Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two Buck Chuck or..........$25-Buck Chuck (read on for explanation)

At our Trader Joe's we try to schedule a wine tasting for the Crew once a week as part of the "Product Knowledge" program.  The wines being tasted are paired with other TJ foods , snacks, and cheeses to enhance the overall presentation.

A few weeks ago, we tried all the Charles Shaw wines (in two different tests on two different weeks) in a blind tasting against other labels of the same varietals.  First we did the whites, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay against wines that were a few dollars more per bottle.  In the following week, we tasted the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz against the same varietals, again, at just a few dollars more.

The bottles were in brown bags and the tasting was blind.  To my "Wine Snob" surprise, the Shaw wines held their own, although more than half picked the more expensive wines.  But I was surprised at how well the Two-Buck Chucks did!  Being a "wine snob," I can't ever be seen walking out of TJ's with a bottle of Shaw, but I now have a better understanding of why people buy the Shaw label.  Not bad, indeed...

Now to the $25-Buck Check reference.  Sometime ago, a woman came through the wine section and told me that she had just returned from a business trip from Beijing, China.  On their last night, she and her colleagues went to the liquor shop in their 4-star hotel looking for some wine.  They found Charles Shaw wines for $25.00 a bottle!  The Shaw's were more expensive than some of the French wines in the shop.  Go figure.  They bought a couple of bottles of Shaw at $25 a bottle.

The next time you pour anyone a glass of Charles Shaw, make it clear that they're drinking a bottle of $25 wine!  Guess it's just a matter of location.  Location, location, location.  Sounds like real estate.

"Tom da Wine Guy"


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