>100 easily) into gnarled and twisted branches, likely in response to harsh climate of drought, winds, and weather, which also makes hand harvesting a necessity. I greatly appreciate all those who hand-pick, and carefully and consistently make the lovely Grenache wine. I will definitely be returning to buy as much of this as either my car trunk will hold, or my wallet will permit. I recommend the same for you, as this vintage and price certainly won’t last, because if I learned nothing more in Economics about supply and demand…when price goes down, quantity sold goes up.

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Coming soon, installment #2 on Costco wine deals….

2 thoughts on “Supply and Demand…part 1

  1. “Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

    ― Omar Khayyam, رباعيات خيام

    Dear Amy:

    Nice effort to organize your thoughts on a subject that is quite scary. I drink wine daily ( strictly 2 glasses) and enjoy the rich flavors that improve with every dollar paid above $12.99/ Total Wines is my store here in NJ and they are opening all over the country. They have great wines at fair prices.

    Will keep an eye on this website and try some of your wines and will try my best to give you a feed back.

    Cheers

    • Thanks Ram! Every comment is great but from you, I will take note. Nice blog yesterday on your travels to Africa. I really like this quote from you too! I might need to use it on another blog post.

      Amy

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