Let it never be said that the Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t go to the ends of the earth to track down wine. Or, in this case, to Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe, N.M.
This white wine is one of the legendary Two Buck Chucks – given its name because it costs $1.99 at Trader Joe’s in California (though it’s $2.99 in New Mexico and $3.49 at points farther east). So what do you get for $2.99?
A very ordinary wine, actually, which was quite disappointing. There was very little to it, save for a bit of grassy aroma. But there wasn’t much fruit, nothing in the middle and barely a finish at all. The wine was not flawed in any way; it just wasn’t very interesting. As I write this, I’m wondering: Did it just get old and wear out?
In this, it was different than the Two Buck Chuck sauvignon blanc that I tasted several years ago. But that’s not surprising. As noted, the winemaking process for many cheap wines is not about quality, but about price. The producer uses grapes that allow it to sell a wine for a certain price, not to taste a certain way. Some years, the quality of the grapes at that price is better than in other years, and the wine tastes better – an unintended benefit.
But, at $2.99, was it a value? Probably, because it is so cheap. But I’d argue that all of the wines in the $10 Hall of Fame offer better value.