Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fine Wines at Bargain Meijer?

The tagline “Higher standards, lower prices” works well for 24-hour Midwest grocery (etc.) chain superstore Meijer, and their extensive wine selection is no exception. On a recent trip to the Allen Park location, I found nearly their entire stock of decent low- to-mid-grade labels on sale (most through April 4th, some only through March 28th), and some at deep discounts.

It may seem strange for me to be speaking of a chain grocer (-slash entertainment store, -slash clothing store, -slash housewares store, -slash automotive supplies store, -slash beauty supply store…) having a noteworthy wine selection, and I must admit, not all chain grocers are created equal. For example, the Kroger in West Bloomfield has an amazing wine selection (the REALLY high-end stuff was even kept in a locked case)…the Kroger in Waterford, not so much. Ditto the Waterford Meijer (apparently Waterfordians are not considered to have sophisticated palates). The availability of such wines in Allen Park is admittedly a bit of a surprise, but most assuredly a welcome one—especially since this is probably one of the few places to carry many of these labels within spitting distance of the city. This Meijer does not carry any liquor/liquers, but what they lack here they more than make up for in their surprisingly diverse (if California-centric, though what else could we really expect here) wine selection.

J. Lohr Cabernet, from California's Alexander Valley (in my humble opinion, highly underrated and often better than Napa), the FIRST wine I truly came to love and can credit it as the wine that started it all for me. A steal at $13.49.

Villa Antinori, a fully decent Chianti Classico at a fairly decent price, $18.99.

I don't know anything about this Petite Sirah from California's Prodigal Son Winery, but at a $6.00 savings I picked up a bottle to try.

Australia's Penfolds makes a variety of wines ranging in price scale from the very very expensive to the very very cheap. Koonunga Hills labels are on the very very cheap end, and right now they're even cheaper at $8.99 (but what you save in dollars you don't lose in quality; these are still highly enjoyable wines).

The extensive selection of Michigan wines, with many on sale.

Seven Daughters is another new label to me, but the savings is significant and it might be worth a try.

Sterling Cabernet is one of my absolute favorites, and even at $21.99 it is still a bargain, as this could easily be a $50.00 wine. Very big and bold, and can more than hold its own amongst the much pricier Napa cabs.

Another favorite of mine, Sin Zin, also from the Alexander Valley (told you). Another bargain at $15.99.

And when you factor in their regular store-wide sales and markdowns, their prices often times can’t be beat. Meijer: not just for groceries and children’s clothes and car batteries anymore! (Check out your local Meijer store to see what kind of wine bargains they might have, now through March 28th.)