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.

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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.

77 thoughts on “About Us

  1. David

    My bubble has been burst! A friend of mine is a huge oenophile and told me that wine at GO that is less than $10 a bottle is a “manufactured” wine, with added sugar and other chemicals. He said most of them come from vineyards owned by Gallo. Since all my wine purchases at GO are under $10 a bottle I am now completely rethinking my buying habits. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi David and welcome! My somewhat pat answer is that GO wines come from many sources, for many reasons. Many are from large conglomerates, e.g., Bronco Wines, but there are often some odd wines there because of changing ownerships, changing labels, bankruptcies, wineries needing quick cash (GO pays immediately), salvage from accidents, etc., that are very good deals. And we GO fans will mostly tell you that, whatever the source, if you like it, it’s good wine! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I was walking through a GO this morning noting that most all of the wines were either grocery store wines or negociant bottlings. I rarely buy those (I will take a chance on a Pinot Noir if it says where the grapes were grown and I approve). However there are almost always a few wines that come from real wineries. The Casamatta White, for instance, is a genuine bargain at $4.99 and still on the shelf at Richmond. The Giesen Pinot Gris at $2.99 is pretty good too.

        Reply
        1. David

          Seedboy, what is your trick for knowing which of the wines are “negociant” ones and which come from real wineries? The feedback I’m getting here clearly supports what my friend said. I had no idea there was such a prevalence of “label mills.” Very disheartening. I’ll be honest–I don’t drink more than a case of wine in a year and rarely spend as much as $10 on a bottle. I do always check to see where it is supposedly produced but not sure that tells me where it was grown. I’m not one to spend a lot of time reading or studying up on wine. So short of being a regular reader here, how else does one know they aren’t drinking doctored wine from a huge supplier?

          Reply
          1. flitcraft

            I’m not sure why you are concerned about ‘negociant’ wines. Many of them are absolutely real, non-‘manufactured’ wines, made by vintners who know what they’re doing with the grapes they purchase. And some wines made by ‘real’ wineries are swill. As for ‘doctored’ wines, I think you may be misinformed here, as well. Tartaric acid is often added to wines with insufficient natural acidity to stabilize them as well as to reduce ‘flabbiness’ in the wine. Likewise, in many countries where grapes may lack adequate inherent sugar, chaptalization allows added sugar, not to make the wine sweet, but to provide sufficient alcohol to render it storable. Oak chips can be added to wine to give it oak flavor at less expense than storing the wine in oak barrels. All of these practices ‘doctor’ wines, but it isn’t clear why a casual wine drinker would worry about them, as long as you enjoy them. If you buy wines at the grocery store for under $12 dollars, it is very likely that you are buying ‘doctored’ wines. More so than at Grocery Outlet, certainly, where some of the less expensive wines are actually wines that could have (and often did) sell for 20-40 dollars a bottle but are off-loaded at Grocery Outlet for the reasons Bargain Whine articulated.

            You asked how to be sure that the wines you’re drinking aren’t manufactured wines from a huge supplier, short of paying attention to the very educated palates who review wines here? Easy. Go to a wine shop, tell them you want a wine that it completely natural and un-manipulated and be ready to pay 30 bucks or more. Want to drink good wine for less? That’s what we’re all here for.

            Reply
            1. augusteast

              flitcraft, it appears you did not read the post by Seedboy I was responding to. He said he rarely buys “grocery store wines or negociant bottlings” so I took that as a knock against those. I don’t even know what a negociant bottling is, I was just wondering how he is able to identify such wines and how he identifies a wine from “real wineries.” I imagine he was not shopping with an owner of a wine shop by his side but what do I know?

            2. BargainWhine

              Hi David / augusteast.
              First, an aside about commenting here. If you don’t use the exact same email address and screen name as you have in the past, your comment will be held for moderation, i.e., until I log in and approve it. I suggest you pick one email address + screen name combination for commenting here and stick to it.
              Second, and back on topic, an easy way to tell something about the wine quality is to look at what the back label says about the wine. If it says “Produced and bottled by XXXX,” that means the winery grew the grapes, made them into wine, and bottled the wine itself. These are quite often higher quality wines, although at GO, many are also on their last legs (as it were) and need to be consumed soon. Many of the GO wines that get us really excited are those that are “produced and bottled by” but are young and still have many years ahead of them. Next is “Vinted and bottled by XXXX,” as these can be wines made well with purchased grapes, as flitcraft mentioned. Probably last is “Cellared and bottled by XXXX,” although, as always, these are not hard and fast rules. If you find a wine you like, it doesn’t really matter what the label says, front or back. Actually, supposedly among cheap GO wine ($4, $5 these days, I guess), the one with the uglier / stupider / weirder name or label graphics is likely to be better wine.

