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Wilfred Wong and the BevMo 5 cent wine "sale"

Do you ever wonder how BevMo is able to sell wines at a nickel?  Do you ever wonder why so many of these wines are rated in the high 80's and low 90's by Wilfred Wong?

Let's start with Wilfred.  He works for BevMo.  His job is to help them sell wines.  Occasionally, his ratings will appear next to comparable ratings from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, or others.  However, very often, wines rated lowly or not at all on these reputable publications seem to be disproportionately rated high by Mr. Wong.  

For example, the 2009 Zynthesis is rated 91 points by WW.  Wine Spectator rates the same wine at 82 points with a release price of $11.  Normally, BevMo sells this wine for $10.99.  However, with the 5 cent sale, they have jacked the price up to $16.99, almost six bucks higher than the winery price!

Another is the 2010 Tapiz Malbec.  Again, WW rates this at 91 points.  Although I cannot find this vintage rated on the major publications, BevMo's regular price is $10.99 but the "Sale" price is $17.99 - a $7 increase.

Again, we have the 2009 Santa Rita Carmenere 120.  WW rates this 90 points but the same wine is rated 84 at Wine Spectator with a release price of $8.  I also know from experience that this wine can be bought at Trader Joe's for $5.99 on a regular basis, sometimes $4.99.  BevMo's sale price is $9.99.

Finally, check out the 2005 Bodegas Muriel Ciranza, normally $9.99 at BevMo, the price is jacked up for this 'sale' to a hefty $17.99.  While WW gives the wine a strong 90 point rating, the Wine Spectator rating was a dismal 68 points and compared the wine to shellac.  Yes, that's shellac - as in paint!!!!

Now, one can do the math and figure that, if two bottles are purchased - even if the first is at an inflated price, the overall deal per bottle is decent - but not so much that the price can't be beat elsewhere.  

My recommendation is: know your prices.  Check Costco, Trader Joe's, World Market, and even your local grocery chains that often discount wines for folks with their rewards cards in hand.  

It's also probably a good idea to just buy one bottle somewhere else and try it.  Wilfred Wong is in the business of selling wines.  He rarely if almost never rates anything under 80 points - a good wine by the standards of most publications.  This is very telling.  

Be smart... drink well... and cheers!

Deal with it.
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