Maker: Charles Shaw Winery, Napa County, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Merlot 2005, aka Two Buck Chuck, isn’t a fantastic wine. But there’s a reason why 300 million bottles of Chuck have been sold – this Merlot is light, simple, fruity, and accessible to casual wine drinkers. It doesn’t have much of a nose, and it’s light-bodied for a Merlot. The flavor is plummy, with some oak and spice in the finish.
If you are willing to spend five or six bucks for a bottle of wine, you can find a better Merlot than this one. But, for three bucks, or just two in California, this is OK plonk. According to WinoDailyNews, Charles Shaw Merlot 2005 won a gold medal at the 2007 New World International Wine Competition. Pitumbo.com gave it thumbs up, too. Go ahead, risk a few bucks, and let us know what you think.