Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wine - My First Total Wine & More Experience

I have been hearing for years now how I had to check out the wine store "Total Wine & More". They are located up the East Coast from Florida to New Jersey and have stores in Arizona and California. They carry about 8000 wines plus 2000 spirits and 1000 beers. So while I was down in Tampa I made a stop into one of their stores.

I am big into wines so this was going to be a treat to check out so many different wines under one roof. It was kind of going out to Napa and Sonoma without having the wine tastings. They really need to add store tastings to help us people on the East Coast try some new wines without buying a whole bottle.

They definitely cover everything you would want and more from a variety stand point. You have all of your California wines as well as your South American, Australian and European ones covered. I think the biggest think that they try to offer is good wines for relatively cheap prices. There main demographic would be wines under the $15 price point. They carry more expensive ones but I would say that in general they are focusing on good quality affordable wines. This concept is very close to what Trader Joe's does but "Total Wine & More" has so many more wines.

I started looking around to see what they did carry in some of my favorite wines which would be above their $15 price point. Surprisingly they had quite a few of the wines that I like to drink.

Mark's Favorite Wines At Total Wine & More
ZD - Pinot Noir
Beringer - Alluvium (Bordeaux type blend of 5 Grapes)
Beringer - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Cakebread - Chardonnay
Benziger - Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain Red
Frank's Family - Cabernet Sauvignon

This was a pretty good selection of my favorites because you will not find to many of these in other wine stores. Many of these wines I had to have shipped directly from the wineries. I think Total Wine & More is a good store to find cheap to mid level priced wines and a huge variety of wines.

I am kind of spoiled by living in Atlanta Georgia because while there is a "Total Wine & More" relatively close by, there is a Sherlock's Wine Merchant in walking distance. Sherlock's stock is nothing compared to Total Wine & More from a volume stand point but you will find those hard to find more expensive wines - they are able to get the wines that you either only see in restaurants or at the wineries. Plus if there is something you like they have the ability to call their vendor and get it for you. For example, I really like the Frank's Family Wines and Sherlock's carried just the Zinfadel. I wanted to try the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Pinot Noir so they were able to get me those wines by calling their vendor. They also carry Del Dotto which is almost impossible to find anywhere other than the winery or a restaurant. There are several Sherlock's locations throughout the Atlanta area so if you are in town I highly recommend checking them out.

Look for some future posts on wine - I look forward to turning you on to some of my favorite wines.

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