How to find wine values – Take the poll

image of a wine sale

Wine Values?

The old adage “Seek and You Shall Find” is my motto when it comes to shopping for wine values. I know they are out there. It is just a matter of keeping your eyes open whenever you enter a store that carries wine. You, too, can be a wine value super sleuth and find wine values galore. Please take the poll at the end of this article.

Here are some tips for finding wine values:

This is the top rule: Make it a point to head immediately to the wine section of any store you enter that sells wine. Quickly peruse the shelves for possible sightings of wine bargains.

Download some free wine apps to keep an inventory, track prices and ratings. Here are a few I use: Vivino, Snooth, and Delectable. I also use the free App Evernote for keeping track of the wines I purchase and for recording tasting notes. It is good practice.

If you don’t want to use Apps, then snap a quick photo with your phone or tablet; that’s easier than writing the information down. Check prices later when you get home on the Wine-Searcher or similar Websites. No smart phone? Then do it with a note pad.

Make friends with the owner of a small wine shop. They have bargains you might not find anywhere else. A good wine shop proprietor will sample many wines daily and will certainly have a few “finds” in the wine value category.

Sign up for “alerts” if they have them at your wine shop. KL Wines has a huge list of email alerts, even down to a varietal. Even if you do not shop at KL Wines, you can learn wine prices from their inventory by searching their online wine store.

Read our blog and read other blogs that focus on wines under $20. Do a Google search for them. There are plenty out there, but of course we hope you’ll remain a loyal reader of this blog.

If you have a group of wine tasting friends, exchange bargain alerts when one of you finds a bargain.

Look for wine values from outside the U.S. Kevin Zraly, the famous wine instructor of “Windows on the World,” has this to say. Listen to this very short video.

I don’t usually shop the flash wine Websites, but several of my wine tasting friends love them. WTSO, Last Call Wines, and Lot 18. Has anyone tried Naked Wines?

I thought it would be interesting to do a poll of our readers to find out where you think the best wine bargains are located. If you are one of our subscribers and receive this article in an email, you probably will not be able to see this poll. Click on the link to take you to the GoodCheapVino website and the article with the poll. It will take you less than a minute and it will be fun to find out where our readers shop for wine values.


  1. Gloria Riordan says:

    I used to get all my wine bargains at BevMo, but I have found that you cannot beat Safeway when they have one of their 30% sales along with an additional 10% for buying 6 bottles. I stock up whenever that sale comes along.

    • BevMo seems to have the same wines on sale each time. They are mostly obscure labels that you do not find in any other wine shops. Safeway generally carries known producers where the case production is huge. They can make deals because Safeway is huge. My Burlingame Safeway store has a selection of many small labels in addition to the usual. Thanks for the comment.

    • Kathi McKeever uada says:

      I agree with Gloria… safeways does have the best prices!!

      • So far Safeway leads the way with woman. Could it be that Safeway has become the one stop market for all our shopping needs including wine? But I agree, some of the wine deals at Safeway are very good. Bottom line, know your wine prices.
        Thanks for the comment.

  2. I find it worth looking at multiple sites. As you said Safeway has a few wines that no other retailer can match for price. Costco not only has many quality wines at good prices but their own label is another source of excellent wine at rock bottom prices. Bev Mo has become less of an asset as they change their price structure often, so you need to jump when you know a wine is at the lowest price possible from them. It is all a game but fun to play and win when a winery is either selling off inventory or a distributor/winery needs to make room for a new vintage. Real good overview…

  3. You’ve got to go to Grocery Outlet if you are shopping for extradinary wine values. Sure, just like in dating you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your princess/prince, but the occasional rare find can be spectatular! Get to know the “wine guy,” and he can help put you on to the bargains. My Sons in Retirement branch has even started a wine tasting group for wines $5 and under. Favorite stops are GO, Food Maxx and Big Lots. Yeah, we’re a bunch of bottom feeders, but just think, you can buy three $4 wines for the price of a $12 wine.
    Naked Wines is great!. Their Kenwood tasting room hosted one of my wine groups in January. Lots of tasting, even some from the stainless holding tanks. They brought one of their winemakers in to talk with us too. Really high value wines because the distribution chain is dramatically shortened — kind of like the winemaker to you directly. Lots of us signed up for the $20 a month contribution. I figure when I get around $80 in my account I’ll go up there, taste a bunch of wines (they often have more than 20) and have a field day. Lots of fun, and a no-brainer to me. You can see, I’m a big fan, and should you want to know more, let me know.

    • In our Vintage Tasting group we have one of our members that scout the Grocery Outlet in So. San Francisco, Redwood City, and Berkeley. The problem, at least for the latter two stores, is that the very good wines are likely to be sold out the first day on the shelves. It is like someone on the inside is alerting customers.

      I tasted a couple of Naked Wines at the ZAP festival. I talk to the guy there and I am in the midst of arranging a tasting in Kenwood. Thanks for your advice.

  4. Jerry Passalacqua says:

    I live in Santa Rosa. My favorite wine shop is Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa. It has an incredible selection of wine and the prices are usually lower than any other wine retailer.

    • Thanks for the tip on the Bottle Barn. I need to stop by there next time I am in the area. I heard they have some excellent values on local wines. If you find anything spectacular be sure to let us know.

  5. Rockbell says:

    If I had to pick one it would be Costco followed closely by Cost Plus/World Market. I could only wish we had a Trader Joe’s in my market

  6. I do shop for wine bargains at Costco, BevMo, Trader Joe’s, The Wine Club, K&L Wines, and occasionally Safeway (though I seldom find Safeway’s sales real bargains). I sometimes find my best bargains at Cost Plus World Market when they have their sales. Join their Wine Club for free and you’ll get emailed coupons for 20% off on top of their sale prices. Grocery Outlet had me sampling way too much swill for the very rare good wine. Even Big Lots sometimes has a good wine at a cheap price among the other junk.

    • I must admit that I don’t shop much at Cost Plus. The closest to me is in Hillsdale Shopping Center and it is not easy to get in or out. It’s a very busy area. I will check out next opportunity. I need to get back on Cost Plus email list.


  7. K&L Wines in SF is great – very knowledgable and friendly staff. They have helped me a lot with pairing wine with specific recipes and they respect the price range I give. I also love – a weekly wine auction with some incredible values.

    • I can also say the same for the staff at the KL Wines in Redwood City. They are always very helpful in steering me in the right direction. This is where there home office is located so the individual wine buyers hang out there.


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