Hello Wine Lovers

Hello Wine Lovers,
Today, Tuesday, June 30th from 5pm to 8pm Ralphs will be offering another wine tasting.  Tonight, wines ranked 90 points or higher by noted publications in the wine industry likeThe Wine Spectator,  The Wine Advocate and The Wine Journal will be featured on this evening’s flights.  Many varietals have scored 90 points and above, all a person has to do is look through a premium grocery store’s wine section to find the perfect deal on an award-winning wine.  Local merchants know when to advertise a hot price on a popular bottle that has gained notoriety   Movies have helped push certain bottles or brand names to popularity.  The fictional character James Bond, made the Vodka Martini a household term asking for the drink, “Shaken, not stirred…”  Sadly, our liquor permit only allows us to serve beer and wine, not the coveted beverage of international spies.  One of the wine selections I have chosen for tonight is a great blended white wine of the Rhone River Valley grape varieties Viognier, Rousanne and Marsanne.  This wine is simply delicious on a warm summer day paired with smoked fish and light summer foods.  From the 90-point rack I have cherry-picked a comprehensive collection of sparkling wine, stellar whites and some of my favorite red blends for tonight’s gathering of oenophiles.  The list of wine provided by Ralphs corporate office is not as selective as I have been in choosing what my palate seems to tell me are great wines.
Great wines do not always have to be expensive.  Some great wines are available in the 15-to-20-dollar category.  In an economy of dwindling assets and less discretionary income, wine customers have become very savvy when shopping for bottles over the 20-dollar price mark.  Thankfully, with a little research, a consumer can still fill a six pack of wine (a mix and/or match option which garners an additional 10% discount at Ralphs) at a grocery store and not have to feel like they are overspending.  During the last Wine Steward’s meeting in May, a question was asked of the Ralphs wine buyer Frank Rizzi, regarding what to expect our customers to buy in the following month.  Frank answered that the indicators show the general public will cut back on food spending before they will cut back on wine, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes  What a shock!.  Sad but true, we are an addictive society, if marketing research teaches us anything.  Sales figures have risen for wine and alcohol in recent months, but in an economy like this peaks and valleys are commonplace. 
When the task of creating the wine tasting schedule was handed to me I was unaware of how best to entice customers to join in the festivities.  Since the advent of this blog, a voice has been given to this ever-growing group of multi-talented and quite eclectic wine lovers who frequent the tasting bar at Ralphs Grocery.  Please join us tonight for wine, cheese, and stimulating conversation sure to enlighten, invigorate, and inspire in all things downtown. 
 Mike the Wine Guy


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