Cindy, operated by the Wine Library, has vastly improved its selections this quarter. Always offering free shipping on six, it has gotten out of its ho-hum rut and is now selecting some excellent wines rarely seen online. For example:
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
However, this site still occasionally over-hypes an unknown, unproven, over-priced wine.
The California wine club, one of the oldest, really caught fire with its special March sales. Not only were the wines priced to sell but they were also from real wineries. The $1 per case shipping offer was the clincher. Try these:
2013 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough,NZ $9.25
2015 Pedroncelli Chardonnay, Dry Creek Valley, $11.99
2012 Zaca Mesa Z-Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley $11.99
2012 Highway 20 Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills $11.99
2014 Rabbit Ridge, Tuscan Style Red, Paso Robles $12.99
After offering a string of over-priced wines such as the Buena Vista, Coppola King Kong, and Black Stallion Cabernets, this site recently redeemed itself by adding some excellent deals to the mix.
It hit the bullseye with The 2015 Redgate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley for $15 and followed with the 2014 San Pedro Single Vineyard Maipo Valley Cab for $15.
The selection of 2015 Chianti Colli Senesi 2015 Fattoria Del Cerro $10.95 by the case reaffirmed the feeling that this site is worth checking every day.
That is if it continues to ferret out real deals
Even when offering authentic wines or good deals, this site is totally annoying. The write-ups ramble through elaborate Parker or Galloni reviews, detailed vintage assessments, and usually stray far off the main avenue by dropping names of famous people, restaurants, chefs and hotels in the wine country.
It is obvious they know every VIP in the wine world and can always get a table at the French Laundry.
The so-called narratives easily earn them the Kellyanne Conway award. But it is all far less amusing. They just seem to pile on the irrelevant information, facts, and experiences that have no direct connection to the wine being offered.
Here’s a recent example of this disconnect:
“We’ve known Phil Titus for 25 years, his marine biologist brother Eric for a decade. The story of Lee Titus — Phil and Eric’s father, who moved to California from Minnesota just after the Depression — is a piece of St. Helena folklore. As Lee attended medical school, his future wife, Ruth Traverso, the daughter of Italian parents, was living in San Francisco’s North Beach. During family October vacations in Napa Valley, the Traversos returned to their Piedmontese roots, helping friends harvest their vineyards in Calistoga. Years later, when Ruth and Lee married, both husband and wife were bitten by the wine bug.”
And Btw, when visiting with Phil, they stayed at the Meadowood and ate fried calamari and Mary’s Chicken.
Despite the great background and contacts, this club has not improved since coming on the scene with great fanfare and advertising support.
It asks the same silly questions to establish your preferences, and is still offering the same wines for the most part.
Somehow the private customizing algorithms end up suggesting a couple of Malbecs and ordinary Sauvignon Blancs.
To date, I’ve not seen one wine that is unusual and a super deal.
The 3 bottle trial package remains worthwhile.