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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Cocktail Hour - Skid Row Wine Bowl:Round 1


Welcome to the first round of the Skid Row Wine Bowl where we take an ultracheap wine...Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw)...and put it up against a higher rated moderately priced wine of the same variety.  We take the name for the cheap wine you'd get in the bad liquor stores along Skid Row.  At two dollars a bottle, Charles Shaw is cheaper than bottled water but it has a fairly good reputation among the public.
Made by Bronco Winery under owner Fred Franzia...Ernest Gallo's nephew...the grapes are sourced from wherever the company can get a good deal, transported to the winery in Napa, California (accounting for the Napa on the label), and made in huge quantities so they can be sold cheap.  They are exclusive to Trader Joe's and cost just $1.99 for a 750 ml bottle on the west coast.  Back east, the chain charges a dollar extra.

Truth be told, I've liked some of the Two Buck Chuck varietals over the years.  The Merlot and Syrah are not bad but most of their wine is mediocre and inconsistent.
Watch the Video - See Who Wins

For round 1, we are tasting Chardonnays.  Up against Chuck is the Northwoods Chardonnay, sourced from the Lodi and Delta areas of Central California and rated 82 points at corked.com.  We are doing a blind tasting, meaning we do not know what is in each glass.  I pour for Letty and she pours for me.  After the tasting, we reveal what is in each glass.  The wine is not swallowed so that our taste is not effected by the alcohol.  Each bottle was stored in the refridgerator for 20 minutes before being opened.

Charles Shaw is available at Trader Joe's for $1.99 or $2.99, depending on your location.

Northwoods is available at Fresh and Easy for $3.99 or $4.99 depending on if it is on sale.

So how did it go?  Watch the video above to find the winner of our first Skid Row Wine Bowl taste off.

(for those of you who are wondering why the credits are the way they are on the video, it is a tribute to  Engine Company 9 of the Los Angeles Fire Department.  See their "Skid Row" truck at the link.)

Cheers!

-Darryl
Copyright 2010 - Darryl Musick

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