      2. augusteast

        Appreciate the reply, BW! I always use my Vivino app, too, to see what the scores are and to read some of the comments. I just worry sometimes that what I like might be because of engineering, or added sugar, which I don’t want in my body.

        Reply
        1. augusteast

          Really appreciate the tips, BargainWhine! I knew some of that to be true, but not that clearly. As for my screen name, I haven’t done anything differently since first coming on here. I think it is automatically using an old log in I’ve used before on WordPress.

          Reply
    2. DARRELL

      I am greatly appalled at your concern above and a bit disturbed. One shouldn’t put such faith in one individual. We occasionally get comments from wine snobs here. If you stick with this blog, you will learn much; it keeps me on my toes, anyway. Some of the contributors are in the trade and oenology. I won’t be as gracious and polite as BW, so let me be succinct: your oenophilic buddy doesn’t know wine from a hole in the ground and isn’t doing you any favors.

      Reply
    3. BeerBudget

      In many cases, the wines recommended on this blog have a production cost higher than their GO sales price. The folks here are experts at differentiating the wines from ‘real wineries’ vs bulk label mills. Your friends comment might ring true for a lot of domestically-sourced mainstream-supermarket wine, and many of the GO offerings made to fit a target price point, but those are almost never highlighted here.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I should preface this by noting that most all of the following concerns domestic wines. With foreign wines I have a different set of rules that I won’t get into right now.

        Here is what I am looking for: a winery name I recognize as being a quality maker. If I see that I will buy. For instance, Bill Foley owns a bunch of wineries (Chalone, Foley/Johnson are examples) and he disposes of prior vintages at the GO. If I see any of those wines I will buy them. They rarely let me down (that Gavilan chardonnay did have some bottle variation, but at $4.99 a bottle it was worth the gamble, and I wish I’d bought more of it).

        That said, some of the big wineries (Beringer, BV, for instance) have programs for inexpensive wines destined for the lower shelves at your local grocery store (see “grocery store wines”, below). Those are usually manufactured using inferior material and I avoid them.

        If I don’t recognize a winery name, but it says Estate Bottled, I will probably buy it. That means it was made and bottled at the producer’s winery, from grapes from vineyards the producer owns or controls, that are within the same viticultural area as the winery. That is a legally defined term so you know what it means. “Produced and bottled by” means that 75% or more of the wine was made by the winery. If you have questions about the nomenclature used, you probably have Google in your pocket, use it.

        Keep “www.cellartracker.com” in your favorites. It might have consumer reviews of the wine on the shelf.

        If a wine label designates the vineyard where the grapes were grown, I will probably buy it. If it does not tell me anything specific about where the grapes came from (“California” or “Coastal”), I probably won’t.

        A “Negociant” is someone who buys wine that has already been made by someone else, bottles and sells it. Some such wines can be good, but it is just like buying something second hand: why is the wine maker selling it instead of bottling it and selling it as their own? Often the answer is that the product is inferior. I probably won’t buy it unless someone I trust recommends it.

        A grocery store wine is a wine that was made to be sold for less than $15 or so, in the lower shelves of a grocery store wine section. I am not generally looking for a few bucks off of a $15 bottle. I am looking for a $30+ bottle that ended up at the GO because it is an older vintage, or the winery went bust, or the distributor no longer represents that winery but has wine in its warehouse. I’ve still struck out on those, but if I find one I like I’ll buy a mess of it. I have wines that I bought at the GO 20 years ago.

        There are some “tells” that I look for. Does it just say “California” and not designate a place of origin? If you don’t want me to know where the grapes were grown I won’t bother buying.
        Look at the back label. Does the “winery” show its web address? If not, and the wine is domestic, it is unlikely to be good. If it is from Robert Storey or “CD” (formerly Chateau Diana) in Ukiah, walk on by, these are negociant wines that are rarely any good. Is the “address” given in American Canyon? It is a negociant wine. That Vineyard Block Estate 073 Chardonnay in the stores right now? That is a negociant. I bought a bottle because it designated Sta Rita Hills as the grape source and has a Los Olivos address. If you like really super buttery Chardonnay you might try it, but I don’t, and wish I’d saved the receipt

        Does it have a gimmicky name or label? I probably won’t buy it unless someone I trust recommends it. I did bite on the Tres Chic rose, and it is pretty good: dry, minerally, good fruit flavors.

