Weiland's in Clintonville is one of Columbus' best grocery stores, and it has a great selection of wines, too. On weekends (at least) it offers enticingly cheap (usually 50 cents) sips and $2 wine flights right from a table set up at the back of the well-stocked wine aisle. Sometimes, when pricier wines are to be tried, the flight tab "skyrockets" to a still laughable $3. This casual in-store partaking of the grape (which is best accomplished by periodically stopping by for pit stop glasses while shopping) is a great way to try out either interesting new wines or recently released vintages of old faves--all for the anyone-can-afford-it cost of a cup of coffee (unless you're getting that joe at Weiland's, because the store generously sets out high-quality free samples of java for its obviously valued customers, too!). Other perks of trying wine in Weiland's: no pressure to buy or eye-roll-producing wine talk. I tried the following $3 flight last Friday to econo-lubricate my palate before going out to dinner where drinks would be considerably more expensive.
From L to R: --This nice-priced ($15) Burgans Albarino crops up at lots of local restaurants, and the 2008 vintage of the shellfish-friendly Spaniard is unsurprisingly apple-y with a refreshing minerality
--The French Domaine de La Mordoree is a strawberry nice rose and all, but as is so often the case with a Tavel ( a Rhone-ish rose), it's woefully overpriced at a whopping $25!
--The brick-red, mean and meaty 2004 Domaine Albert Morot Beaune Cent Vignes ($29) is a Burgundy that'd be a good wine to plan an "intense" French dinner around
--The Mas de La Deveze ($28, AOC Cotes de Rousillon) had an easy-to-like bright berry character