White Lie - Chardonnay 04

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White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby RonicaJM » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:30 pm

I bought a bottle of White Lie Chardonnay - '04 at the grocery store several days ago for $2.99. In the past I have actually found 2 buck chuck that I like. Anyway, I was in the very large wine department of Central Market yesterday speaking with their wine expert and came across it for about $12. The expert told me the vintage I had was probably old or something they were trying to move out for some reason.

Anyway, I got home and checked it out, it's the same one! I called the Central Market's wine department to double check and the rep said that sometimes grocery stores mis-mark their wines and that he bought a $50 Boudeaux for $9 once.

Has anyone here had a similar experience?
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Remo Perriello » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:52 am

Welcome Ronica,

Well, I work in NY and fortunately they don't sell wine in Grocery Stores or I would be out of business... I own a Wine Shop and by NYS Liquor Authority Rules we can sell Wine and Liquor and cannot sell Beer or tobacco products. Yet, in NJ, where I live, I go to my local Wine Store and can get beer, tobacco, wine, and liquor...

I'm sure you know, each state has its own laws. Anyway, I am sorry about your experience, I know that in my store, I have personnaly tasted and scanned my bottles. I don't even have the price stickers on my wines, just a price tag around the head of the bottle that I take off after I make the sale. This way if its a gift you are not stuck scrapping the price tag off... Also, I think the price ticker is cheesy...

If I ever make a price mistake my POS software usually catches it. But, in your case, I think the "Wine Expert" you spoke to was giving you a "white lie" himself. Usually old vintages are more pricery not less, and in the case of White Lie, I don't think there Vintages vary much year to year. But, I have not done a lot of research on that brand. However, I know if the wine department there was selling it for $12 dollars they are making a killing!
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:16 am

Interesting experience, Ronica.

[And incidentally, welcome to WLDG, a great place to discuss wine.]

I'm not much of a Chardonnay drinker (except from France, I'm afraid), but it's possible the Central Market folks are just a bit behind the clearance curve.

Here's a typical review: "The 2004 White Lie Early Season Chardonnay is deliciously fruit-forward yet, crisp, with wonderful tropical and citrus aromas and flavors with hints of green apple and melon. A touch of oak and judicious use of malolactic fermentation give the wine a satisfying mouthfeel. It’s a lively wine with a clean and refreshing finish. - Jane Robichaud, Winemaker."

Most winelovers would think this is a wine that should be purchased and drunk within a year or so of release. It doesn't look like an age worthy wine.

It's about a year from original release, I think, and some shops are already discounting it heavily. Take a look at this shop near my home: $12 originally, discounted now to $6. White Lie Chardonnay at Shoppers Wine

One of the joys of drinking wine is to look for bargains.

Small suggestion [stole from my wife Janet]:

Try the White Lie -- see if you like it.

If you do, go back and buy more at the bargain price. You might even find it at the Central Market marked down. Bargains for stuff you like always add to the joy of possession and consumption. :-)

Welcome to WLDG -- please tell us what you think of the wine.

Regards, Bob

PS: Incidentally, I love the fact that you called Central Market for an explanation. You've got exactly the right shoppers instinct. :-)

The Central Market guy may not be wrong, really, just not aware of current market conditions. And, grocery stores tend to buy in much larger quantities and may enjoy deeper discounts at the wholesale level. So they can cut prices to move stock much quicker than other types of stores.

Well done, indeed. B.
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby wnissen » Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:54 pm

Dear Ronica,

Beringer is a maker that I've found consistently reliable, especially for their size. However, the White Lie was an exception. Here's a writeup by a friend of mine that also includes a picture of me tasting the White Lie: http://carolyntillie_ultimate_california_wine_blog.typepad.com/california_wine_blog/2005/07/white_lie__117.html

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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Hoke » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:03 pm

Walt: Re the photo, are you the one with the long, red hair, or the one with the moppet of black hair? I assume you are the black-haired one, because that person is gagging and spitting.

...From one who has little hair at all. :)
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby michael dietrich » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:41 pm

I am a retailer out here in Oregon. We got this a couple of years ago and it was what I call pure marketing. They tried to sell it in the $8-10
range and failed. I agree that Beringer is usually pretty good but since the buyout they seem to have lost some consistency. It is not bad at $2.99.
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Bill Hooper » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:25 am

I rather enjoy it when gimmick wines like these are banished to the closeout bin. It reaffirms my faith in consumer intelligence. Wines made in the boardroom have no place in our mouths at any price. The sad thing is that Beringer is probably still making a profit -even at 2.99. It's a bad day when the ink on the label costs more than the juice in the bottle.


