Grocery Outlet Wine Sale, Nov 4-10, 2020

The Grocery Outlet wine sale runs from November 4-10, 2020. The Grocery Outlet is becoming well known for wine deals and prices are reduced a further 20% for all wines during the sale. One of the fun things about shopping at the Grocery Outlet is finding new things, since the stock is constantly changing. And this is especially true for wine because you really won’t know what you’ve found until you get home and try it 🙂

About half of my shopping time at the Grocery Outlet is usually spent in the wine aisle – and it’s always fun. Weighing up options like a risky $60 bottle of wine that’s reduced to $15 versus a $6 bottle that looks just as promising (but only reduced from $12). Of course, I rely on some research (Vivino is a good source of user-generated ratings for wine) but for some reason I never seem to get good phone reception in my local Grocery Outlet. Are stores made out of some special cellular-signal-blocking material to foil people from researching wine too much?! In this crazy year of ridiculous conspiracy theories I almost feel that I should point out that I was joking there.

But there’s a general sense of excitement about the wine at Grocery Outlet and I think it comes down to the unpredictability of the outcome. Many of the wines are good, some are dull, and a few turn out to be incredible (for the price). Then, if you discover (sitting at home, later on) that your $15 bottle of wine would have been a good buy even at $60 there’s also a second part to the adventure: Is the wine still at the store?! Because, of course, it may have taken you one or two weeks to get around to trying the wine and by then many others may have also discovered it.

The Grocery Outlet Wine Sale will be November 4-10, 2020. The image is a ad from the Grocery Outlet announcing an extra 20% off wine during the sale.
The Grocery Outlet Wine Sale will be November 4-10, 2020

Grocery Outlet Wine Sale – Recommendations?

Of course, the thrill of finding a good wine is amplified (and it’s hard to find amplified thrills during lockdown) if you can also go back and buy it during the Grocery Outlet wine sale – your $15 find is now $12, meaning you can buy four and cellar three of them. And by cellaring, I mean store in a wine box on the floor of your closet.

For finding leads on good wine, I recommend the WordPress blog, The magical world of wines from Grocery Outlet (aka, GrossOutWine) – The page titled What’s New?,  is a pretty active comment thread on wine finds.

So, last week I bought these two wines, knowing that the sale is about to start:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon from Experience, Napa, 2016. $15 at the Grocery Outlet, normally $25. This wine is rated 4.0 out of 5 by users on Vivino, which is pretty good. I find that most wines that score 3.8 or higher on Vivino are worth trying if the price is reasonable.
  2. Barbera reserve from Sunce, Clear Lake, 2017 (St. Olof Vineyard). $10. This wine is limited – only 9 barrels were made. The 2018 vintage is listed at $34 on Sunce’s website.

I’m about to try them and will post comments below once I do.

Grocery Outlet wine sale. The image shows two wines purchased before the sale: Sunce barbera 2017 and Experience cabernet sauvignon, 2016.
I just noticed after taking this photo that the two labels bring together the sun and the moon!

Ethical ratings for wine?

Since the point of this site is to find ethical bargains, I’m going to try to get into the ethical side a little bit in future posts. Several of the wineries that I’ve been to around Napa & Sonoma have talked about their sustainability in some form. For example, check out Napa’s Honig winery for their sustainability stories on birds, bees, solar panels and sniffer dogs! They also offer an Eco Tour, which will hopefully resume post-lockdown.

Finding information on some wineries will be a bit tricky, so I expect that determining ethical ratings for wine will a bit more challenging than for food products. It has been a tough year for Napa and Sonoma though – along with having to deal with the pandemic and crazy president like the rest of us, they’ve also endured some of the worst fires in state history. So there are good reasons to support these wineries by buying wine from these regions. Of course, wine is very important for us, too, when dealing with the pandemic, wildfires, and crazy president. Cheers!

Welcome!

Welcome to the site for discovering ethical bargains at the Grocery Outlet!

You may be wondering why on earth I’ve started a site on such a specific topic.

Good question! Well, hopefully it’ll become apparent over time but here are a few reasons:

  • The Grocery Outlet is becoming popular as a fun store for shopping for bargains.
  • Store inventory changes fast so there’s always something new to discover.
  • Stores feature products by newer brands, many of which are actually pretty ethical.
  • Our current Covid-19 pandemic is hurting many people, economically, so it’s important to show that we can find ethical products on a budget.

The idea came to me during the summer after I wrote an ethical review of the Grocery Outlet on my ethical consumerism site, the Green Stars Project.

The blog will highlight products that I purchased at the Grocery Outlet and take a look at how they rate ethically, that is for social and environmental impact.

A few important things to point out:

  • Like it’s sister site, The Green Stars Project, this is a non-profit blog and project.
  • That means that I won’t be doing any sponsored posts on this site.
  • Nor will I be looking for any kind of sponsorship from the Grocery Outlet.
  • Being impartial is central to the goal of assigning ethical ratings to products.

One of the goals here is to start a culture where we really start to think about the impact of the items we buy and the companies we support. If this year has taught us anything it’s that our social and environmental issues need to become front and center in our lives.

How ethical is the Grocery Outlet?

This post is going to be a short version of a post that I published earlier in 2020 on the Green Stars Project: Ethical review of the Grocery Outlet.

What exactly is an ethical review? Well, it’s basically a review of a product or business in which the rating is for social and environmental impact.

Normally we rate products for price and quality and this is usually summed up as a rating somewhere between 1 and 5 gold stars.

The goal of the Green Stars Project and the posts on this site is to include the rating for price and quality as normal, but also to include a rating for social and environmental impact, summed up as a rating somewhere between 1 and 5 green stars.

Perhaps the best way to explain it is by example. So here’s my Green Stars review of the Grocery Outlet store as a whole:

Grocery Outlet – ethical review

Overall, I think that the Grocery Outlet deserves 4/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact, based on these factors:

  • Stocking food that would otherwise be in danger of being tossed out because of packaging changes, overstock, imperfections, or looming expiration dates, is part of the solution to the huge problem of food waste.
  • Stores have been trending towards stocking more plant-based and organic food.
  • The Grocery Outlet stocks a good number of brands that rate well ethically, making them available to low-income people that may otherwise have trouble affording them.
  • A good number of these brands are also smaller, local companies.
  • On Glassdoor you can get a feel for how happy employees are at the Grocery Outlet. The average rating for Grocery Outlet is decent at 3.4 out of 5 but the stores are independently owned so experiences vary. For example, an employee at a San Francisco store mentions good benefits including full health insurance, while employees at another store seem to receive minimum wage and no benefits. So it’ll vary from store to store.
  • They have an annual Independence from Hunger campaign that raises funds or food donations for local shelters and food banks.

So there you have it. A score of 4/5 is decent. There’s room for improvement but it’s better than average, in my opinion. The rest of this site will be dedicated to individual products that I purchased at the Grocery Outlet. The goal here is to eventually start seeing your opinions too!

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 30 percent of food is wasted globally across the supply chain, contributing 8 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming. –  Washington Post.