About Us

From the founder, grossoutwine

I’m young, drink beer and wine passionately, and planning on making a career of drink.

My mom taught me to share, so here I am.

I want you to go in to Gross Out and buy with confidence.

Go forth.

As of July, 2011, grossoutwine is off for the wilds of Texas, outside GO range, though he may stop in from time to time.  He left this blog in the hands of two enthusiastic commenters, Lim13 and myself, BargainWhine.   I currently live in Berkeley, CA, but I started my GO wine experiences in 2001, when I lived very close to the Oakland store.  There was a lot of good stuff when Webvan went out of business.  🙂  I’ve been tasting mostly California wines for 20 years, making regular trips to Sonoma, Napa, and other west coast wine areas.    My favorites are probably traditional French wines, especially from the Rhone and Loire valleys.  My GO wine-buying philosophy is here.  (Expat adds more thoughts here.)  I will try to make my biases clear in my writing, but my contribution is largely an effort in self-indulgence (hence the “whine”), and in sharing with anyone else who enjoys the hits and misses of wine at the Grocery Outlet.  Cheers!

Update early July, 2015:  I’ve started working in beer and wine at the Richmond, CA, store.  My managers are fine with my continuing to express my personal opinions here.

–     *    –     *     –     *     –     *    –     *     –     *     –     *    –     *     –     *     –     *    –     *     –

And I am “Lim 13“…the other enthusiastic past contributor…and one half of the new editorial staff of this site.  I’m an old ex-hippie who first began drinking wine in upstate New York…from a bota bag…at concerts…in the early 70’s.  I’m in Washington State now and have been for 37 years.  I spent 31 of those years in the retail liquor and wine industry from which I’m now retired.  I’ve written a few wine articles for magazines, had my wine cellar featured in Wine Spectator nearly 20 years ago, organized and conducted wine tours of Washington and Oregon for the Society of Wine Educators, and with my wife have been part of a five-couple wine tasting group for the last 20 years.  None of this “important sounding” stuff is as significant in my wine knowledge as just plain tasting and drinking wine!  I’m also into playing guitar and singing, clogging, and team spectator sports (mostly baseball and football), and volunteering for the local Humane Society and Cancer Society.  I prefer wines other than Cab and Chardonnay…like Alsatian Gewurztraminer, German Riesling, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Syrah, and Zinfandel. I’m really looking forward to working with my new partner(s) … in bringing you information you can use to hopefully feel good about your wine purchases at Grocery Outlet.  Let’s get movin’!!

Contributors

bin5

My wine affair started when I moved to Silicon Valley in 1980.  I couldn’t get enough of Napa and Sonoma along with trips to Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, and all points in between.  Alas, my work took me to Seattle in 1988. The wine scene was disappointing in comparison and UPS was my friend.  There of course were a few bright spots and somewhere in the late 90’s things changed and Washington wine has become cutting edge, exciting, fresh, and fun.  I believe all wines have their place, provided of course they are well made.  I seek value and am excited about GO because the more we collectively buy, the more they will get, which leads to more choices.  I am fortunate to be close to several stores, most notably Renton, Kent, and soon to be Maple Valley, WA.

DavidLikesWine

I’m only about 5 years in to my wine journey, but got bitten by the bug pretty hard. It was a bottle of Lodi Zinfandel that got me hooked. That and the evening of fantastic conversation among friends which helped me see that wine shared in good company could be an incredibly memorable experience. Since that bottle of Zin my tastes have skewed more towards wines with structure and good balancing acidity. Grocery Outlet holds a dear place in my heart for providing an affordable, self-guided wine education, and I’m excited to get to share some of those experiences here. I’ll do my best to make my biases known and acknowledge my limitations as a taster and commenter. Cheers!

Dluber

Forty-something foodie, wine nut, beer geek, avid homebrewer, baker, mushroomer and amateur winemaker, former cook, pastry chef, and food chemist from Chicago who came to California to get a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering, make a fortune in biotech, and retire to own a winery. One out of three so far…my lifestyle is still very similar to that of a grad student, so I wouldn’t be able to afford my wine and cheese habit without Gross Out! My love affair with wine began as a teenager, and has only deepened over time. Having no formal training in wine appreciation, I won’t call myself a wine critic, just a wine lover. Currently residing a few blocks from the Oakland GO, I also pop in the Berkeley store fairly often and others occasionally at random.

