SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

BevMo! 5-cent Sale: You Can’t Always Get What You Want


A few times a year, big box wine store BevMo! offers a 5-cent sale:  buy one bottle at full price, get the second bottle for only 5-cents.  Basically, you’re getting two bottles for the price of one.  Sounds like a great deal no?

Well, it depends.  First, the 5-cent sale applies only to a a select number of wines, and many from BevMo’s own “vineyard partners” — a selection of wine producers that custom makes wine for the store.  Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t find some good wines.  There are definitely some winners every now and then.  Qupe Syrah and Alamos Malbecs have been among my past purchases.  These are solid wines from consistently strong producers.

But last night, I went to my local BevMo! and they were sold out of the one wine in their current 5-cent sale selection I really wanted:  the 2007 Torri Morr Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley).  Regardless, I walked through the aisles and scoped out the rest of sale wines.  And I left empty handed.  I like being excited by the wine I buy, and I can’t say that I was all that psyched about anything I saw in the 5-cent selection.  And with a bunch of good wines now in the sub-$15 range, I couldn’t think of a reason to shell out for two bottles of “meh” wines that average out to around $10 a bottle.

Has anyone had a different experience?  Would love to hear if there are some good finds in the current BevMo! 5-cent section!

TANGENT – and what’s up with them charging $22.99 for a bottle of ’05 Havens Merlot?  Same stuff is gong for $6.99 at Spencer and Daniels.


6 thoughts on “BevMo! 5-cent Sale: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. John,
    The Bevmo 5-cent sale is a very clever marketing promotion but if you do your research, you’ll find that the “deal” is not really accurate. As you mention with the Havens Merlot, you’ll find the same wines at Bevmo 5 cent sale at a much cheaper price at closeout wine stores like Trader Joe’s, Grocery Outlets, and Spencer and Daniels. Bevmo just let you believe that you’re saving by giving you the original retail price and helping them reduce inventory by forcing you to buy the second bottle of not really good tasty wines. There’s so much plonk out there that are not selling and many wineries are unloading it on the consumer. Rebel and go to your small local wine shops where they carefully select the wines for you. Life to short to drink bad wines!

    • “Life [is] too short to drink bad wines!” — amen!

      I was actually thinking about my trip to Bi-Rite as the counter example to my experience walking through the BevMo! aisles. Even though they have a huge selection, I was much more excited by the personal attention and diversity of small-production wines that I found at Bi-Rite back in November. I need to make a trip back soon!

      [BTW – opened up the ’07 Domaine Combier Crozes Hermitage for valentine’s day — it was a huge hit! Topped off w/ the Roussilliere dessert wine.]

  2. The 5 cent sale irks me to no end — as Trac noted, most of the wines are available cheaper elsewhere. Even at the “2 for 1” pricing of the 5 cent sale, you usually end up saving only 10-20 percent, max, over what you’d pay for 2 bottles at another store.

  3. skimming the list it looks pretty bad
    the Tori get’s panned on http://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp?Table=Notes&szSearch=2007+Torii+Mor+Pinot+Noir
    another blogger commented about the renwood which again appears to be a week vintage/bottling
    the arrowood looks like a good wine but at $50 it’s not particularly a bargain even with 5 cent sale.

    • Hey Kyle – THanks for your comment! Yeah, the Torii Mor got mixed reviews, and I haven’t seen the recent 5 cent sales offers. I tend to think that I’ve been better off (in terms of quality / price ratio) by stocking up at the BiRite and Cheese Plus case sales. Do you have any favorite SF wine shops?


  4. after looking over the BevMo sale it looked pretty worthless to me.
    Safeway had a 30% off 6 or more which much better especially for pizza wines like Gnarly Head.
    K&L is my main wine store by far. Their everyday prices are as good as sale prices at other stores and they have a great select, great old wines for not insane prices and helpful staff and reviews of the wines.
    Bi-rite is nice, but I’m out of the city now so can’t make it much plus overall I like K&L better.
    – Kyle

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