My routine whenever I go to the store is to swing by the wine aisle just to check for sales. Frequently, you'll find an additional sale being offered on top of the regular buy 6 discount-- either a simple $2-3 coupon hanging off the neck of a bottle, or an additional buy 6 deal from a particular group of wineries offering you a discount on your total grocery purchase. As a result, I've picked up some halfway decent bottles of wine for under $6, and buying in bulk usually means I get a discount on gasoline too, discounting the bottles even more. Plus, buying 6 at a time encourages experimentation, and I've been pleasantly surprised by some random wines that I normally wouldn't even have considered. In my humble opinion, the buy 6, get 30% is not only worth it, it's the only way to buy wine at Kroger stores.
I picked up a couple bottles of Columbia Crest Grand Estates 2014 Cabernet. My wife and I had just spent a week or so backpacking the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, so I wanted to sample the wines from up there. Columbia Crest is located in Patterson, Washington near the Columbia River East of Mount Hood. The winery opened its doors in 1983 and has been making good wines at good prices ever since. In 2005, they were the first Washington State winery to receive the "Wine of the Year" award from Wine Spectator magazine for their Cabernet.
The 2014 Grand Estates Cab burned a little on the way down when I first opened it, maybe because it's still relatively young. It was much, much better on the second day, with vines, juicy red tomatoes, mint and plum on the nose, a big, round body, and a dark chocolate finish. This is definitely a wine I'll be going back for.
The second bottle I opened was Cupcake's Red Velvet blend. Red Velvet is a mix of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Merlot. Cupcake is a relatively young label from California's Central Coast. I'm usually not one for blends, but Red Velvet surprised me with its unique flavors. I enjoyed the balanced, spicy flavors of chocolate, coconut and mocha, with a pleasantly tart finish that would go well with red meat.
Haven't opened the other four bottles yet, but hopefully they will be just as rewarding as these two! Have you taken advantage of the buy 6 deals? What's your favorite bottle?