Millennials, Malbecs, & Magical Moments

 

Millennials now represent a major force within the wine market that will increase in importance. And for that reason, they are being surveyed, prodded, and studied by every wine marketing geek and MBA grad.

Everyone agrees, millennials are definitely drinking more wine on a per capita basis than either the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and more females are making the wine buying choices.

Recently, two insightful online articles added a little more to the emerging profile. One was featured on Yahoo Finance, “Millennials Creating Wine Industry Change.” It verified that millennials represent 29% of wine drinkers but consume 34% of all wines. It made the point that the group also favors organically grown things, including wine.

Even Fox News got into the act with a lifestyle story, “Why millennials can’t get enough wine.”  Surprisingly,  it was a fairly coherent, albeit a cut-and-paste article, and ended with this quotation:

“Millennials are adventurous in their choices, too. They like to choose  lesser-known varietals from regions that are under the radar.They want to create their own cool,” said Marc Irving, the sommelier at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.

So there is a rough sketch, a basic profile, emerging and these are the main attributes of Millennial Wine Buyers (MWB):

Confident and adventurous, willing to explore new types of wines

Impressed by brands with clever images but authenticity and organic practices are important

Not very interested in traditional wine types, the kind the Brits swoon over like Bordeaux, French Burgundy, Port, Sherry and others that come with vintage baggage.

Ratings from wine critics have little impact on buying decisions

Social gatherings like special events/ activities at wine clubs are a major part of the lifestyle, something to be shared

Wine is an event, an experience; collecting and cellaring pricey, famous wines for future drinking is, like, totally stupid

Buying wines online is a natural thing and a good reason to be constantly checking your messages. Even when on a date.

The same day those two articles appeared, several websites featured deals on Argentinian Malbecs, including two that rank among my current favorites. Here are the two beauties offered online at great prices that deliver the goods:

2015 Proemio Malbec, Argentina, $10.99 and free shipping on 6

At http://www.cinderellawine.com

2015 Amalaya Malbec, Argentina, Salta region, $13.99 @ http://www.wine.com

These two are stunning values that outscored my benchmark Malbec, Norton Reserve.

The Amalaya with a dollop of Tannat and Syrah is as bold and lively as its colorful label. Delivers big-time flavors from start to finish.

Over the last few years,  Malbec has become my go-to red wine by the glass because it is so versatile and well-priced.

And when talking about Malbec in these terms, the automatic assumption is that it is from Argentina. I have tasted wines from Cahors and Malbecs from Chile and Washington only to conclude Malbec is synonymous with Argentina.

But to return to the subject of millennials and wine, Malbec seems to be the perfect fit. It is a lesser known wine flying under the radar from a fascinating region, and with so many versions being featured by the online wine merchants, it is definitely up and coming and so much fun to explore.

Textbook Malbec is big, bold, dark, deep, dramatic and flashy.  It offers immediate pleasure from its lively aroma,  deep, delicious flavors, and great, round, satiny texture leading to a long aftertaste.

And, the clincher: Excellent Malbec need not be expensive. There are at least ten now available online for way under $20 a bottle.

2015 Proemio Malbec, Argentina, $10.99 and free shipping on 6

At http://www.cinderellawine.com

2015 Amalaya Malbec, Argentina, Salta region, $13.99 @ http://www.wine.com

2014 Fabre Montmayou, Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, $14.50

2015 Norton Reserva, $15.99

2015 Zuccardi Series A Malbec, $15.99

2015 Bodega Viamonte Malbec, Lujan de Cuyo, $15.99

2015 Recuerdo Malbec, $16.99

2014 Kaiken Ultra, $17.99

2014 Ben Marco Malbec $17.99

2015 Susana Balbo Malbec, $19.99

A Spring Break One-Hour Blitz

 

                  www.cinderellawine.com

Cinderellawine, a website operated by the Wine Library, has vastly improved its selections so far this year. It is definitely trending up in the highly competitive market of online wine sales.

Always offering free shipping on six, it has gotten out of its

ho-hum rut of silly, over-priced wines with some great deals on wines rarely seen online.

Now the parent company headquartered in New Jersey needs to reduce its inventory, or as they say,

“With Spring arriving, we need to do a little additional inventory cleanup … and this is the perfect way to do it!

We want to move fast.

On Thursday, March 23rd at 12 Noon, we will launch a one hour sale on Winelibrary.com. Expect a selection of 25+ wines with prices that are beyond ridiculous.”

