The bargain rack at Pogo's in Dallas often holds delightful surprises.

The bargain rack at Pogo's in Dallas often holds delightful surprises.

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

The first time was a fluke. I was shopping at Pogo's Wine & Spirits for a really good whiskey when I noticed a wine rack instead with the sign: Pogo's Super Values Hand Picked

Pogo's Wine and Spirits

Intrigued, I chose a random bottle of sauvignon blanc for less than $12 to add to my stash. We drank it well-chilled that night and, contrary to my expectations, it was delicious. 

I inspected the rack again on my next visit. There was everything from a $15 Domaine Paul Autard Côtes du Rhône to a $9 Excelsior Chardonnay in the stacks. For bubbles, the staff had picked a reasonably priced Italian sparkling wine. Again, everything I chose to experiment with was drinkable and delightful, often much more so than the pricier vintages I was used to buying. 

Turns out, the rack has been a popular feature at this neighborhood shop for five years.

Prices average $15 a bottle, and the most expensive one I noticed on my last visit was a 2011 Château du Donjon Grande Tradition Minervois at $17. There is not a particular wine that is always on the rack; the selection is always changing. My realization? That is part of the fun.

For more stories from food and wine magazine Palate, go to guidelive.com/palate.

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