Deal or no deal, that is the question! 30% off all wines, really? Do you have trust in the Safeway? I just read on SFGate.com that the Safeway Company settled a lawsuit “alleging that it charged higher prices than advertised, misrepresented the weights of products and falsely claimed that produce from other countries was locally grown.” Let’s dig into the Safeway 30% Wine Sale that runs through March 2014 to see if there are really wine bargains to be had.
Overall, I believe the Safeway 30% Wine Sale is a very good place to find several wine values and bargains. I know there are skeptics out there but I have been keeping track of Safeway prices for the past couple of years. If you look carefully and know your wine prices, there are many good bargains during this sale. And yes, the 30% is always based on the SRP of the wine, the highest price point of a wine.
Safeway 30% Wine Sale
Let’s start with an example of Ancient Peaks Old Vine Zinfandel 2011. At the Safeway near me, the 2011 Ancient Peaks Old Vine Zinfandel is now selling for $13.29 a bottle. With the extra 10% off if you mix or match 6 wines, the price drops to $11.96. Retail price at the Ancient Peaks winery is $17.00. The Safeway is basing their 30% on a price point of $18.99. Bottom line, no matter how you cut it, the price of $11.96 is a fantastic price for this very popular Zinfandel wine. This same wine is currently selling for $12.99 at Costco and for $13.99 at K&L Wines. When the Safeway 30% Sale is not on, the price for the Ancient Peaks is $14.99/$13.50. Note, even when the sale is not on, the Safeway gives the customer 10% off for buying 6 wines. For all sale prices, one must have a Safeway Club Card.
Here is another example. Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc is selling for $10.99/$9.98. You cannot beat the price of $9.98 anywhere that I have seen. Costco is selling this wine for $11.49. The price at the online wine shop at Ferrari Carano is $14.00.
The Gruet Brut sparkling wine from New Mexico is priced at $13.99/$12.59. The Gruet average price at other stores including K&L Wines is $15.99. This is a delicious sparkling wine loved by the wine critics.
Not all Safeway wine departments are the same. The upper-tier Safeways, those in affluent areas, are stocked with more wines, including higher-priced wines and boutique labels. There are Safeway stores north and south of where I live. The Millbrae store has a much smaller wine department than the Burlingame store. I see big-name wines produced in large amounts at the Millbrae store. At the Safeway in Burlingame, there is a wine steward who stocks the shelves and requests various boutique wines from the corporate office. I see labels like Il Gioiello, Morse, Luna, Zocker, Renwood, Carol Shelton and Alfaro. You will not see any of these labels at most other Safeway Stores.
Other good values at the current Safeway 30% Wine Sale:
Quivira Sauvignon Blanc – $10.49/$9.44
St Francis Old Vine Zinfandel – $14.99/$13.49
Tangent Albarino – $11.89/$10.70
Luna Pinot Grigio – $9.79/$8.81
Luna Cabernet Sauvignon – $13.64/$12.28
Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc – $10.99/$9.99
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet – $19.99/$17.99
Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel – $13.99/$12.49.
The one major deficiency of even the higher-end Safeway wine departments is the dearth of European wines. There is little to choose from if you are looking for wines from the Rhone Valley, Rioja region of Spain or wines from Tuscany.
One more interesting note about this particular Safeway 30% Wine Sale: Two weeks ago we were shopping at the Safeway well before the Safeway 30% Wine Sale. The Domain Chandon Brut, Rose, and Riche were selling for $11.70 if you mixed or matched six. We purchased a half case at this very low price. Now during the Safeway 30% Wine Sale, the Chandon Sparkling wines are selling at the mix-or-match six price of $12.59. Go figure!