I live six minutes from a BevMo, yet I never go.
Over the years, I have judged BevMo as selling a ton of plonk wine run in the corporate vein. Seemingly, I was too cool. A couple of days ago, I needed to snag some chilled sparkling wine for a celebration kicking off in about 15 minutes. Lo and behold, I was parked right next to BevMo. Sigh. Fine. I zipped into the store and stopped in my tracks. This BevMo had all new décor, which I learned was 3 years old), giving it a warm, casual vibe. It didn’t look like a stark, creepy, dusty liquor store but more like a vibrant tasting room.
Though in a hurry, I found myself wandering around and drawn to the darned “5 cent” sale items. The BevMo five-cent sale is notorious as you buy the first bottle at full price but can get a second bottle of that wine for just five cents.
Every bottle I looked at I immediately do the convincing head math of “that makes these bottles just $8 each!” The store’s somm working the floor offered a cheery smile and help choosing a bottle. I declined, noting I was just quickly grabbing some chilled sparkling. He pointed me toward the refrigerator case and noted a few bottles, including the Steur D’Arques Toques et Clochers Cremant de Limoux sparkling from the Languedoc. This French sparkling is a charmer with a 60 percent chardonnay, 30 percent chenin, and 10 percent mauzac blend. I have enjoyed this sparkling before and was happy to see it again. Best yet, it was part of the five-cent sale, sending me immediately into my calculations confirming an amazing price for tasty wine. A bottle for the celebration and a bottle for me for just $10 each!
While in line to check out, I love to peer into other shopper’s carts to spy what wines people are buying. The guy behind me was smartly stocking up on rose since it pairs perfectly with our warm Orange County autumn days and upcoming holiday meals. The lady in front of me had many unrelated bottles but was touting the “Mix and Match” with the checker.
When I got home, I got online and learned that BevMo now allows shoppers to mix and match bottles for the five-cent sale during certain time periods. HUGE! Another great benefit I learned about is free shipping in California for orders over $75 (hello, holiday gifts!). I also dig the opportunity to purchase online and pick up in the store within an hour. I enjoy online shopping, so I can comfortably research, read reviews, and price compare. Like many wine stores, you can also order online, and have it delivered to you that same day. My local store offers tastings from 2-5 p.m. every Saturday, as well as other special events. I’ve been missing out!
It seems my years shying away from BevMo did me and my pocketbook a disservice. I could’ve been saving money and experiencing new wines from their 3,000-plus bottle inventory. Luckily, we’re spoiled in Orange County and can choose to shop from specialty wine stores in addition to the larger, well-known boxes like BevMo and Total Wine. Kudos to my local BevMo for the community feel, which has lured me in for a repeat buy already.