fresh&easy™ Neighborhood Market Offers Wines For Every Budget

I am a grocery store fanatic. Every time I travel I make a point to go into a grocery store and look around. I especially love to visit grocery stores in foreign countries because I feel they give one of the best indications of what local people and culture are really like. So, when my roommate told me about this cool new grocery store called fresh&easy™ I knew I had to check it out.

I live closest to the Hollywood store and absolutely fell in love with the store. It felt like a cross between Trader Joes and Ralph’s combining the best that each had to offer. The yummy can’t find them anywhere else gourmet type selections in the style of Trader Joes and the practical selections that Ralph’s offers. Finally I’ve found a true “one stop shopping” market.

It's fresh and easy

fresh&easy™ has a great range of label and national brand products as well as private label products. Their eggs are cage-free, the produce is date-coded so you know it’s fresh and the meat is hormone-free. Their private label products contain no artificial colors or flavors. They truly are fresh and easy.This store had become my Mecca.

Primarius Pinot Noir 2006

They have a tasting station where you can sample goodies, they offer great sales and if you get their early enough half off selections. I also love that they have a self serve check-out. I love scanning my own purchases and am one of those goofy people that choose that option even when a store checker is available.

I am a fresh&easy™ fan and have been spreading the news to all my friends about this great new store in Hollywood. Only they aren’t brand new, I was surprised to find out that they have been around for a while and in July of 2008 they opened their 62nd store in Manhattan Beach. fresh&easy™ is a company of Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer and one of the world’s leading international retailers. Tesco is investing $2 billion dollars over 5 years in the U.S.

Rene Florancy Premiere Cru Champagne 2005

Okay love, love love, I will finally get to my point, which is, “did you know fresh&easy™ carries wine?” Well I didn’t. And I am so excited to find out that I am going to share the news with you; fresh&easy™ has an amazing wine aisle. I guess they have two stores that don’t have a wine section and mine in Hollywood is one of them. But the other 60 stores do and they have an impressive selection of handpicked wines at really great prices. They’ve worked with a Master of Wine, a highly trained wine industry expert who is one of just 251 in the world. fresh&easy™ has received 50 awards  for their 65 wines exclusively available at their stores. These awards include a Best in Show, 90 Parker Points and Platinum Medals. Most of their award winners are priced under $10, and one is under $2.99.

I find the world of wine almost as complex as the liquid itself. It’s hard to know what bottle is good, which selection is right for what type of meal or sipping experience. I’m always wondering what am I going to like?  fresh&easy™ has helped take some of the confusion out of that problem. Their Master of Wine has endorsed several selections of what he considers superior wine at a great price and these selections are exclusive to fresh&easy™. They traveled the world to find wines that were both high quality and a great value. These selected wines are marked with a sticker that reads specially selected by fresh&easy™. So if you need a little help making that perfect choice look for the sticker.

Self checkout

Let me try and tempt you with some of the selections they have to offer. Let’s start with bubbles. How about an authentic French Champagne? An exclusive to fresh&easy™ is their Rene Florancy Premiere Cru Champagne 2005 with grapes sourced for the Premier Cru vineyards  mainly in the Cotes des Blancs region to the south of Epernay. It has an elegant and crisp flavor with fresh citrus aromas and hints of baked bread and soft rounded honey flavors. It’s recommended to serve chilled as an aperitif or with light savory canapés. This Champagne has won three awards. It took the silver in the Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, The Gold in the “Best in Class” at the LA County Fair 2008 and the Bronze at the San Francisco International wine & Spirits Competition. Sounds like the real deal doesn’t it. So guess how much it costs. Remember a real French Champagne not sparkling wine and a three time award winner. What do you think 50 – 100 dollars? Nope, how about $27.99. Wow huh?

Les Deux Rhones Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005

Okay let’s try something different; a white wine, Ambas Chardonnay 2007. From Argentina it’s full of citrus and peach aromas with layers of tropical fruit flavors and a note of vanilla. Made from grapes grown in vineyards that lie in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, and it’s great with chicken and fish, especially salmon. Price guess? Try $4.99.! I know! Under $5 I’ll take two.

How about an Oregon wine?  Their Primarius Pinot Noir 2006 This wine was hand harvested in early October from a 2006 vintage season. The winery had a record harvest due to high levels of rainfall during the winter months, this rare abundance of ground water led to extraordinarily fertile soil during a Northwest Indian summer, resulting in large than average cluster sizes. The wine itself is silky with layers of fruit that unfold onto the palate; it has a medium oak toast and a high vanilla character. It sells for $11.99.

Ambas Chardonnay 2007

And let me tell you about another French wine their Les Deux Rhones Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005 From the Southern Rhone Valley in France.  The grapes were harvested by hand and left to ferment on the skins for a period of 3-5 weeks to extract the maximum flavor. It was then left to mature for eighteen months in oaked barrels. It’s smooth, rich and is made from a blend of mostly Grenache with a dash of Syrah grapes grown in the Rhone Valley in France. It’s a structured wine with red cherry fruit and a delicate hint of nutmeg. It’s ideal with red meats including lamb and beef. It sells for $18.99

The wine selection at fresh&easy™ has something that will appeal to everyone. They have selections from around the world and around the corner. They have award winning wines, exclusive wines and wines for every budget.  So what are you waiting for?  Find a fresh&easy™ near you and go for a little vacation in their wine aisle. Taste, savor, enjoy and raise a glass to me. I’ll raise one for you as well “cheers and to your happiness!”


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