Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Wine & Spirits Bargains at the PLCB (Part 2)


jwjon1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would think all we need do is ask?

I sure don't mind commenting on this in the Regional Forum Split discussion thread.

When the split first happened their direction was to put all threads regarding specialty stores into Cooking & Baking. This is what they said:

"Today the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters announces a new structure for its regional food discussions in eG Forums, designed to make reading, searching and contributing to these forums more straightforward and intuitive. After the coming weekend, all regional forums will be divided into two subforums: “Dining” and “Cooking & Baking.” The Dining subforum contains topics that discuss restaurants, chefs and menus; restaurant recommendations; media coverage of the local dining scene; and topics regarding Society events. The Cooking & Baking subforum will include topics that discuss regional recipes and techniques; local sources, including specialty stores and farmers markets; and regional foodstuffs and ingredients."

Here's a link to the list of threads to be included in the PA Cooking & Baking forum: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=113840&hl=plcb

That's pretty clear that PLCB thread doesn't belong in Dining (it sure is a specialty store!). But one of the problems is that here, in the Philadelphia area at least, the proliferation of BYOs pushes this more into the Dining Forum. Also, speaking for myself, I'm mainly in the PA Dining Forum. I hardly ever look at the Cooking & Baking unless I'm on the hunt for a hard-to-find item. But I'm regularily checking out the Dining. It's hard to change habits!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Need some help...One of my favorite BYOB's (Venezia in Hatboro) is out of business.

Does anyone know what happened and if they have reopened some where else? The food was great and the staff was excellent. I can't find anything on Google. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good score Mike, it's out of stock in Montgomery County so I called Store 4814 to get 6 bottles transferred down here. Let me know how you like it. I might up the count.

I did manage to get some of the Luna "Freakout" that's on closeout for $5.99 a bottle. It's a blend of PG, SB, & Chardonay. I'd say the Pinot Grigio is the dominant wine of the blend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 50% off President's Day sale looks promising. The one wine that caught my eys is the Bodegas Y Vinedos Dos Victorias V2 for $19.99. It was rated 95 by Parker and I saw some prices for it online as high as $80. Only thing I didn't like was one review that said it needed a decade of cellaring. It's an online sale.

Another one is the Frazier Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 for $14.99.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is....

The amended flyer from the LCB came out today. The Bodegas is now $39.99 and not $19.99 as originally advertised.

On another note, I recently tried the Norton Malbec Barrel Select for $8.99/btl and thought it was a good enough deal to pick up 6 more.

Edited by Dennis (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone (or those few who still on reading on this topic!). I have not posted in forever and thought I would chime iin with some recent purchases and comments. My recent PLCb strategy has been to look through the online store for bargains which appear to be high QPR. I have not been to a physical store shopping in a while, although I do pick up my shipments there. Some outrageous deals can be had if you are a searcher. Here are a few recent purchases (I typically email these to my friends (after I buy what I want!), so I have copied my notes):

1. 2004 Louis Latour Puligny Montrachet les Folatieres

WS 91: Very elegant, this white displays graceful floral, mineral and anise flavors in a well-integrated frame. Intense on the finish. Needs time to smooth out. Best from 2008 through 2015

Released @ $75, now $12.99 at PLCB ; retails elsewhere for $50-80

Of course, there was only 1 bottle...

2. MAS BELLES EAUX

Coteaux du Languedoc Ste.-Helene 2005

Rich, ripe aromas and flavors of kirsch, dark plum, chocolate and spice are backed up by a chiseled structure and firm tannins. The lush finish echoes the spice, with touches of pepper and beef. Syrah, Grenache and Carignane. Best after 2014. 250 cases imported

$12.99 vs. $45-50 elsewhere:

WS 92

3. 2004 Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec Marchiori Vineyard on sale for $19.99 + free shipping to your fave store + about $1 per bottle tax. What's so special about this wine you might ask?

First, ratings (this is long, and I go on afterwards):

Wine Spectator rating 92: Vivid, with racy purple flower, licorice, graphite and crushed boysenberry fruit flavors, all caressed by mocha and mineral on the long, pure finish. Has a healthy layer of toast that's well-integrated and polished. Drink now through 2008. 1,252 cases made.

