Friday, April 12, 2013

Bargain Hunter's Bonanza: Cases $49-99 in Barra's Big Sale

People often complain about spending $15-20 for a bottle of wine. We don't get California, organically grown wine for much less than that at retail.

But local organic producers should be the ones supplying our markets, not cheap imports (usually subsidized by their governments and not organically grown).

If you want to buy local and organic, and pay no more than you would at the supermarket checkout line wine price (or Trader Joe's), my answer is: hit the sales at Barra of Mendocino.

Muscat Canelli
Located in Ukiah, this winery (all organically grown wines, and bottle labeled as such) is sometimes distributed in Whole Foods stores - but not at closeout prices as low as their own winery sale.

This seasonal closeout sale makes their wines even more affordable. The only trick is you have to a. know about the sale, and b. order online. Even with shipping, you'll still be saving beaucoup de bucks.

If you're having a party (graduation, birthdays, whatever) these are great wines to serve. Whether you like red or white, they're perfect for a basic house wine to have on hand. I've bought cases of the Zin over the years as a house red.

Having pizza? The Zin is great. Serving up cheese and crackers on a hot summer evening, bring out the Pinot Grigio or one of the red wines. The muscat cannelli is a perfect summer sipper - just a little bit of sweetness (not the in your face BIG SWEET).

You can mix and match wines below so order a sampler case for yourself, see what you like and then stock up.

Even if you shop at Bargain Outlet, you can't do better pricewise than this sale.

$49 Case ($4 a bottle; sold by case only)

• Sweet Thang (too sweet for me)

$69 Case ($5.75 a bottle)

• Muscat Canelli (usually $16 a bottle)
• Pinot Grigio (usually $18 a bottle)

Their Girasole brand has the following wines on sale:

• Zinfandel
• Cabernet Sauvignon
• Merlot
• Hybrid Red (Cab, Merlot and Syrah)

$99 Case ($8.25 a bottle)

• Barra Zinfandel (usually $20 a bottle)

Barra was started by Charlie Barra, a grower who has been growing grapes for more than 50 years in Ukiah. In addition to his many accomplishments in the history of California grape growing and wine making (starting the first AVA, organizing growers, and more), he has been a great friend and supporter of Slow Foods and its scholarship fund, a very worthy endeavor.

He has about 200 acres of vines in Ukiah and a tasting room there by the side of Highway 101 where you can try all of these wines and more.

Winery is located at or call the tasting room at 707.485.0322.

NOTE: This sale is not noted on their web site so you will need to contact the winery directly.

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