Here are samples of recent super deals:

2013 World’s End Rebel Reserve Chardonnay, Napa. $19.99

2013 Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon Mclaren Vale, $15.99

2013 Bello Megahertz Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.77

2013 Lone Birch Chardonnay, Washington, $9.99

2012 Paco Dos Cunhas Santar Nature, $10.98

You might look for these or similarly priced wines at Thursday’s flash sale, the one-hour blitz.

Read more about Flash Sales at www.bestonlinewineshopping.com

by clicking on flash sales.

 

Wine & the Holiday Spirit

Over the last week, the online wine retailers turned into a pack of shameless shills pushing overpriced, overblown, and underperforming wines. I can only guess they were trying to package and gift wrap vastly ordinary vino to those who want to get their holiday shopping done quickly.

In my ongoing tracking of online sellers, one stood out once again for being different and being in the holiday spirit. Read their comment below to understand why I like www.lastbottlewines.com and then check out tomorrow’s marathon madness.

“Here at the end of 2016, we’re also aware that not everyone has the resources that we enjoy — so in that spirit, as we get ready to BLOW OUT 100s of cool wines, we’re also donating $10,000 to our friends at The Napa Valley Food Bank. This wonderful organization provides a variety of nutritious food to low-income individuals, families, seniors and non-profit organizations throughout Napa County through four programs: Emergency Food Pantries; Senior Brown Bag; the USDA Commodity Program; and Non-Profit Access. They feed thousands of local households every month and we are proud to support their work!!”

Black Friday in the Online Wine Shopping World

 An Up-to-date Report:

Amazon is disappointingly focused elsewhere; same old wine deals.

www.getwineonline.com is better with 10-40% discounts and coupons.

Laithwaite offered a special case of red wines, mostly heavy-duty reds.

And www.lastbottlewines.com will likely offer a surprise or two in its flash sales before this day is over.

But the major Black Friday breaking news is that the big boy, http://www.wine.com, came through in a big way.

The today-only offer at wine.com is an extra 10% off and free shipping for a case.

My tip for exploring the lists of white and red wines, is sort by SAVINGS.

Dont be bamboozled or distracted by that “Popular Sellers” category which always seem to start out with high-priced wines.

And if you truly want a deal, dont sort by the 90 points or more ratings.

My search was for excellent wines priced at least 25% below average retail before that extra 10% was applied.

Looking very carefully at wines below $20 a bottle, we zoomed in on these ten money-saving deals:

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Los Vascos, Colchagua Valley, $9.99

2012 Chardonnay Mercer, Columbia Valley, $10.69

2013 Chardonnay Benziger Family, Sonoma County $10.99

2014 Garnacha Torres 5G, $11.99

2013 Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red, Lake County, $12.99

2012 Casa Santos Lima Confidencial Reserve Red, Portugal  $12.99

2015 Pinot Gris, “J” Russian River, $14.99

2015 Chardonnay Reserve, Frei, Russian River, $15.99

2014  Cabernet Sauvignon Catena, Argentina $17.99

2014 Gewurztraminer Trimbach, Alsace, $19.99

A Crash Course in Flash Sales

Hold onto your hat or whatever may blow in the wind, because on Tuesday, July 19th, WTSO (Wines ‘til Sold Out) is conducting its day-long marathon for wines priced at $19.99.

The kick-off is 8:00 am, East Coast time. A new wine will be for sale every 15 minutes or sooner. 

 

To sweeten the deal, they are offering free shipping with no minimum purchases and they will store your purchases for free, should there be concerns about high temperatures.

You can follow the sales online at www.wtso.com, download the app, or use your twitter account for notifications.

So, are you ready for some Flash sales?

If you are a newbie at this, it can be a bit unnerving with the time pressure. But if curious, this could be like a crash course in flash sales. You can be a spectator or a player.

I’ve followed WTSO for about 4 years and reviewed its 1,359 offers over the last 10 months to get a feel for what might be up for sale. At $19.99, there were a few exceptional deals, most were decent enough, and there were some wines I wouldn’t want if they were given to me.

Overall, the best deals were wines from the Rhone Valley, off-brand Champagne, Tuscany, and Australia, along with Pinot Noir and Zins from California.

If you are game and ready to tune into to this upcoming marathon, we are happy to offer a little pre-game advice and pep talk along with a game plan. Go to

www.bestonlinewineshopping.com

 

 

Two Great Wine Deals

Two Awesome Wine Deals for This Weekend

  1. Winelibrary.com just announced  that it will offer 150 wines from various regions as part of its July weekend sales.

Most of the wines will sell for 50% below suggested retail with free shipping for a case. Just remember that you need to use the code JULY2016 to get free shipping.

