On Ten Years of Tasting Wine

This past month we, the Vintage Wine Tasting Club, celebrated ten years of tasting wine together. We formed our wine club in June of 2009. Ten of us, roughly the same age and all with a connection to each other growing up in San Francisco.

Vintage Wine Tasting Club
Vintage Wine Tasting Club

Our wine tasting club works sort of like a book club. But instead of a book discussion, we have a wine tasting and a wine discussion. We meet every other month to blind taste six wines. Each member takes a turn at hosting the blind tasting and serving lunch to the group. The host decides which wines to taste and buys them at local wine shops or stores.

We also have impromptu get-togethers. Occasionally we get samples from a distributor or winery and we invite our guys to taste. Someone may just drop by and say “you gotta taste this!” Sometimes it’s an email from a club member notifying us about a great wine buy. All in all, its great fun and a fantastic way to learn about wine.

The good news for those of you who read this blog is that you get the benefit from our endless search for the ultimate wine bargain. All our tastings and Best Buy wines are published on GoodCheapVino.com.

By my calculation we have done 60 blind tastings over the past ten years. We have tasted wines from all over the world. Many wines are obscure and ones that we would likely not taste on our own. We have posted hundreds of reviews and articles on wine. One thing we have learned over this time period is that there is always more to learn about wine.

Vintage wine tasting
Shiraz blind tasting

Some thoughts on Best Buy Wines

  • Spain has numerous excellent wines at reasonable prices. They are made properly and aged appropriately. We like Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monestrell, and others. It seems like all the wine regions of Spain have a delicious wine at a great price.
  • The best deals from France come from the Southern Rhone and the Languedoc.
  • Wines from Chile and Argentina continue to get better and the prices are hard to beat.
  • The best wine prices we have discovered are at these stores in our community. In order: Costco, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Weimax Wines, and Cost Plus World Market.
  • The Grocery Outlet has an occasional colossal wine discounted. Problem is that the underground wine community discovers the wine and promptly sells out.


  1. I’ve been following GCV for several years now. When I can find the wines, I do buy many of those recommended and have found that your reviews are largely accurate. Thanks to Joe and the rest of the VWTC members for your efforts.

  2. Joe, did not mention the Grand Tasting each January. We taste six high end wines from one area or varietal. Each tasting has been memorable.🍷🍷🍷🍷

    • Joe Becerra says

      Those tastings are great because we can taste wines we cannot afford. They also reveal that there are a lot of great wines out there for under $20.

    • Bruce Thompson says

      A few years back Mike was in charge of bringing the White Burgundy (the ultimate French Chardonnay) for our grand tasting. It was by far the best wine I have ever tasted. Bruce Thompson VWTC member

  3. Bruce Thompson says

    In my 10 years as a VWTC member I have learned: how to read the labels on French, Italian and French wine bottles, not to be intimidated when walking into wine stores thinking I have to buy a $50 bottle of wine because most buy the under $20 bottles, picking out a wine on a restaurant wine list that is good but not $100 (I bring my own now), being skeptical of some of the wine scores (never ask Gerald at Weimax the score of a wine. It will likely be the last time you shop there), and the wine you like may not be the wine that another VWTC like, and the VWTC members are not only passionate wine lovers but great people!

  4. Rockbell says

    look forward to you posts checking often for new ones. Great job enjou

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