Wine Advocate did not rate the 2004 but consider 2005 and 2006 ratings/notes from Wine Advocate:

2005 Rating 96: The Bramare “Marchiori Vineyard” wines are from 100% estate grown fruit located in Lujan de Cuyo. The 2005 Bramare Malbec “Marchiori Vineyard” received essentially the same oak treatment as the Cabernet. Nearly black in color, it coasts the glass with glycerin. Its super aromas of violets, spice box, cedar, tobacco, espresso, black cherry, and black raspberry leap from the glass. The wine is full-bodied, concentrated, and possesses layers of complex flavors. This hedonistic effort will benefit from at least 4-6 years of cellaring and should drink well through 2025.

The Bramare series is sourced from Lujan de Cuyo, a prime zone in Mendoza. Some of the fruit is from Cobos’s estate vineyard, the balance from contracted fruit. The wines at this level receive more oak, longer macerations, and wild fermentations.

Vina Cobos is the Argentina winery of the renowned Paul Hobbs, best known for his namesake wines from California’s North Coast. Hobbs began consulting in South America in 1988 and, early on, became involved with Nicholas Catena in the startup of that winery’s Chardonnay program. In 1998 he temporarily left his consulting projects to start Vina Cobos with the first vintage coming in 1999. In 2005 Vina Cobos constructed its own winery.

Paul Hobbs is high on the 2005 and 2006 vintages. At first he felt that 2005 was the finest year (along with 1996) since he started working in Argentina, that is until the 2006 vintage rolled around. It was, he says, “a mild, moderate year with no problems.”

2006 rating 96-99: The Bramare “Marchiori Vineyard” wines are from 100% estate grown fruit located in Lujan de Cuyo. The 2006 Bramare Malbec “Marchiori Vineyard”, tasted from a barrel sample (the wine should be bottled by the time subscribers are reading this note), is even better than the 2005. Vintage conditions were ideal and, for the first time, Hobbs stopped irrigation 12 weeks before harvest, most unusual in Mendoza’s arid conditions. There was better natural acidity with little acidulation required. The wine offers more flavor complexity, vibrancy, and aromatic lift, and sensational length.

The Squires bulletin board has a whopping ONE thread about this - for people in PA who were willing to fork over the $20 perbottle. Here is the tasting note:

Very dark in the glass, no light gets through. A nice ruby edge to it. Giant nose of black pepper, violets, red berries, tobacco leaf, coffee, and a bit of forrest floor. The fruit is dominant though, and the nose changes 3 or 4 times over the same number of hours. Is continually gains power. The palate is thick and full of glycerin. Immediately after pouring it it was sweet, almost too sweet but over a few hours it starts to show some more complex flavors of black and red cherries, a little leather, caramel and mocha. Nice acid streak very reminicent of cherries. There is a bit of alcohol present and some nice tannins with a long long sweet finish.

The WS says this should be drunk by 2008...I respectfully think...ARE YOU ON CRACK?!?!?

I went back and ordered three more after my original order of 4.

Im not one for looking for cheap wine, but this is the buy of the year for me. I like a fruit monster though.

followed by

Day 3 follow up to add crazyness to the drink by 2008 window. The wine is still huge. The nose now shows menthol and barnyard to my surprise. As I pour it in the glass it still needs a little air and swirling (only about 10 minutes now) before it comes together. And still the body is massive and thick with a long fruity finish. Boy...I went and ordered 6 more to complete the case...

4. Product Description: ST. MARY'S BELLS AND WHISTLES

Item Number: 01749 Size: 750ML Year:2005

Quantity: 6 Unit Price: $5.99 Ext. Price: $35.94

Wine Advocate 87: The 2005 Bells & Whistles is composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Shiraz, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Merlot. Dark ruby colored, it delivers a nose of spice box, clove, cassis, and black currants. Full and quite rich on the palate, black cherry flavors emerge to add a bit of complexity. Meant for near-term consumption, this attractive, forward wine should provide pleasure over the next 4-6 years.

5. Product Description: BLEASDALE SHIRAZ/CABERNET

Item Number: 01750 Size: 750ML Year:2004

Quantity: 6 Unit Price: $7.99 Ext. Price: $47.94

Wine Advocate 88: Aged in 300 liter hogsheads, the 2004 Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon is slightly more monolithic than its siblings, but it possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as a chunky, fleshy, muscular, tasty style. It should be drunk over the next 3-4 years.