PermiesWorld (PW)

I am a retired wedding/event photographer who now photographs randomly as I wander. My passions are natural gemstones and wine. I have studied sharks since I was a child so you could add that to the mix. I love to know everything I can find about the things I’m interested in. And I love to travel. To my friends, I’m the computer geek who stars in her husband’s cartoons. My husband and I have 2 grown children, 3 grandchildren, 2 springer spaniels and 3 cats. We’ve been together since we were teenagers and continue to enjoy “life, the universe and everything” together. His side talent is cartooning so all of the cartoons you see on my blog are his original artwork.

TukLaw

I am an amateur wine enthusiast from Southern California who did not care much about it until a few years ago when I made my first trip to Napa, CA.  From then on, I developed a deeper appreciation for wine and anything associated with it.  Grocery Outlet provides me a great way of enjoying this new passion without breaking the bank.

61 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Pingback: Revisiting old friends | PermiesWorld

  2. Sam Sherm

    Contempo Inferno red blend in a screw top is really nice, a bargain at $3.99. Tried if during the recent wine sale, bought and drank a few more bottles since. It’s got some complexity. Got it at the Davis, CA store.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Jim. Thanks for asking, but the only thing that’s changed is how the menu of categories is displayed. I thought the list was getting too long, so I changed it to a drop-down menu instead of a visible list. Click on “Select Category” and menu appears. Use the scroll bar on that menu to get down to the next to last entry on the list, where you’ll find “Zinfandel / Primitivo.” Is that what you were looking for? In case it was, here’s the direct link:
      https://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/category/varietal/zinfandel-primitivo/

      Reply
  3. Jon

    Moving from Napa to Chico, our wine tasting and wine experiences have dwindled to a trickle; I’m glad to have run across this blog as GO has been a “go-to” place for years after stumbling across it accidentally when I took my daughter grocery shopping there. I was amazed at the wine selection (Fairfield has the best so far) at the various outlets … Chico has one but is sort of limited … oh to find Big Ass Chard again, Ramsey Cab, or Unsung Heroes Petit Verdot again … we’re lucky enough to have a TJ’s where we can find Napa wines, but even luckier to have a GO to find the roads less traveled … be well

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Jon and welcome! Napa to Chico does sound like a shock in more ways than just wine. I’m glad you found some compensation in GO wines and that you’ve found the blog. We look forward to hearing from you.

      Reply
    2. Joel A

      Jon: be sure to visit the wineries arounbd Chico and points south. We found a reasonably good winery at Grey Fox, near Oroville.

      Reply
  4. Elusis

    Hi – do you have an RSS feed for the blog? I really like it but I very much dislike getting blog posts emailed to me; I’d rather just use my feed reader. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Elusis. I know nothing of this system, but I think WordPress has made it very easy for me to do what you asked. Let me know if this is not what you had in mind.

      Reply
  5. gaylemp

    I was at the Grocery Outlet store in Concord today and was told about your blog. So glad I heard about you! I love finding new wines at GO and although there are some very savvy people who can help out, they are not always around. So, I have to rely on my own instincts. Sometimes they are good, sometimes not so much. I love a bargain and am looking forward to learning about what to buy from you guys!

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Welcome, gaylemp! We’re always happy to be “found”. Was it a store employee who told you about us? Hopefully we’re able to help you to make some informed decisions about what to try and what to avoid from your local GO. Feel free to let us know what you’re finding that looks interesting to you too. You’re welcome to comment anytime on our “Guest Contributions” page.

      Reply
    1. lim13

      We’re happy you stumbled upon our blog too, Miri. Welcome! Please feel free to chime in anytime…perferably on the “Guest Contributions” section. Hope to hear from you again.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine

      Yep, do chime in about how you like various GO wines you’ve tasted, in comments on their reviews or on Guest Contributions.

      Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Jones! We’ve been so excited about the sale, we’ve published enough reviews that the post on the topic has been pushed to the second page. In a sort of unintended reciprocity, on page whose link you included, one of our regular commenters independently posted a recommendation of this site.

      Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Ed, and welcome to the blog. I’m glad to hear people do win those things, but please keep the discussion on wine. Thanks and cheers!

