Winebits 315: Cheap wine edition
• More influential than ever: That would be those of us who write about cheap wine, according to a study last month. The Vine Pair Wine Web Power Index ranked 33 wine-related websites, and two of them dealt mostly with cheap wine. The Wine Curmudgeon was one of them, of course, but even more highly ranked was Jon Thorsen’s Reverse Wine Snob, who has been fighting the good fight for some three years (though Jon includes wine that costs as much $20). Interestingly, The Reverse Wine Snob was judged more influential than many of the usual Winestream Media sites and blogs that are usually mentioned as the most important places on the Internet.
• Bring on the dollar store wine: Dollar stores, including Dollar General and 99¢ Only, see a future in wine, reports Time magazine. “Adding beer and wine to our stores allows us to offer our customers a place where they can truly shop us first for everything,” said a 99¢ Only spokesman. Wine pricing starts at $2.99 a bottle, which puts the retailers in competition with Walmart and Aldi, the discount grocer, as well as Trader Joe’s and its Two-buck Chuck. That dollar stores, whose primary demographic is more rural and less affluent than the typical wine drinker, see wine as important speaks to how wine has changed in the U.S. over the past decade or so. And which may help explain how Thorsen and I ended up on an influential wine Internet list.
• Not so great cheap wine tips: From Consumer Reports, no less, whose dedication to value wine has been noted here before. The catch, though, is that most of the suggestions aren’t of much use. Yes, Costco has quality cheap wine, but telling people to buy wine at Costco doesn’t do anything for those of use who don’t have a Costco nearby. Also, one of the suggestions depends on scores, which seems to be at odds with the methodology used in the blog post linked to in the first sentence. Finally, the magazine suggests buying wine on-line, which doesn’t take into account shipping costs and state shipping restrictions.