6. Product Description: HEWITSON OLD GARDEN MOUVEDRE

Item Number: 01740 Size: 750ML Year:2005

Quantity: 6 Unit Price: $14.99 Ext. Price: $89.97

Wine Advocate 92: The 2005 Mourvedre “Old Garden” is purple-colored with an enticing aroma of cedar, Asian spices, damp earth, game, and plum. Medium to full-bodied, it is dense and packed, with layers of savory flavor and ripe tannins. Give this lengthy wine 2-3 years to unfurl and drink it through 2020.

So, if you're still reading, I have found all of these excellent (both in taste/what i expected and in price). You can't touch them around the country at these prices. The Bells and Whistles is still there and for $6.99 now is still a good price (free shipping). At each purchase, I thought I was getting a wine bargain of the year but they keep slowly adding up.

Do any of you crawl the online store site often looking for such deals? I'd be interested in re-invigorating the thread with deals once again, to the extent there are any to be had. Happy tasting. Cheers,

Carrington

Link to comment
Share on other sites

is it really true the plcb is spending $170k to train its employees to be nice to customers and a family member of a plcb employee is getting the consulting contract?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

is it really true the plcb is spending $170k to train its employees to be nice to customers and a family member of a plcb employee is getting the consulting contract?

Source?? Anything?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pfft! Business as usual, I guess. It amuses me that the highly overpaid chief executive thinks that an expensive course in basic customer service will somehow make the PLCB stores less like a DMV with bottles instead of documents. Shouldn't any store employee that doesn't have a cheery salutation and valediction for each customer be fired?? Oh wait. I forgot. They're union employees. They have to axe murder a customer in the aisle at the height of business to even get a note placed in their personnel file...

The interests of the consumers would be better served by hiring hospitality employees that really have an interest in wine and spirits. Perhaps the money could be better spent on copying fees to provide a binder of wine notes at each store location. Or maybe they need to hire a Sommelier-at-large or Potables Laureate to help train the staff statewide? My friends Melissa Monosoff and Marnie Old have both had dealings with the PLCB in different capacities. Surely they are both qualified to help raise the level of customer service and employee knowledge in the stores. Why hasn't any of this money spent seem to have trickled down to the consumer level in some recognizably better customer service? Nothing is more irritating than getting the same deer-in-the-headlights look from an adult PLCB salesperson when inquiring about a wine that one gets from the little twenty-something twinkie waitresses around town when you ask a simple question about a menu item. At least the little waitronettes are cute and serve some function as eye candy. :rolleyes:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think Rendell might be reading this thread?

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/41166992.html

i doubt it.

the fact that a consulting contract is awarded to a regional mgr's husband in a fairly large enterprise like the plcb doesn't bother me as much as the idea of spending that kind of money in this economy for essentially a training session that should be able to be done in house.

shouldn't the money be spent on schools or job training or lacking that better temperature control for the wines the plcb owns? i do buy at plcb occasionaly ,even though i am not a pa resident, and another recent purchase of cooked wine has me about to completely swear them off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Each and everyone of us has chronicled our various displeasure with the LCB. In most cases I think things are pretty good. But, here is my latest issue. I need a bottle of rye whiskey. We trek over to the specialty store we go to on a regular basis. All they got is the damn Jim Beam rye. That's it. One variety.

I understand there is not huge demand for this stuff. They must have a hundred or more selections of vodka. And that makes sense as that is what sells. But they ought to be able to have Old Overholt or Wild Turkey rye at the least. I can special order rye but the distributors all want a minimum case order. I love my rye Manhattans, but a case is a lot just for me,

I sent an e-mail to LCB headquarters and got a very nice reply from some guy telling me they were looking into this. And the guy at the store understood what I meant when I leaned on him a bit.

I guess I need to head to Maryland for my rye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each and everyone of us has chronicled our various displeasure with the LCB.  In most cases I think things are pretty good. But, here is my latest issue. I need a bottle of rye whiskey. We trek over to the specialty store we go to on a regular basis. All they got is the damn Jim Beam rye. That's it. One variety.

I understand there is not huge demand for this stuff. They must have a hundred or more selections of vodka. And that makes sense as that is what sells. But they ought to be able to have Old Overholt or Wild Turkey rye at the least. I can special order rye but the distributors all want a minimum case order.  I love my rye Manhattans, but a case is a lot just for me,

I sent an e-mail to LCB headquarters and got a very nice reply from some guy telling me they were looking into this. And the guy at the store understood what I meant when I leaned on him a bit.

I guess I need to head to Maryland for my rye.