      Reply
  6. Mark

    Thanks for starting this blog and all the great reviews/comments. I really like the guest contributions idea, but it’s hard to follow, and time consuming to search through, and will only get longer as its popularity continues to increase. You may have seen the GO monthly threads on Chowhound which I also lurk on. Suggest maybe a similar approach here could work as GO (wine) stock rarely lasts a month. Also consider a red/white/sparkling separation. Keep it up! Thanks again, Mark

    Reply
    1. bargainwhine

      Hi Mark! Thanks for finding us and chiming in. I’ve been wondering what to do about the Guest Contributions section, as it is getting a bit too large, and the contents of comments don’t seem to show up on searches done from this page. (They still show up in Google searches, especially if you limit the search to this site, but that’s not so convenient.) The Red / White / Sparkling can be separated, at least for the main blog, using the categories on the right side below the “Most Recent Comments.” Click on the category you want. Anyway, it’s not like we build the whole web page from scratch. We use the functionality of WordPress, but I’ll see what could be done.

      Reply
  7. Jeff Crick

    Brand new to this site, but enjoy the comments. Living in the Portland area, a number of GO’s to shop at. Milwaukie, Beaverton and Hillsboro…also a neat strore in the Hollywood district. A wine I loved, was the Zefina Serience, Rhone like blend out of the Horse Heaven Hills/Alder Ridge vineyard along the scenic Colombia Gorge. Rich, deep flavors drinking beautifully now…vintages purchased were ’03 & ’04. Grenache, syrah, cinault, mourdvre etc in the mix. WE gave these scores of 87 & 88 for reference. These flew out the doors at $2.99, hope there is some in your area. Very cool site, w/great inpout from all!

    JC

    Reply
  8. Solano Wine Scout

    Great blog, grossoutwine. I wonder if you celebrated the one year anniversary of your first blog with a special wine.
    Down here in Vallejo, CA, our local grossout is offering a 2007 Oregon Pinot Gris called Oak Knoll. I picked one up ($4/bottle). Are there any warnings before I try it; I haven’t seen you write much about Pinot Gris.
    Looking forward to many more of your reviews.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t celebrate the anniversary of the blog at all, the date passed me by. I’ll have to remedy that this weekend.

      As for Pinot Gris, I worked at a producer of Pinot Gris for a while and I’ve drank more of the stuff than I can remember. Seeing as I think the varietal produces some rather forgettable wines, I usually steer clear. That being said, if you try one that you enjoy, post your thoughts in the Guest Commentary section of the site and I’ll try and find it at my local store.

      Reply
  9. BargainWhine

    Are you interested in taking other contributors on your blog? If so, I will send details about myself and a sample TN of the Squarenail Merlot.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      For now just go ahead and post it in the comments on the page for the wine. Jeff Berger has been doing a fantastic job doing that so far, and they show up when you bring the page up about the wine itself. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

      Reply
        1. grossoutwine Post author

          Great review Tom. I’m going to try and create a new page for guest contributors that will be available at the top of the screen. Should come up on google searches just as well as anything else I can think of.

          Reply
  10. David

    Enjoy your comments on wines available at the GO. I’ll visit my local GO make notes on what looks good, pricing, regular pricing, go back home check your site, google the wines and go back and make my purchase(s). About the star ratings posted I may rate a Grocery Outlet wine higher because of the price value associated with that wine. i.e. It may be an average wine but hey for $5.99 it’s excellent!
    Looking forward to more postings

    Reply
  11. Jo Diaz

    Read your comment on Alder’s blog about Dark & Delicious and Kent’s new digs. Also saw that you wish you could afford to drive down.

    If I gave you a pair of tickets, could you pull it off? $126 value… Just let me know. I’d love to have you there.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for the offer, it means a lot. When I said afford I didn’t just mean monetarily, but I can not afford to miss my organic chemistry midterm the day of the event. Hope your event is an astounding success!

      Reply
  12. Robert

    Good to see that someone is blogging these products. I live in Berkeley, GO HQ and shop the Berkeley and Oakland stores and occasionally some others. I buy pretty much all of my every day wine, and some of my fancy wine, from them.

    I’m betting that we get a lot of stuff here that you do not see. Part of that is the Oakland store mgr buys a lot of stuff just for that store. Recently he bought a cellar of wines from the 70s – 90s. I got a nice 1970 medoc for $2.99.

    The stores here lately have seen a lot of tasting room only wines from BV and Sterling for $4.99 to $6.99 including a Sterling Oakville cab and a BV marsanne that is a truly fine white wine. Last year a lot of Fife wines including Spring Mtn Cab, some zins and petite sirahs and rhonish blends, and then the liquidation of a lot of Rutz Cellars’ library — it is lovely to get nicely aged Russian River pinots for 4.99 a .750 and 8.99 a magnum.

    Right now probably the best local bargains are two small production champagnes for $14.99 per.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      That sounds amazing Robert, I keep meaning to visit those stores when my wife and I visit friends in the Bay area.

