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Friday, June 11, 2010

Bargain Wine of the Week: Safeway Loyalty Card

On a recent trip to Idaho, we had to buy a case of wine for a charity auction at an industry conference. The town liquor store didn't sell wine and the local groceries' selection was awful. What to do?

Our only hope was the town's Safeway supermarket. There we found a good selection, especially of Washington state wines, but like most supermarkets, the prices were about 33 percent higher than we're used to paying for our $10 value wines. There was, however, a much lower price posted near most of the wine. "What's that?" we asked.

It turns out that if you have a Safeway near you, you have a bargain wine store with a moderately good selection. There are two catches: One, you have to sign up for the chain's loyalty club card; Two, you have to buy six bottles at a time to get an additional 10 percent.

When we returned home, we checked out the local Safeway (not our usual supermarket) to make sure the rules applied there as well. They did. The wine selection was different because, we assume, the regional buyer has her choice of wines to buy.

Here's a general rule. If a wine is $13, the loyalty card takes $2 off the price — and buying six bottles reduces the price another $1. You don't have to buy six of the same wine. You can mix and match.

Yesterday we found many of the wines that we've reviewed on the shelves of our local Safeway — at less than $10, just as we'd found them online or at bargain discount wine stores.

For examples, Red Bicyclette Chardonnay was listed at $12.49, but we got it for $9.99. Beringer Founders Reserve was listed at $11.29, but we paid $8.99.

Your local chain supermarket might have a similar deal, but we haven't found such a supermarket deal where we live. So if you have a Safeway, you have a discount wine store in your town.


  1. Isn't it amazing that you can find decent wine almost anywhere now?

  2. Here in Massachusetts things are a little weird when it comes to where you can buy alcohol. Sometimes a grocery store chain will be able to sell it in one town, but not in another (or most others, at least where I live!). That's why we mostly have "package" stores.
    I always get so excited when I go to other states and see wine in the grocery store, at gas stations, etc. You should've seen my expression when my sister-in-law (from Virginia) mentioned wine from Target. I nearly feel out of my seat! Silly, I know - but I'm easily entertained!! :-)

  3. It amazes me how inexpensive wine is in the States! Here in Canada, in Ontario you can only buy wine at the LCBO.. Prices are ridiculous! A bottle of red Beringer is $19.95 here. It's sad really...Wine is an expensive hobby up here.