Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

If you read this column, you know that I am a sucker for anything that has a long history. An old ski lift, a store or restaurant that has been in business for years, the ski swap. If it has been here for awhile, it gets special dispensation in my book.

Another thing that gets my attention is a sale. When things are marked down, placed in the clearance bin, deeply discounted, at half price, they always interest me, whether I need them or not. And in this town, it seems that something is always on sale.

There is one more weakness I should take ownership of: I love wine.

Good wine, in particular. Wine from France, Italy, Argentina, Australia, Napa, Sonoma. Red wines and whites wine. Sparkling wines and, yes, even fortified wines.

So there you have a profile. A nostalgic, cheap drunk some might say. Hey, if the shoe fits …

Anyway, all of these things coalesce each November when the venerable Carl’s Pharmacy (established in 1965 in the space that old-timers – this means you, Mary Hayes – still remember as Matthew Drugs) holds a sale (cut-rate prices) on a product I love (fine wines). That’s right, it’s time for the 43rd annual wine sale at Carl’s Wine Cellar.

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For those not in the know, the Carl’s Cellar is the long but narrow liquor store that runs along the northwest side of the place you go to buy socks, toothpaste, hair-care products, antacids, and, of course, legal drugs. It has a killer selection of great beers from around the world, the harder stuff, and some fine wines. It also is home to a couple of rabid Yankee fans, but if you hold your nose and ignore it, the stench will quickly turn to perfume when you get a whiff of the sweet smell of expensive wines sold cheap.

Like good Bordeaux? Pick up a bottle of the Chateau Cos d’Estournel, St-Estephe 2004 for $109 for your Turkey Day pleasure. A markdown of $43. You can spend that $43 on a couple of other bottles for everyday drinking. Since you like Bordeaux-style wines, how about a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma Estate Cabernet Sauvignon for $26.49 and a Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the same vintage for $15.99? That’s three bottles from three different regions for three different dinners for the same price (minus $.62) than the original $152 for which Carl’s normally sells the Cos d’Estournel.

With Thanksgiving coming, the sale couldn’t arrive at a better time. It is strictly first-come, first-served, and they will have a better selection of sale items this week than they will next week. This I know from 42 years of experience. Carl’s is open these days from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (they cut back a couple hours due to the recession) and you will likely find Yankee fans behind the counter still smiling over getting number 27.

What ever you do, don’t congratulate them.