Monday, October 29, 2007



Been away for a while - so to get back into things, let me begin by jumping into the "Two Buck Chuck" controversy. As you probably heard, it was judged Best Chardonnay from California at the 2007 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

Since then, there have been a lot of back and forth comments on various wine blogs and in wine publications. These have ranged from "the judges were drunk" to "it's really a decent wine." One thing that can't be denied is that the outlet for this wine, Trader Joe's stores, can't keep it in stock. When I tried to buy some, it took three trips to the Thousand Oaks Trader Joe's before I could get any - then it was the last 3 bottles. I subsequently went back and secured a case ($23.52!!!!).

Dorianne and I had the first bottle with shrimp and pasta. The wine is very good cold - it depreciates quite a bit as it warms up. (The Wine Goof suggests putting a couple of frozen strawberries into the glass to keep it cold, then enjoying the wine-soaked berries). There are hints of oaky butter (although Charles Shaw does not use oak) which get there God knows how. We have had several bottles since, and I must say, it is decent and drinkable and would be a value at 4 or 5 times the $1.99 (in CA) price.

I should note that I am not a big Chardonnay fan - I prefer Fume Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, so I may not be the best source for those who are really into big buttery Chardonnays. But then again, the judges at the CA State Fair found it the best among those tasted - including many of the traditional top-shelf California producers.

My advice - for $1.99, buy a few bottles and try it. The worst case scenario is you have some cheap cooking wine (which is what I do with the Charles Shaw Merlot, by the way).

What do you think?

'Till Next Time,

The Wine Saver

Wednesday, October 10, 2007



I want to recommend Eric Asimov's "The Pour" article in today's New York Times -
You can use the link below.

Taking a Closer Look at Wine’s Conventional Wisdom
Published: October 10, 2007

'Till Next Time,
The Wine Saver