January 6th, 2005

Atacama

le wine blog™ - deal du jour

If you live in Washington state, you're probably familiar with the Washington State Liquor Control Board. If you don't live here, you may not be aware that in large parts of the USA, it's difficult or impossible to buy alcohol, largely due to state regulations.

Washington's one of the more easy-going states in the USA: here, you can buy beer and wine in supermarkets, gas stations, etc.; however, if you want to buy, say, bourbon, you need to visit a state liquor store.

One of the cool, little-known things about Washington state liquor stores is that their prices are set according to fairly straightforward formulae; generally speaking, the price is the cost of the item plus a standard markup. Because some wines are sold and marketed to have huge markups [and therefore huge profits for retailers - the Chateau Ste. Michelle "Eroica" riesling is a good example of this], and because the state stores have a fixed markup, these wines are far cheaper at a Washington state package store.

Better yet: you can search their online database if you'd like, looking for good value wines that you might not expect to find in some grotty little package store in an out of the way place. It shows exactly which stores in the state have a particular wine, so it's pretty easy to find what you want.

Today's deal is the Columbia Crest 2002 Reserve Syrah. Made with 9% viognier, this is some of the best American-made shiraz you're ever going to find. Most shops sell it for $30 - but if you're willing to brave one of the LIQUOR AND WINE shops here in Washington, you can get it for a measly $21.08. Best of all, if you buy a case - 6 bottles - you get an additional 10% discount.

I'll probably pick up a case this weekend.