While I was taking my WSET certification classes, I felt thoroughly, well, out-classed.
Since it’s a fairly prestigious (and expensive) professional certification, I was pretty much the only amateur in the group. Everyone else was either moving into the industry — one woman hot off an apparently-disappointing-in-some-way tech career with Google — or already had very deep roots in wine. Literally. The boy next to me came to class with dirt under his fingernails from his time in the vineyard that morning.
But I remember amongst the questions our instructor asked in class, there was one in particular that literally everybody got wrong.
What’s the biggest retail vendor of wine in America?
Everyone exclaimed, shook their heads in disbelief. What about ABC? What about Total Wine, for fuck’s sake?
Nope. Costco. And today, I understand why.
I Don’t Have Room in my Tiny Apartment for Bulk Toilet Paper… But Wine, Tho
I’ve been writing a post comparing the cost of grocery staples at the three major warehouse club stores — Sam’s, BJ’s, and Costco. And while I was perusing Sam’s on the sly today (the girl at the door directed me to the Membership desk and I walked right on by), I decided to stop by the wine display.
2012 Stag’s Leap. For forty bucks.
That’s $10 less than Wine.com, and you don’t have to worry about shipping.
Right underneath? A Sonoma County red blend by Decoy for just $20.
Apparently, warehouse club stores are the place to get your bottle. Who. Knew?
Although I very nearly swung back by the Membership desk after all, I held off — the amount of traveling I’ve been doing lately is holding me back from spending very much (or, to be honest, drinking at home. I need to save myself for all the wonderful wine bars out there!).
My mother and I just got home from New York City, where we refreshed and rejuvenated ourselves and our relationship, and drank a significant amount of amazing wine. Highlights: City Winery (that cellar), Corkbuzz in Chelsea Market (themed flights and POPCORN WITH BROWNED BUTTER AND HONEY OMG), and an incredible meal with perfect pairings at Park Avenue (Winter).
This latter restaurant I hadn’t known about and just happened to wander by one night since it was close to our hotel and seriously, if you’re ever in New York, please go. It’s fairly reasonably priced considering the quality of the food, service, and my god the atmosphere. Easily one of the most beautiful set of rooms I’ve ever had the pleasure to wander tipsily through.
Plus, it’s a runner up for the best meal I’ve ever had, ever, second only to Miami’s The Forge and I’m still not totally sure it’s in second. And like everything else, their wine menu is hand-selected and seasonally themed. I had a right bank Bordeaux that tore my face off it was so wonderful, and I cause my mother to fall hopelessly in love with New World pinot noir.
Next month, I’ll report on Spanish wine while gallivanting around Barcelona. Though it’s not anywhere near a serious wine region, it looks like there’s no shortage of outlets where I can try the fruits of Spain.
Can. Not. Wait.