As an added incentive, you can mix and match wines to qualify for the free case shipping. That’s an attractive  alternative.

When thinking about case purchases, I looked for wines under $20 a bottle and came up with these five beauties.

2014 Lafage Cuvee Centenaire Blanc, $11.98, lovely, full-flavored white from southern France.

2014 Gabriel Meffre Cotes Du Rhone Saint Vincent, $12.01, from a reliable producer, and a real deal for a Rhone red.

2010 Olarra Laztana Rioja Reserva $12.44, This is a ready to enjoy classy Rioja from the fine 2010 vintage.

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Estate Red $19.99, An excellent combination of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a dash of Viognier.

2013 Willowbrook Cellars Kastania Pinot Noir $19.99, This delivers pure Pinot flavors and soft,silky texture. Hard to find a better Pinot at this price.

2. As a big fan of Navarro Vineyards, I was thrilled to see this special July 4th offer in my mailbox. For some reason, wineries aren’t allowed to ship totally free, but every now and then a winery will go with the 1 cent per case shipping fee. That saves about $40.

Since the owners, Ted and Deborah, are better writers than I am, I’ll quote their offer below.

The Sauvignon Blanc is one of my all-time favorites and this  vintage is the finest to date.

I’d also go with the 2014 Pinot Noir at the enticing price of $16.50 a bottle. But the Pinot Grigio is a perfect summer sipper as is the Rose of Pinot Noir. Tough to decide, but what great choices!

Here’s the offer:

“The Fourth of July is just around the corner and Navarro has six Gold Medal winning new releases that will make your barbeque taste better than ever, especially since the One-Cent Ground Freight offer is still in effect. Here, in order of popularity, are our bestselling new releases:

2014 Pinot Noir, Anderson ValleyBottle price by the full case: $16.50

2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Anderson ValleyBottle price by the case: $17.55

2014 Chardonnay, MendocinoBottle price by the full case: $16.50

2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Cuvée 128Bottle price by the case: $17.10

2014 Chardonnay, Première ReserveBottle price by the case: $24.30

2015 Pinot Grigio, Anderson ValleyBottle price by the full case: $12.42

2015 Edelzwicker, Anderson ValleyBottle price by the full case: $12.42

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, MendocinoBottle price by the case: $28.80

2014 Riesling, Deep End BlendBottle price by the case: $26.10
Can’t decide which wines to purchase; check out Navarro’s Summer Samplers with savings up to 25%! You can assort twelve bottles of these new releases or any other wines or juices, and qualify for Navarro’s One-Cent Ground Freight and discounted Air Freight. You can place your order online at www.NavarroWine.com

 

 

Wines for 4th of July Parties

With a week to go before the 4th of July holiday, the web wine retailers are already competing to light up the skies with special deals, massive discounts, blowout sales to end all blowouts, and free shipping incentives. You can be sure the wines chosen for your July 4th celebrations will be made by rockstar winemakers, from the greatest vintage since 1945, and have earned numerous 90+ point ratings.
Yes, there is a lot of hot air. For over a year I’ve been following two dozen leading web wine retailers, and if nothing else, I’ve learned how to cut through the hype, and silly descriptors, the aggressive sales pitches, and those numerical ratings to find the websites that have genuine deals and deliver on time.
If flash sales appeal to your independent side, my favorite is www.lastbottlewines. com which is headquartered in Napa.  Usually, offering only one wine daily, these guys have an unpredictable nature and they love holiday surprises. The discounts are usually deep, as in half-off, but to purchase wines, you have to act quickly. I recently missed out on a super Zinfandel from Lake County offered at $10 a bottle.  This is the go-to super source for Napa and Sonoma wines, especially Cabernet. Shipping is free for 4 bottles or more.
Another excellent website is www.cinderellawine.com which offers two daily deals and gives you a little more time to think things over. Though any connection between Cinderella and wine escapes me, this site has come on strong in recent months. Its best deals are wines from Italy, Spain and Australia. If you prefer Italian, this is the site for you. However, in mid-June it began offering unusual 2 and 3 bottle packages, but unlike others who offered “curated” wines, this site offers creative packages. As an example, a 2012 Chardonnay duo consisted of the Auntsfield Chard from New Zealand and a Franciscan Cuvee Sauvage Chard from Napa’s Carneros ($36.99 the pair). That’s an intriguing side by side comparison. Additionally, once a week its parent company, winelibrary.com, offers subscriber a special deal. These usually fall in the under $20 price point and are often good to excellent deals. Continue reading “Wines for 4th of July Parties”