300 Million Bottles of Two Buck Chuck

It’s the fifth birthday of Two Buck Chuck, aka Charles Shaw Wines, and the brand has hit the 300 million bottle mark. That’s a remarkable achievement for a wine sold only through a single retail chain, Trader Joe’s. The wine is either the scourge or the savior of the U.S. wine industry, and is the […]

ChocoVine

Price: $10 Origin: Holland Importer: Clever Imports, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap Alcohol: 14% ChocoVine‘s label promises, “the taste of dutch chocolate and fine red wine.” It looks like a frappucino, or perhaps an Irish cream liqueur in a darker shade. The combination doesn’t sound very promising – I was expecting […]

Kenwood Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Price: $11 Maker: Kenwood Vineyards, Sonoma County, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle Alcohol: 13.5% Our Rating: 8.7 out of 10 At a recent stay at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, I was handed a half-bottle of Kenwood Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 as an amenity of their Joie de Vivre club. […]

Oak Leaf Chardonnay

Price: $3 Maker: Oak Leaf Vineyards, Ripon, California Varietal: Chardonnay Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 12.5% Our Rating: 8.3 out of 10 Oak Leaf Chardonnay is another ultra-inexpensive wine designed to take on Two Buck Chuck. Surprisingly, perhaps, it’s quite drinkable, even if undistinguished. The nose is mild, with sliced green apples and […]

Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $3 Maker: Winking Owl Vineyards, Modesto, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 12.0 % Our Rating: 6 out of 10 Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon is a non-vintage offering aimed at the market niche popularized by Two Buck Chuck from Charles Shaw Wines. Unfortunately, it matches the price but misses […]

Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $3 Maker: Oak Leaf Vineyards, Ripon, California Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork Alcohol: 12.5% Our Rating: 8 out of 10 We’ve been hoping for a Two Buck Chuck beater to emerge, and it looks like Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon may be it. This non-vintage offering is sold by Wal-Mart, and […]

Wine Tastes Better With A Higher Price

Everyone acknowledges that there is a lot of subjectivity in wine tasting, but it turns out that more expensive wine really DOES taste better, even when it’s the same stuff in the cheaper bottle. Neuromarketing notes in Why Expensive Wine Tastes Better that neuroscientists at Stanford and Caltech found that wine that the drinker thought […]