I've been able to order Old Overholt with no minimum with no problem. Even though it says there is a minimum, when they check into it it's waived. I've done this a couple of times.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike:

The Old Overholt is in "limited distribution" in a few stores. I checked Lancaster County HERE and there's a few bottles at the New Holland, Manheim and Lititz stores. Not sure which is closest to you but I'm sure you could call whichever one is most convenient and have them hold you a bottle so you can go fetch it for yourself.

If you can get them to waive the minimum, order yourself some Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond (code #062670 - listed as Rittenhouse 100 in the system). It's $11.89/bottle and amazing. You can thank me later. :smile:

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike:

The Old Overholt is in "limited distribution" in a few stores.  I checked Lancaster County HERE and there's a few bottles at the New Holland, Manheim and Lititz stores.  Not sure which is closest to you but I'm sure you could call whichever one is most convenient and have them hold you a bottle so you can go fetch it for yourself.

If you can get them to waive the minimum, order yourself some Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond (code #062670 - listed as Rittenhouse 100 in the system).  It's $11.89/bottle and amazing.  You can thank me later.  :smile:

I tried and tried Katie, to no avail. The distributor would not do it. I even asked if they would send three bottles, but they would not. Yeah, I know I can go get the Overholt and neither of those location are really that far from me. I guess I was just irked that the one "speciality" store in Lancaster Co, would not have any. The guys at the specality store are good guys and I know they would transfer a bottle of Overholt in for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each and everyone of us has chronicled our various displeasure with the LCB.  In most cases I think things are pretty good. But, here is my latest issue. I need a bottle of rye whiskey. We trek over to the specialty store we go to on a regular basis. All they got is the damn Jim Beam rye. That's it. One variety.

I understand there is not huge demand for this stuff. They must have a hundred or more selections of vodka. And that makes sense as that is what sells. But they ought to be able to have Old Overholt or Wild Turkey rye at the least. I can special order rye but the distributors all want a minimum case order.  I love my rye Manhattans, but a case is a lot just for me,

I sent an e-mail to LCB headquarters and got a very nice reply from some guy telling me they were looking into this. And the guy at the store understood what I meant when I leaned on him a bit.

I guess I need to head to Maryland for my rye.

I now see that they have added the Ri as a regular item. This stuff has been widely panned by the whiskey experts, but at least they added SOMETHING. We are going to Virginia on Saturday to pick up my wifes new puppy.

gallery_12506_2882_39861.jpg

On the way back, I may have to stop in Maryland for a little pick up of my own.

gallery_12506_2882_15764.jpg

Edited by lancastermike (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike:

Pick yourself up several bottles. It'll always be cheaper down there anyway and it doesn't go bad - just takes up real estate on the shelves. If you've got room, stock up. That Ri stuff is whiskey-for-vodka-drinkers. :rolleyes:

Puppy is beyond adorable. What breed is it and what will its name be? I'd like to suggest Lord (or Lady) Sazerac (Saz for short) as a fine and appropriate moniker for a cute puppy in a rye loving household. :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike:

Pick yourself up several bottles.  It'll always be cheaper down there anyway and it doesn't go bad - just takes up real estate on the shelves.  If you've got room, stock up.  That Ri stuff is whiskey-for-vodka-drinkers.  :rolleyes:

Puppy is beyond adorable.  What breed is it and what will its name be?  I'd like to suggest Lord (or Lady) Sazerac (Saz for short) as a fine and appropriate moniker for a cute puppy in a rye loving household.  :biggrin:

Everything I have read about the Ri is that it is simply a marketing effort. Doubt I'll be paying the price they want for that stuff.

The puppy is a Glen of Imall terrier an Irish breed that is very rare in the USA. Maggie really wanted one and we are lucky to get her. She already has the name Lizzie and Maggie is going to keep that. The breeder named her Mary Elizabeth. Maggie's dearly departed mom was Mary and my grandmother, who adored Maggie, was Elizabeth. So, no name change will be made.

Yeah, a couple bottles of Pikesville will find a home on my shelf. I won't get just one, if I'n lucky the store I choose may have some Rittenhouse on the shelf as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That works! Nice to keep family references in the naming of a "child". Even the furry four footed kind. :smile: Interesting about the breed. I shall have to Google and check it out. She's a beauty! She's lucky to have you too...

Why don't you see if there's a Total Wine or somesuch warehouse-o-booze along the ride somewhere and call ahead and speak to the spirits manager. They can give you a heads up on the selection and whether it's worth your time to stop. State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD seems to have all that you seek. Even if it's a slight detour, it might be worth it.

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...