Today I drove to one of my favorite wine shops.  It’s about a half-hour’s drive from home.  The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable.  Today, though, was unusual.  It was the first day of “Dollar Days.”

During this event, all wines and liqueurs are sold at the shop’s cost plus $1.  Depending on the wine, this discount averages about 25% when you add in MD sales tax.  It’s a good enough deal that when I arrived (15 minutes before the shop opened), there were at least 50 people waiting in line. 

The experienced shoppers had tote bags; one pro even had a hand truck to haul cases around the store.  Amazing.

The gentleman behind me commented that the line reminded him of “waiting for concert tickets in the ’70’s.”  He had a point.  We were all of “a certain age” – except for one enterprising mom with a curly-headed toddler on her arm.

I thought I knew how hectic this sale would be.  I was completely unprepared for the number of people literally filling grocery carts with bottles of wine.  I helped one gentleman box up nearly the entire supply of one type of extra-dry sparkling wine.  Some people had strategies  – one person had the cart in an out-of-the-way spot and the spouse filled the cart.  Some had lists of desired wines.

As for me?  Well, I write two online wine columns.  I only had a shopping basket, so I filled it with wines from Spain, France and Italy, and hit the checkout line when I felt I couldn’t possibly add another bottle.  I brought home some nice Spanish reds and some old favorites from my years living in Europe.  I picked up some French chardonnay for my husband.  It was fun, fascinating, and at least somewhat frugal.

Maybe next year I’ll bring our hand truck.

For something completely different, read my newest travel Hub, about using airport cell phone waiting areas.