        Finally, if you’re headed to the GO, check this blog first and see if there are recent posts about a wine. That might guide your decision making. Happy shopping!

        Reply
        1. David

          Such a wealth of information! Thank you so much, Seedboy. I will follow your tips and come back here more regularly to see what is recommended. On my way to GO right now!

          Reply
  2. steve roche

    Hi- I just found your website, and I wondered if you could address the subject of buying a ‘bad bottle’ (spoiled, turned, etc) of wine at GO. My story (I’ll try to keep it brief)–

    A new GO store was opened last year a few blocks from Downtown Los Angeles. We were in love. Especially with the wine section. But after a month or two I started to get ‘turned’ bottles.
    You open them and you smell vinegar. (I am only buying red wine. Dry red wine. Please?)
    The first bad bottle I remember was one of 2 bottles of Atlanta Braves Cabernet, so yeah– the joke’s on me. I thought “They serve this in the skybox, so it must be decent.” And it was quite nice. The second bottle, not so much. I poured it out.

    After that, every other bottle I bought (of Merlot, Cab, Pino, Bordeaux, etc) was crap.
    By that I mean spoiled or cooked or whatever (not cheap-tasting, I can deal with that).
    What I mean is ‘Stuff you pour out.’
    Management does not take returns. My count of bad bottles was 13, as of December 2018.
    So, I lose $5 or $6 every time I shop there (because one of the bottles I buy is undrinkable).
    I know… shipping containers sit in the sun for months, a stor’s’ opening can be delayed, etc.
    And it’s news to a lot of people that you can’t store red wine for months in the sun.

    I am afraid to buy any wine there anymore. Yesterday I bought Cellar No. 8 Cabrenet, 2015.
    A dependable red table wine that used to be $12. I used to enjoy it. This time it tasted like diet coke mixed with vinegar.

    The good bottles I have bought have been excellent. And they sell out first. But even then, one of them is terrible…
    After three bottles of some French bordeaux, the fourth was burnt, and so I marked that one off my list.
    I never hear or read anything about the damaged bottles of red wine, on any blog or Yelp.

    Am I nuts? Or is this a logistical problem that a new store had, and cases of wine sat in warm storage… In Southern California we had a very warm summer last year, and an extremely warm summer the year before, and the giant Port of LA had some backup lasting for 3 months.
    A lot of container ships sat baking in the sun for a while.

    I used to buy 2 bottles on each trip to GO, gambling that maybe 1 of them won’t be spoiled.
    This week both bottles were spoiled. So, it’s off to the CVS to pay regular price for some dinner wine. Or some other wine store which will allow a return. (Friends who buy white wine have had no such problems).

    Thank you for any thoughts!

    steve
    Los Angeles
    6th and Bixel Street Grocery Outlet

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Steve, and thanks for your comment. I find it surprising that the store owner does not take returns. I thought it was GO policy to take a return of any item for any reason, although now, as Seedboy mentions, it has be to be within 30 days of purchase and with a receipt. My and others’ experience has been that the bottle variation (% of bad bottles) is higher among GO wines than among those from a regular wine store, so if you’re not allowed to return bad bottles, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

      Reply
      1. steve roche

        Well, I waited until I had gotten 2 bad bottles before I began to ask cashiers about taking returns, and I was told “We used to, but we don’t anymore”… I sort of just let it go for a while (it’s on the way home from work, and I am usually exhausted). Then I considered it like gambling: pick two bottles (by label or name recognition), and if you get at least one good one, you win.
        A few times of getting 2 spoiled bottles per trip, I stopped buying.
        Later in the year I asked again, and a cashier said they do accept returns. By then, I had stopped buying wine there entirely. A friend gave me a bottle of Merlot from there, and it was good.
        I went back a few days later, and got 2 different bottles of what looked like good French red wine… both spoiled. The trip back there is difficult, since I have to cross over a sea of Downtown traffic, so I usually forget to bring the almost-full bottles to work with me in the morning, in order to stop by at the end of work. It’s not the first beer/wine store that has refused a return around here.
        But for Grocery Outlet, I just have bad luck there. That’s all. Someday I’ll find out the story there.

        I paid $15 tonight at the CVS for a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola, and I’m very happy with it.
        steve

        Reply
  3. Pingback: Revisiting old friends | PermiesWorld

  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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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