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Snooth User: Bogies Bar


Posted by Bogies Bar, Mar 4, 2010.

Hi my name is Tom. I have owned a small tavern in Northern WI for a couple years now. Believe it or not there is not a bottle of wine with a cork in it within 40 miles. I'm looking for suggestions for wines to serve that are priced between 8-15 dollars. I am currently not a big wine drinker and any help would be welcome.




Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

Welcome, Tom. Have some good beers up there?

Here's an old thread with plenty of ideas:

What is your favorite wine for under $13 bucks?

You should also find a few reliable online wine merchants who will ship to you. One idea from California is KLWines, and what turned up in an under $10 search was this:|1

You should jump on that Havens Merlot for $6.99 at the top of the list since it's a closeout of a very decent wine that was going for four times that recently. Times are hard in California and the winery recently went bust...

You can also search for $10-25, etc.

We can talk about types of wines (red and white) but it might be most efficient if you tell us whatever you can about what you and your customers might be interested in, and ask any specific questions you can think of.

Reply by napagirl68, Mar 5, 2010.

Dmcker's suggestion of KLwines is a good one.  I  have used them for years, with favorable experience.  Give them a call if needed.  They can advise you. 

My advice?  Consider your clientel and keep it simple to begin with.  You will probably want to deal with a distributor.  Get their list, and then you can look up specific wines here.  As you know, there are laws regarding the procuring of wine/alcohol for business..(not sure about your state, but here here in CA, they have to buy through distributor and sell at specific price ranges.)  Assuming you know all this....

I would stock Merlot.. most inexperienced wine drinkers love merlot.  But try to pick one at least well rated.  Low end merlot is like the river of styx (leads to Hell)!  Pick one decent merlot.  Now, pick one decent chardonnay... (i recommend CA chards since they can be big even tho they are inexpensive).  Maybe then one CA cabernet sauvignon, reasonably priced.  I would stop there, and see what happens... Perhaps add an inexpensive sparkler.. like Korbel.  You will have to see what your response is, especially since there is no wine around you.  You can gradually add to the list.

I can be more specific if you could tell me if you have to deal with a distributor (under law).....  that limits your choices, but not terribly.....


Reply by dmcker, Mar 5, 2010.

Good advice from Napagirl, except that you can do a lot better than Korbel at the same price or less. If you want sparklers a couple of other recommendations can be made. The only other thing I'd add is that you might want to consider a wine or two from closer to home, whether in Michigan, or (for generally better quality) the Niagara area. If things go great guns and you want to add to your list somewhere down the road, then would be the time to look at Washington (Walla Walla area) and Oregon. Forgot about the rest of the country for now, though I'm sure I'll raise the ire of a few people from New York or Virginia or wherever else by saying that.

What kind of clientele, and what's its makeup by age and sex? Answers to that might potentially dictate a couple more suggestions....

Reply by AdamJefferson, Mar 5, 2010.

K&L is indeed a great place to troll for ideas. 

My current favorite cheap wines (value wines to some), at retail price, follow.

Glaetzer Stickleback Shiraz, about $12-13.  It is very nice and also has a screw top.  This could easily sell for more.

K&L sells a white Burgundy made from Chardonnay grapes they label as Plasir des Princes, for $8.99.   I like it much better than any California Chardonnay I've tried for twice the price.  Drinks very easy, so if you can get your hands on some or on the same product labeled differently, your patrons will guzzle lots of it. 

For a sweeter white, St. Michelle Riesling, from Washington; about $12.

A smooth Italian blend that includes some Merlot is Monte Antico Toscana, another screw top; about $12.

A Spanish red, Campo Viejo Rioja, sells for about $10-11, has a little spice, goes great with tavern type fare.

And I just don't think you can go wrong at the price (less than $9 most places) with Columbia Crest Merlot, Cab-Merlot blend, or even the Chardonnay.  If you are trying to pour wine at a good mark-up to people who come to drink and visit but don't care much about the nuances of wine, I'd have this stuff in stock.

Avoid the Bistro series (B&G, I believe); they're cheap and every grocery store around here sells them, but I tried the Chardonnay a few days ago and it coated my tongue with a taste like charcoal starter smells (poured out the rest of the bottle, away from any ignition source).

 Good luck, and let us know what you decide and what your patrons think of your selections.


Reply by amour, Mar 5, 2010.

Are you able to purchase the wines of CHILE?

You would certainly get a great following, and profits as well,

were  you  to  introduce  them,  whether  by  glass  or  bottle

or both.

Reply by AdamJefferson, Mar 5, 2010.

Agree completely with amour, same for Argentina as well; best Cabernet under $40 I've had in a long time is the Santa Rita Medalla Real, at $16-18.

Reply by amour, Mar 5, 2010.

You  need  to  make  a  profit.

You  want  to  serve  something decent.

What are you to do?

Find good pleasant wine to please rich and poor

across the board and serve it up.

In our  restaurant / 5 star resort/ private island   my  daughter  and  I  entertain  BILL GATES,   ANTHONY BOURDAIN ,  JOHNNY DEPP  to name a few  and  for  35  years  I  have  always  tried  to  give  value  for  money,  and  make  a  profit.

A  wide  cross-section  of  persons  love  a  glass  of  wine  from  CHILE

and  the  buying  price  is  right.

I  have  even  been  considering  some  BOGLE.

Of  course  I  carry  DRC,  OPUS,  CORTON-CHARLMAGNE,

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS  and  the  likes !





Reply by zufrieden, Mar 5, 2010.

The suggestions for Australia and Chile are a propos; I recently sampled some modest offerrings from Concha y Toro.  The Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are all excellent (2008 vintages, if I recall) for the USA price range of 10 dollars a bottle. Good varietal flavor and craftsmanship for what you pay.  But it all depends what you are seeking; if I were in a tavern tucked away in the wilds of Wisconson, I want quaffable wine in fair measure that's affordable by all.  :-)


Reply by dmcker, Mar 5, 2010.

Grab that Havens, I say. Better than any merlot from Chile or Oz at 2-5 times the price. That merlot at that price makes just about the best easy, economical, northwoods tavern drinking imaginable. And it has corks, too... ;-)

Reply by Middletucky, Mar 7, 2010.

Most wine/beer distributors offer Columbia Crest "Two Vines" and "Grand Estates" wines.  All are very good for the price.  You should also be able to get some Penfolds reds from the distributors in those price ranges too.  Penfolds makes consistently good wine in that price range.  For something a little uncommon, see if the distributor has Veramonte wines from Chile.  Veramonte has been making great whites and reds in that price range recently.

Reply by amour, Mar 9, 2010.

Just in the nick of time!

I went to the Lowe Art Gallery at  the University of Miami

and was served the refreshing Sauvignon Blanc of Marco Fiori

(California)........Hope  that  you  can  find  it......This  is  definitely a winner.

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