• seriously good value wine from Ralph’s

    April 16th, 2008mr meanervegan stuff

    I buy most groceries that I can from Ralph’s here in Southern California, and wine is no exception. Once the bastion of exclusive vintners, wine is now a commodity where quantity (of New World wines) and quality have driven down price to a point where a very decent bottle can be bought for well under $10. It’s been that way for a while, actually, but the key here is that I don’t WANT my wine to taste like it cost under $10. I don’t mind it tasting like it cost $20, or even $14 but $2.99 isn’t going to cut it with me.

    So, the trick is to find the best loyalty program with the best selection of wine that you can consistently find whenever you run low. I’ve found that Ralph’s has just that. Here’s a story about how I bought 24 bottles of wine worth $141.34 for only $81.22 — a saving of $60.12, or an average of around $5 a bottle. AND IT DOESN’T STOP THERE!

    The first thing to do is get a Ralph’s Club card, as without it you’ll pay the full retail price per bottle. Remember, shopping without a loyalty card these days can be very expensive. Then, take a look at the wines you like with special emphasis on ones that have a “2 for $xx” deal. An example of this is Talus Collection Lodi Cabernet, 2005 which retails for $9.99 a bottle (and is $28.95 a bottle in P. F. Chang’s incidentally). In my opinion, it’s well worth $9.99. However, Ralph’s had an offer on where two bottles cost $11.00 even – $5.50 a bottle. Take off 10% for buying six or more bottles, and that $9.99 bottle of wine costs only $5.05 — almost a 50% discount.

    There’s also the nice (and rare) Aquinas Cabernet which is already aggressively priced at $11.99, and can be yours with all discounts (no two for one here, sadly) for only $8.10, a saving of $3.89. Here’s the complete list of everything I bought, and the prices on the ticket:

    Columbia Crest $7.99 / 2 for $11.00
    Talus $9.99 / 2 for $11.00
    Gallo Reserve $16.99 / $8.99
    Trinity Oaks $8.99 / $6.00
    Ravenswood $10.99 / $7.99
    Callaway $8.99 / $6.99
    Redwood Creek $8.99 / $4.99
    Concannon $9.99 / $7.99
    Aquinas $11.99 / $8.99

    Remember to take an additional 10% off those prices for the six bottle commitment. While other stores might have the occasional sale (BevMo’s 5 cent sale is a particular favorite of mine), nowhere beats the convenience and choice of Ralph’s. If you buy wine there once or twice a month like I do, you will get at least one, if not two valuable coupons for “$10.00 of a bottle of wine worth $10.00 or more”. You can factor that into the savings too and treat yourself every once in a while.

    I love Ralph’s!

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