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Sunday, March 7, 2010

5 Buck Chuck?

Even though there's no Trader Joe's near Miss Ginger, she'd have to live in a cave not to hear the "legend" of "Two Buck Chuck", and the affect it has had on the wine industry! Charles Shaw wines at Trader Joe's resulted from the combination of a crummy economy and a bumper crop of grapes. In order to sell these premium grapes before they rotted, many vineyards created "private label" wines for retailers, restaurants, or other sales outlets, so they could sell these high quality wines without compromising the price or reputation of their own vintages. The phenomenom of "private labels" continues, and Miss Ginger was delighted to find that her beloved Sam's Club has joined the fold! When she discovered Tenuta Villanova Pinot Grigio at $4.98 a bottle, she had to try it!

Usually, she buys Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio- mostly out of habit and convenience. It's not her favorite- it's a little sharp at the start and a little sour in the middle, but for about $10 a bottle when you buy the case at Sam's, it's a perfectly exceptable "everyday" pinot. Not that Miss Ginger drinks pinot "everyday". (cough! cough!)

Her first sip of Tenuta Villanova was not particularly encouraging. It seemed oddly dry, and not in a good way- almost like it had been made from a mix! The middle and end notes were much nicer however, and by the second glass, she realized "this is pretty damn good for five bucks a bottle!" You may notice that the Sam's Club label is similar, yet distinctly different from the vintner's bottle. At Sam's, in tiny little grey letters to the left, are printed those famous words "Specially Selected for Member's Mark!" It would be interesting to try them side by side!

Miss Ginger will probably buy it again, for her occassional everyday enjoyment. For guests, I suspect she'll spring for something a tad more well-known!

But, for the value/quality/convenience formula, she give it 3 lipsticks!

What's your favorite "EveryDay Value" wine?


David Dust said...

I don't drink wine - but I DO know how many good, cheap wines are out there. You would be surprised by all the wines my restaurant can buy for $3-4/bottle and sell for $30/bottle.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We love shopping at our local store for any red wine (plus an occassional chardonnay) for less than $10. If yard pressed, I would say Beringer.

behrmark said...

I had been hearing about "2 Buck Chuck" from friends and how wonderful it was. I bought the chardonnay and merlot. One sip of both and I poured that swill right down the drain. Blech.

Beth said...

I've been fairly impressed by Mad Housewife wines. Seems to run about $6 a bottle, and it's not bad.

Joy said...

The Trader Joe in Nashville doesn't sell wine because this is Backwardville. The good state senator we have sponsors a bill to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores and by mail order. Apparently the liquor store lobby is strong here along with the NRA. I live in Hell!

Joy said...

The bad state senator is the one who sponsored the guns in bars bill. I know them both. The good one really is. The other one is a douche in all areas of his life.


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