During the beginning of 2015 we had the opportunity to take a four and a half month round-the-world cruise on the Queen Mary 2. During that trip we had over 75 different wines from the ship’s wine list. Many of those wines were reviewed and posted on TastedOnline.com and can be found using the keyword “Queen Mary 2“. Every night and frequently at lunch we had a bottle of wine with the meal that was priced between $35.00 and $125 and there were some good ones and many that we thought were in the “terrible” category. From those 75 different wines we have identified the ones we thought were the best value for the price and would recommend them for passengers on the Queen Mary 2 who do not want to spend the $100 plus it takes to purchase a bottle of a known label that “should” be good. The list below, in no specific order, includes the wines we thought were the “best buys”…in other words we have weeded out the losers.It should be noted that we’re not used to purchasing wines that cost between $50 and $100 that are continually disappointing, even in restaurants where there is a substantial markup over the retail price. So at about the mid-point in the trip we decided there might be another alternative to ensuring we had a good quality wine in the $50. price range, or at least would greatly improve our chances. At the port of Barcelona we had purchased wines costing $30-35, and with the $20 corking fee were about the same $50-60 we were paying on the ship, but every one was OUTSTANDING…they were great wines and there were not any disappointments. So at that point we began using the internet to find wine shops in upcoming ports that carried local wines produced by small wineries, not mass marketed wines. We were able to find at least one promising shop in every major city we stopped at, e.g. Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide, Perth, Capetown, Maderia and Grand Canary. Although we had to pay a $20.00 corking fee if we wanted to drink the wines in the public areas of the ship (restaurants, etc.), we found that we were able to purchase good wines in the shops and pay the corking fee and still meet our target price of approximately $50.00, but almost always have MUCH higher quality wines for the price, and in addition get to try some of the best selections from the different wine producing countries along the way. (Many of the wines we purchased at these wine shops were reviewed and posted on TastedOnline.com and can be found using the keyword “World Cruise“.) For anyone on a world cruise or those doing only a segment of a world cruse this is a win-win solution to the quality and price problems of purchasing the on board wines. If you want to try this, see the listing below of wine shops we used and note they were all within easy walking distance from the dock.
And, just a word about how we made our purchases. Almost without exception we didn’t recognize any labels on the bottles in the wine stores. Since the stores were small we found the owner or manager and said we wanted to buy 12 or more bottles of wine, but wanted them to pick out what we would purchase. We told them: 1. wines we didn’t want (in our case we didn’t want sweet wines); 2. that we wanted local wines, 3. a maximum average price, 4. a percentage split of red and white, and 5. that I wanted them to select wines they would pick to drink themselves if I was going to pay the bill.
Following is our list for: The best value wines on the Cunard Queen Mary 2 wine list during winter and spring of 2015 and Wine shops located near the harbor in ports we purchased wine.
Pouilly-Fume Les Chaumiennes, Andre & Edmond Figeat ($50.00)
Cotes-du-Rhone Preference, Caves Saint-Pierre, Southern Rhone ($37.50) BEST BUY
Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine de la Viste ($35.00) BEST BUY
Riesling Urstuck Trocken, Paulinshof, Mosel, Germany ($50.00)
Gavi di Gavi, La Minaia, Nicola Bergaglio, Piedmnte ($45.00)
Pinot Grigio, La Tunella, Colli Orientale del Friuli ($45.00) BEST BUY
Navaherreros Blanco, Bernabeleva, Duro, DueroValley, Spain ($50.00)
Gewurztraminer Reserva, Vina Morande, Casablanca Valley ($35.00)
Chardonnay, Catena Alta, Mendoza ($60.00)
Sauvignon Blanc, Cloudy Bay, Marlborough ($60.00)
Condrieu, Tardieu-Lalurent, Northern Rhone, France ($95.00)
Chassgne-Montrachet Les Macherelles 1er Cru, Domaine Francois Carillon, Cote de Beaune ($112.50)
Viognier/Marsanne The Hermit Crab, d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale ($42.50)
Jean Biecher & Fils Alsace Gewurztraminer 2013 ($45.00)
Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Valdivieso, Colchague Valley ($45.00)
Le Corton, Domaine Bonneau duMartray, Cote de Beaune, France ($170.00)
Domaine du Silene, Grande Cuvee, Gres de Montpelier, Skalli ($62.50)
Chianti Rufina Riserva, Fattoria di Basciano, Tuscany ($55.00)
Palestra Tinto Dao Sul, Quinta de Sa de Baixo Douro, Portugal (37.50) BEST BUY
Chamuyo Reserve Malbec 2013 ($38.00)
Raimonda Barbera D’Alba Fontanafred 2013 ($45.00) BEST BUY
Mommessin Fleurie 2012 ($42.50)
Castello Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino 2009 ($75.00)
Prices shown are the wine list price and do not include the automatic gratuity/service charge.
Vila Viniteca Negociants, S.L.
C/ Agullers, 7
08003 – Barcelona
Phone: 902 32 77 77
A 10-minute walk from the harbor entrance where a bus drops you off (for safety reasons you can’t walk in the harbor area and bus takes you out of the active port area) to go into the city.
Australian Wine Centre
1 Alfred Street
An easy 10-minute walk from the ship to the shop.
Auckland, New Zealand
Glengarry Wines, City Store
Auckland, New Zealand.
A 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal (a bus takes passengers through the active port area to the terminal) to the shop.
891 Hay Street
Phone: (08) 9481 3125
A 5-minute walk from the shuttle bus stop in Fremantle to the train station. Than a 30-minute train ride to Perth and a 15 to 20-minute walk from the Perth train station to the wine shop. Although this sounds much more difficult, it’s really very easy, and you get to see Perth too.
Cape Town, South Africa
Vaughan Johnson Wine Shop
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 419 2121
A 5-minute walk through the waterfront area from the shuttle bus stop to the shop.
Gran Canaria, Spain
El Corte Ingles Department Store
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
A 15-minute walk from the ship to the gourmet food/wine shop in a department store.
Pereira D’Oliveira (Vinhos), Lda.
Rua dos Ferreiros, 107
9000-082 Funchal, Madeira
A 10-minute walk from the shuttle bus stop to the tasting/sales room.