We just got back from a two-day trip to the Paso Robles wine region and stopped in at our favorite Albertsons in all of California. This supermarket in Paso Robles on Niblick Road has the very best wine department I have been to in any large store. The wine shelves are stocked with thousands of wine bottles from the wineries of the Paso Robles area. No other supermarket that I know of comes close to offering this wide a selection of local wines. There are over 150 wineries in Paso Robles and I would bet that most of them have some of their wines on the shelves at Albertsons. But that is not the best part: the wines are offered at big discounts. There are regular discounts, specials of the week, or the day, you name it. Just check the prices in the photos below to get an idea of the discounts here.
How many Safeways, Ralph’s, Lucky’s and other Albertsons have you been to that have a wine tasting area? Probably none, but this one in Paso Robles does. Each Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the week, starting at 3 pm, a winery is featured and the owner or winemaker shows up at the store to pour their wines.
The wine manager at the Paso Robles Albertsons is Linda Cooks. She has been there for many years and knows all the wineries and distributors in the area. She negotiates and buys wine directly from many of the smaller wineries, and with other wineries she deals with their distributors to set a price point. Each time I have been to this market, the wine department is even bigger and better than from my previous visit.
If you visit the Paso Robles wine region, this Albertsons should be your first stop. You probably have an idea of the wineries you are planning on visiting. Check the shelves for prices. I love using my iPhone to snap a quick photo of the wine prices. Almost without exception you will find the wines greatly reduced in price from what you will pay at the winery. I even had one winery owner, Charlie Poalillo, tell me in his tasting room, “Hey, you can find this wine at Albertsons for about 25% less.” The wineries love the exposure here at Alberstons. It is another way to get their wine noticed and purchased.
Every wine region seems to have a supermarket or wine shop that specializes in the wine from the area, but this one is very different and remarkable. Next time you are traveling on Highway 101 near Paso Robles, drop in and have a look. One last caveat. Linda Cooks is able to ship wine south of Paso Robles at these great bargain prices. What a wine bargain hunter’s delight!