      I’m a huge fan of sparkling wines, whether from this side of the Atlantic or the other. What are the brands of the ones you’re speaking of?

      Reply
    2. Tom

      Wow, that sounds awesome. Thanks for the heads up. I visit the east bay a couple times a year (from the Central Coast) and will have to check out the GO mecca. BTW, the Sterling Cab was terrific. I managed to get a handful before they were sold out here in Santa Maria. The Syrah was ok and I haven’t tried the pinot yet and never got a bottle of the Zin. I liked the BV marsanne, even though I prefer lean, dry whites and I thought the BV tempranillo was interesting despite some rough edges.

      Reply
      1. grossoutwine Post author

        It’s pretty unfortunate that I’ve never even seen a BV in our Medford store, although there have been a couple wines from some of the Mondavi lines (Woodbridge, etc). I’ll be going in later today to do the weekly wine buying, hope to see something new and exciting!

        Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Still here, things have just been very busy with the holidays and returning to school after the winter break. Thank you for your concern and promise to have a new post up by this weekend!

      Reply
  13. Lee

    Awesome blog. G O is my favorite store! When I am traveling, I love to go to the different GO’s. Here is a list of some of the ones that I have visited: Medford (Home Store), Grants Pass, Roseburg, K Falls, Eugene, Salem, Woodburn, Brookings, Crescent City. I think Crescent City may have one of the better selections.

    My favorite finds have been a Johan Pinot Noir and a Galpin Peak Pinot Noir.

    I think G O may have had one of Wine Spectators top 100 for 2010. Number 7 actually. It is a Schild Estate Barossa Shiraz. The label looks exactly the same. Not sure if it is the same vintage. I wish I could find that wine somewhere!!

    http://www.winespectator.com/wine/detail/source/search/note_id/289550

    Cheers.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Hi Lee, thanks for the support! I am familiar with the wine you’re speaking of, it was a different vintage but still very good. It was prior to this blog, but I must have drank a half case of the stuff.

      Reply
  14. Tara

    Great blog! I just got into wines, and GO is a great place to try many without breaking the bank. I tried a Ravenswood Orange Muscat for say $6.99 that I liked so looking forward to others based on your recommendation and reviews. I like that you include GO price and comparison to retail and winery and picture or wine label. Thanks a bunch!

    Reply
    1. Tara

      Sorry, I meant Renwood Orange Muscat which is actually $9.99. I don’t know what year. I picked up 4 bottles today Viognier, Moscato, Shiraz, and a Sweet Red wine. They started to have tags on certain ones that say “We love this one” or goes great with brie or other cheese. I’m glad they started doing this – super helpful. I’ll ask what the best sellers are.

      Reply
  15. Tom

    Melissa, I agree with Naomi, embrace the Gross Out nickname. For starters, fighting it is futile and secondly it shows that you and the company aren’t uptight. It really is an endearing term for those of us who have discovered what a great store it it. It’s not just the wine but I got some Niman Ranch uncured canadian bacon the other night and was psyched. I’m constantly telling people about Gross Out.

    Matt, I like it when you post pictures because I’m a visual person and remember images more than names. I’ll comment on what I find in the Santa Maria, CA GO.

    Reply
    1. Oznayim

      There is another grocery establishment with a nickname, “Whole Paycheck”. I was visiting in Orlando and saw a Stilton for $16 a pound that I had gotten at the Ontario Gross out for $6. It is excellent cheese. Sometimes the cheeses at G O are as amazing as the wines.

      I love cheese. I have goats and make cheese also.

      Reply
  16. Kelli Cavallaro

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog and love that you are reviewing “Grossout” wines. I shop there all the time here in Reno. My sister lives in Medford, so I can always ask her to bring some of the ones you’ve tried when she comes for Thanksgiving. I will be stocking up at the sale. I drink wine 3-7 days a week, so love that I can save while enjoying one of my most favorite food groups.

    Thanks for your blog. I am usually in the store searching on my phone for reviews!

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Thanks for the kind words, Kelli. Failure to find any relevant reviews while researching in store is what drove me to start this blog in the first place. I’m glad I’ve provided a valued resource.

