Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Totally Deceptive?

Totally deceptive? Well, maybe not totally, but seemingly so. Some of us may consider ourselves lucky to have a Total Wines in the neighborhood, though certainly not your local wine shop. Total wines claims the lowest prices, though there is no case discount and prices for many wines such as Bordeaux at $75 and up or Champagne at $30 plus are really not such great bargains. Like Bevmo, Total pushes "direct" purchases which appear to be sweetheart deals of some sort. They certainly don't offer wineries, wholesalers, or consumers any deals when it comes to the real deal like boutique wines from Washington or Oregon.

Total has achieved a certain amount of infamy with a line of wines priced at $1.97 - Two Buck Pacific Peak, if you will. After driving almost an hour to check out Two Buck Peak, I was only able to find a Chard and a Cab buried among other bargain/value wines at $4.99 and $7.99. Prices were not obvious and placed so low that only a miniature poodle could have read them. Why? The boss told us to do it that way.

It was a real treat to find wine from Uruguay. Desaffortunadamente, two different blends in the same space with apparently the same price, but not at checkout. Competitors Costco and Trader Joe's would never display such carelessness or sloppiness or is it deception? Great to have a source of interesting wines and beer, but please, just because you are a big box,  don't compete with "too big to fail" banks in apparently deceptive practices.   

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