A lot of people feel intimidated about shopping for wine at a wine store. Gut Check understands this -- for the uninitiated, darkening the doorway of a retailer that specializes in wine can be as daunting as walking onto a used-car lot: What are they going to try to sell me? How will I know if they're ripping me off? If they ask me a question, what do I say?
So we also understand why a lot of people are more comfortable shopping for wine at a grocery store. The odds of being accosted in the wine aisle at Schnucks by someone trying to sell you a $40 bottle of cabernet are pretty dang low. So you can wander around like a lost puppy, secure in the knowledge that no one will try to rescue you.
If that last sentence sounds like Gut Check is chiding you just a bit, well, we is. Because here's the thing:
Grocery stores know your type. They're happy you've slunk in, and they'll be thrilled to con you into thinking you've found yourself a tremendous bargain while avoiding being ripped off by those wine-store shysters.
Nowhere is this scenario more blatantly on display than at your neighborhood Schnucks, where seemingly every single wine is on sale, all the freaking time!
But...you can beat them at their game, and Gut Check is here to help! Click through to find six gen-you-wine bargains "on sale" every damn day at Schnucks.
6. 2011 Beringer Sauvignon Blanc Founders' Estate ($6.99) Lesson number one when shopping for wine at Schnucks is that the ostensible list price is almost certainly bogus. If someone tries to sell you a bottle of 2011 Beringer Sauvignon Blanc Founders' Estate for $14.89, tell 'em to pound sand. Lesson number two is that sometimes a $7 bottle of wine -- i.e., a wine you can buy for about $7, as opposed to a wine that's marked down, say, 50 percent to $7 -- is a decent value. Such is the case here. There's nothing at all objectionable about the wine in this bottle. It's an uncomplicated and pleasantly crisp white, with a soft hit of fruit to round things out.
5. 2009 Rosenblum Cellars Syrah Vintner's Cuvée ($12.99) Schnucks wants you to think you're buying some classy-ass Rhône-style bottling here, what with the ostensible sticker price of $24.49. The last time Gut Check spent $24 on a bottle of wine, well...suffice to say it was a very special occasion, we spent a lot more than $24, and we most certainly did not spend it at Schnucks. A quick trip over to Rosenblum Cellars' own website informs us that we can buy the Vintner's Cuvée syrah from them for $12. Of course, Schnucks is handier, and they cover the shipping. So $12.99 it is, for a sturdy, workmanlike, 100 percent syrah that shows off the grape's meaty and tannic brawn but also its gentler, rich-berry underbelly.