Best deals on food and wine

Money magazine’s Best Deals on Everything: Your guide to the latest bargains in Bordeaux, coffee, lobster and more.

  • Bordeaux wine

    Photo: Janine Lamontagne/Getty

    Enjoy fine wine? Sip on this: Following huge markups for the 2009 and 2010 vintages — “perhaps two of the best ever,” says K&L Wines co-owner Clyde Beffa — and lower demand for less favored 2011 bottles, Bordeaux châteaux slashed prices up to 60% last year.

    The trend continues as the 2011 vintage leaves distributors and retailers with unsold stock.

    Best deal
    Mouton-Rothschild, $379 (vs. $549 in 2011
    Lynch Bages, $99 (vs. $110 in 2011
    Clerc Milon, $50 (vs. $90 in 2011)

  • New England lobster

    Photo: iStock

    Lobster lovers are in for another succulently good year. “During the 2012 season, average retail prices per pound dropped from about $6 to $4,” says Hugh Reynolds, owner of Greenhead Lobster in Stonington, Maine.

    The 33% decrease was the result of both an unexpected overlap of the Maine and Canadian fishing seasons, which normally occur one after another, and an abundant catch.

    According to seafood industry consultant Gilles Thériault, the 2013 Maine catch could see an increase of 10% to 15% over last year’s numbers, further driving down prices once lobster season is in full swing.

  • Coffee

    Photo: Thinkstock

    Production of Arabica beans spiked in 2012, while global demand for less costly Robusta bean coffee increased.

    Result: Prices on bagged joe at the grocery store — which is usually of the Arabica variety — have dropped about $1 per pound.

  • American-made kitchen knives

    Photo: iStock

    Demand for knives is down 7%, per the NPD Group, and manufacturers are chopping prices as a result.

    Expect to see deeper discounting by year’s end or early next year, as lower-priced imports further squeeze domestic makers, says IBISWorld analyst Nima Samadi.

  • Get it cheaper – dining out

    Illustration: Stephane Manel

    Save $8 a head on dinner out – Advice from Robert Sietsema, former restaurant critic, the Village Voice

    Order extra apps and split an entreé. “In many restaurants, the entrées are ho-hum: a piece of fish with a drizzle of sauce, a hunk of meat with a heap of salad. Much more energy goes into formulating the appetizers, which are cheaper too.”

    …or start with a side. “Often the side dishes are much cheaper and just as big as the appetizers. You’re well within your rights to start with, say, Brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon.”

    Drink responsibly. “As you scan the wine list, whip out your phone and Google the cheapest bottle on the list. If the markup is over 200%, make do with a single glass or go for draft beer.”

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