Drink Kabinett not Kangaroo!
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby RonicaJM » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:57 pm

Thanks, Walter. Very interesing article. I actually took the wine to my sister-in-law's last night b/c she is a chardonnay drinker and always watching her carbs. I really wanted to try it, but after her husband opened the Franciscan Merlot 2001 we never got around to it. :)
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Dave Erickson » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:21 pm

Cheap wine nearly always equals short shelf life. And it can be a real trap. I remember "Bada-Bing" from a few years ago. It got an 84 or something from Parker (who--to his everlasting credit--pointed out that the shelf-life was likely to be a few weeks), big hype, we bought many, many cases. After an initial burst of interest, we couldn't move it for love nor money, and it sat there in the cellar, dying. We eventually made the distributor take it back as "unsaleable" which it certainly was.

It is true that many wines, including whites, improve with age. But not all of them. And, as a practical matter, none of them with a price tag below $10.

Ever tell you about the guy who came into the shop with a bottle of Moscato d'Asti vintage 1949? He wanted to know what it was worth. I wanted to call the HazMat squad. :mrgreen:
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Hoke » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:46 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:Cheap wine nearly always equals short shelf life. And it can be a real trap. I remember "Bada-Bing" from a few years ago. It got an 84 or something from Parker (who--to his everlasting credit--pointed out that the shelf-life was likely to be a few weeks), big hype, we bought many, many cases. After an initial burst of interest, we couldn't move it for love nor money, and it sat there in the cellar, dying. We eventually made the distributor take it back as "unsaleable" which it certainly was.

It is true that many wines, including whites, improve with age. But not all of them. And, as a practical matter, none of them with a price tag below $10.

Ever tell you about the guy who came into the shop with a bottle of Moscato d'Asti vintage 1949? He wanted to know what it was worth. I wanted to call the HazMat squad. :mrgreen:


Oh, yeaaaaah. All of us retailers (in my case, former retailer) have been stuck with product like that, where our expectations of sales exceeded the life expectancy of the wine.

Sometimes even the tough battle-scarred veteran buyers will become so mesmerized by, say, a spritely Vinho Verde, that they over-buy, enjoy a brief surge of sales, then sit and watch the Vinho Verde slowly turn to Vinegar Verde.

There was one retailer, in Dallas, Texas, who made his fortune from buying all the distressed merchandise he could find. He would buy it for pennies on the dollar, sell it at discount prices, making no bones about the fact that it might be questionable at best, or virtually horrid at worst.

But the human psyche was such that, even when he made it clear with his labelling and pricing that much/most/possibly all of a given wine buy was dreck, people couldn't resist buying it! He almost never had trouble selling out of the crap.

And few people ever complained when they got bad wine, that's the interesting thing. They seemed to be happy with gambling on the idea that "there must be a pony in there somewhere". And even when there wasn't a pony to be found, they just shrugged and figured they didn't spend much money anyway, so what the heck.

When I was a retailer I decided to have fun and made a new, colorful, huge sign to go over my close-out bin. It said "CAVEAT EMPTOR". It became obvious that only about 1% of the customers had any idea what the hell that meant. :) But the ones that did know, loved it. And bought lots of wines.
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby wnissen » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:01 pm

Hoke,
Well, I'm sure not the cutie with the long black hair in the charming sleeveless shirt. I don't wear sleeveless anymore since I got the mullet.

RonicaJM,
I'm curious to hear how the wine is doing. I saw it at my local Grocery Outlet, but didn't bite. The sad thing is that generally I like low-alcohol wine, and if the White Lie had been more like Vinho Verde I probably would have liked it a lot. Beringer just took the concept to the extreme.

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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby RonicaJM » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:38 pm

Walter, I didn't try it. I left it at my sister-in-law's and opted for the Franciscan instead. She is a savvy wine drinker and I will let you know what she thinks.
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Re: White Lie - Chardonnay 04

Postby Dave Erickson » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:57 pm

"Caveat Emptor" That's fantastic, I'm gonna steal it at the earliest opportunity. I may even call my old boss in Boston and tell him about it. He'll love it.

Seriously, closeouts are a world unto themselves. In the way long ago, I worked for a retailer whose cellar space was larger than the main warehouse of a lot of distributors. There was a lot of consolidation going on in the wine wholesaling business in Boston in the late '90s and early '00s. He would buy the "orphan" wines at ten cents on the dollar, sell them at half price, and we all looked like heroes. Heidsick "Blue Cap" Champagne at half-price was my favorite...ah, the good old days....
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