      Reply
  17. Bob Lambert

    Hey – I’m a wine importer based in Fresno, CA. I have provided Italian, Spanish, and French wines to G.O. for the last 18 months. You may have had the Italian Chianti and Rosso (Le Corbinie), Nero d’Avola (Cummo), and maybe the Spanish Tempranillo (Vinabel) or Garnacha (Monfil) – at least I hope so! I appreciate you reviewing G.O.’s wines, they are such a great company…
    Bob

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Hi Bob. That Le Corbinie Chianti was a favorite of mine before I started the blog, but we sadly haven’t seen anything but the Rosso in the Medford store in that past several months. I like the Rosso as well, but the Chianti was great. I’ve also tried the Tempranillo, but didn’t review it due to cork spoilage, and when I returned it there weren’t any more bottles of Vinabel on the shelf. Keep up the good work, I love Gross Out’s international selection!

      Reply
  18. LeftBanker

    Curious about where your local Grossout is. I’m in the SF Bay Area and we have wines aplenty at mine, but none of the ones you mention.

    Three are at least 4 Marlborough NZ Sauvignon Blancs on the shelf. I’ve tried two and both were typical examples of the genre: Lean, citrusy-grapefruit, some minerality. Not at all flabby like so many SBs from Oz or California. Incredible at 3.99 and 4.99 when comparable wines go for 2 1/2 to 3 times that much at a minimum. I’m going to open the other 2 and I’ll get back to compare all 4.

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      I live in Medford, OR and while our Grossout doesn’t have the largest selection, it’s normally a nicely picked one. Not nearly as many dogs as I’ve tasted at the Bend, OR and Eugene, OR stores. I’d love to hear back from you about those specific bottles. If they’re tasty enough, maybe I can talk the buyer at our local store into carrying them.

      Reply
  19. Kelly

    Hi Matt,

    Saw your comment on our most recent blog post and followed it here. This blog is so neat! I work and blog for Grocery Outlet (Melissa is my boss) and I’m thrilled to find someone who feels as passionately about Grocery Outlet products as I do.

    I was wondering– would you be at all interested in joining our crew of wine bloggers for our upcoming wine sale event in November? If you’re interested, email me and I’ll shoot over the details.

    Reply
  20. josh

    Keep it going, please!

    I bought the Kunde ResChard today, as well as a Burgess 2004 Syrah, Archetype Shiraz and Sacred Hill SavBlanc. Didn’t see your blog until tonight looking up the wines. As you know, great finds can come at a good price, so go with it.

    I have high hopes for the Burgess and Sacred Hill–Burgess b/c I know the label; and the Sacred Hill b/c NZ SavBlac is so consistent in style and typically very good. The Archetype may be okay, since aussie shiraz has become a commodity and less predictable.

    Do you know if the gross out stores buy system wide, or store by store?

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      I’ve had the Burgess 2004 Syrah, a good bargain though I haven’t reviewed it, and I look forward to trying the Sacred Hill Sauv Blanc, saw it this weekend while I was shopping.

      As far as buying goes, I think you’re correct on both fronts. I believe Grocery Outlet has a system of distribution where corporate buys the product, but each store is in charge of sourcing their own allocation out of that corporate catalog. I’d love if one of the others that have commented (and actually work there) would step in and inform us definitively!

      Reply
  21. wineman at ontario grocery outlet

    your blog is cool,rating our wines and advertising our product. what more could i ask for. come in and intreduce your self,the wine at ontario grocery outlet.

    Reply
  22. Melissa

    Hi! I was so happy to see your blog and to see that you “get” the wine philosophy at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.

    I am writing because we at Grocery Outlet are proud of our quality and value. So as you might imagine, we are sensitive about the otherwise funny nickname that we’ve been given. We know it is used with affection and we accept that. I just wanted you to know that we are sensitive about it. Maybe we could run a contest to see who could come up with our next FUN nickname.

    Thanks for your support of our efforts to touch lives for the better by bringing high-quality products to every day people at prices they can afford!

    Reply
    1. grossoutwine Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Melissa. This blog started as a way to get my chops writing about wine, as some day I’ll be required to write tasting notes about the wines I make. It’s quickly evolved into a passion to share great bargains (or terrific duds) with friends and anyone who will listen. I’m always looking for more ways to steer people to the blog, don’t be afraid to send your Grocery Outlet family this way! How’d you find this blog anyhow?

      Reply
    2. naomi counides

      I love the Gross Out nickname. I do not think you could wish for a better designation. Letting yourself be called Gross Out is so totally unstuffy. Some of us love shopping with you and announce our finds because not only is the stuff good, but we like that G O is not a pretentious pompous ___________________ (fill in blank) place. Actually I tend to refer to it as the crazy store.. but Gross Out is a much better name…..embrace it.

      Reply

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