As previously noted, it’s a great time to be a value wine shopper. Not only are great values that in previous years would have sold out months ago still available, but wine shops are putting them on sale to clear shelf space for the new vintage.
Wine bargain hunters in the Washington area are undoubtedly familiar with the perpetual Most Popular Wine Sale at Calvert Woodley (the ad for which is moving from the A section to the Food section of the Washington Post on Feb. 9). But in an “Unadvertised Super Special” this week, CW is selling one of our favorite Italian red blends for the lowest price in the country.
Regular readers of this column probably don’t need an introduction to Falesco Vitiano IGT, which comes in red, white and rose. It belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of everyday drinking wines by virtue of its consistent quality year in and year out and because it can be found almost any time and all over town – at least the red – for $10 or less.
We’re fortunate to live in the Washington area, one of the most competitive wine markets in the country, with prices rivaling California and the New York/New Jersey markets. Our favorite wine blogger, Jeff Siegel, aka The Wine Curmudgeon, out of Dallas, TX, recently created a new Asterisk Wing in his $10 Wine Hall of Fame for the Vitiano, because its price bounces between $10 and $11, with fluctuations in the dollar-euro exchange rates or Dallas retailers playing with their profit margins.
The price of the red, Vitiano Rosso, is $10.05 at Montgomery County Liquor stores, and $8 at Total Wine stores in Virginia and $9 at Total’s sister superstores in Maryland, Corridor Wine & Spirits and Beltway Fine Wine in Towson. In the District you can find it for as high as $11 at a handful of wine shops, but it’s on sale at Safeway for $8.39 a bottle ($7.55 each for six) and always on sale at CW for $8. This week, however, the unadvertised special is $7.66 a bottle, the lowest price in the country. (See the slideshow for a representative sample of prices around town or compare prices and find Falesco Vitiano online or at a store near you nationwide.)
We recommended the 2009 Vitiano Rosso last April when the vintage first started to hit store shelves. You can read more about the consistency of this delicious blend of juice from cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sangiovese grapes in “Is this Italian red the best $7 wine ever?” And this clearance sale on the 2009 vintage is probably to make room for the 2010, which for the 10th consecutive vintage earned a rave review from Wine Advocate, with Antonio Galloni scoring it 88 points.
We’re eagerly looking forward to that new vintage. But until it arrives, we’ll happily stock up on the 2009 at these prices, while it lasts…which could be months.
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