I first learned about the Wine Outlet when I was researching this Seattle Met feature on great deals around town (a piece that, if I do say so myself, has become all the more relevant in these unspendy times).
Richard Kinssies, wine columnist for the notquitebutalmost defunct P-I, owns the two locations. With its buttery lighting and sleek surround-sound speakers, the Interbay branch, out of which Kinssies also runs his Seattle Wine School, is the more put-together of the two. SoDo’s store, being in SoDo and all, is bare bones and a little dusty. But both have the best deals on wine you’ll find anywhere in…anywhere.
It works like this: the state regulates wines by placing a minimum price on any given bottle; retailers can’t go any lower than that price. But Kinssies’ wines come from distributor overstock, so he can skirt the law and charge less—much less—than anyone else. But when he sells out of that wine, he sells out for good…or at least until some distributor is ready to dump it again.
That means that every trip to the outlet is a new adventure, you never know what you’ll find inside. So it’s not the place to go to pick up the go-to wines you know and love. On the other hand, Kinssies knows more about wine than we do, so you can trust whatever he’s selling. And thanks to him, I drink $20 bottles on weekdays, $20 bottles for which I only pay $10. And you can too!
Also, this: Join the Outlet’s mailing list to get updates and specials, as well as invites to the its extremely well-attended lamb and pig roast parties. Cheap wine and pork: now that’s worth a trip to Interbay.