The Summer of Sellout: Grocery Store Wine Buys


“Which wine will distract us all from the fact its freezing on Memorial Day and climate change is going to slowly eradicate our entire civilizat…. Oooh! Drew Barrymore makes wine??”

Memorial Day! Fire up your engines and grills and any patriotic pride this year’s election has yet to drain from your broken, working class soul. Another year has flown by, y’all! That is actually not at all true. I was pregnant most of the last 12 months which means I plowed through most of the holidays as sober and decaffeinated at Mitt Romney. So I’m rearing up for quite a Memorial Day, I am telling you what! Nah. I’m nursing and still am in charge of keeping a preschooler alive so when I pass out at 9, it won’t be a blackout.

If you’re anything like me, you have yet to buy beverages for today. Any of my typically highfalutin suggestions aren’t going to cut it since I’m fairly sure Pretense and Markup Bros. Wine Store is closed on all holidays. So in an act of solidarity with my fellow procrastinators, I am going to fully sellout and recommend some wines you can find at most grocery stores. I know my fellow sommelier friends will be appalled but they’ve all had their import, strange varietal wines picked out for about six months and they don’t have friends anyway. Here are three wines you can scoop up when you stop for liquor, condoms, firecrackers, pasties… whatever all you beautiful, childless, showered people do on summer holidays. I can’t remember. When was even the last time I did a Jägerbomb in cutoffs?


Easy Drinking Red
Louis Jadot, Beaujolais-Village, France

Louis Jadot is kind of like the Samuel L Jackson of French wines: they churn out a lot of stuff to varying levels of quality, and both have been featured at scrapbooking parties in Quentin Tarantino’s home. Many will say this is a fruity, one note wine without any complexity. Well, so is Jamba Juice and we all love that shit, so shut it. Beaujolais, the region south of Burgundy in France, is made from 100% Gamay. Dark cherry and raspberry notes, ending with a touch of spicy liquorice, this fruit forward, plush wine is made for an old school cheeseburger. It is really yummy served slightly chilled, making it great for cookouts, pool parties, or in a thermos at children soccer matches.

Bold Red
6412736-350x350Edmeades, Zinfandel, Mendocino County, California

If you’re planning on eating some grilled ribs or sticky BBQ chicken, go with a big Zinfandel. This one, routinely available at Costco for around $14, has everything you expect from a California Zin: ripe plums, pepper, and cola. While boasting a whopping 15% alcohol, it is still a little more tame on the tannin and acidity than most, making it all the easier for your newly single friend Meredith to pour down her throat.

Obligatory White
Kung Fu Girl, Riesling, Washington State

Undoubtedly, there will someone in your midst that refuses red because they either a) suffer from a make believe sulfite allergy, b) don’t want to taint their overly bleached teeth, or c) all of the above. (I assume c is someone’s very thin girlfriend and won’t judge you for socializing with them.) But have no fear, Riesling is here! I know it may seem gauche to recommend a typically German varietal on a day honoring fallen American soldiers, but this cheap little baby is from Oregon. Stone fruit and apples with a long mineral finish, this drier Riesling is a perfect match for brats. I love sausage! This isn’t an innuendo. I really love sausage. I am not a slut, just a compulsive eater.

Three perfectly affordable and available bottles you can easily grab on your way to wherever you are headed. If you are feeling down because you don’t have amazing plans, relax in the fact you’re not in the eye of a domestic storm. Know that while writing this, I have been interrupted to fashion a Supergirl cape from a blanket, prepare oatmeal to a very specific temperature and consistency, find a pink boot, and recite the plot to two different Dreamworks films. And that was just for my husband.

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