I live on the East Coast, in a state still riddled with puritanical laws that forbid my local Trader Joe's from selling Two Buck Chuck. (It is also technically illegal to take a shower on a Sunday here, as this offends God on what is supposed to be a day of rest, not vigorous cleansing). Anyway, imagine my glee when I discovered that Wholefoods has introduced its own version of the famous Charles Shaw, for the grape-mazing price of only $2.99. (It's only $1.99 in California, but that's a given). I happened to have a 10 spot in my pocket, so I got all three.
There isn't much promised here, except that it is actually made with fermented grapes, grown somewhere in California, USA, and the bottle is a smidge lighter than regular wine bottle, improving our environment and my pervasive ecological guilt immensely.
Finding This Wine:
If you shop at Wholefoods, and you enter the store through the door, then you can't miss this wine. They had several dozen cases displayed by the main entrance, with happy, crafty chalk board signs proclaiming this amazing value. If this were a Sam's Club or Costco, I'm sure there would be some hand trucks nearby, so you could roll away with a pallet or two of the stuff.
Deeply and mysteriously yellow, this wine is incredibly complex, unsophisticated, and passive aggressive. While the label promised an un-oaked fermentation, I immediately tasted the distinct acidity of new, freshly sawed pressure treated decking. The overall mouth feel was thin and slightly slippery, with a premature and moist finish. This wine pairs well with Viagra.
Of all the Three Wishes I sampled, this would be my first and only wish. They say there is nothing as powerful as food to provoke a deep memory, and this wine immediately brought me back in time to the family Passover table circa 1985, where at the tender age of 9, I got drunk for the first time on Manischewitz. This Merlot, if you could call it that (or better, actually prove it) - has a powerfully sweet, oily sheen which then slipped through my esophagus at lightening speed, causing an unwelcome but exhilarating spike in my glucose level. Pairs will with Matzo meal.
Life is a cabernet, old chum - and this one is as over the top as any Broadway show you've ever seen. Brassy and metallic, unnaturally thick, this wine might actually be composed of actual lipstick and pig. The texture is quite bumpy, like acne, which was followed by strange and waxy sweetness, reminiscent of antifreeze. If you should stumble upon a fourth wish, I'd recommend "the anecdote." Pair with Fresca.
Overall Score: 5 stars
- With millions of Americans out of work and clinically depressed, we love the price point and feel-good factor of being able to afford shopping at Wholefoods
- Eco-friendly packaging, however insignificant, instantly reduces upper middle class white guilt
- Composite cork alternative nearly impossible to re-install, inviting the drinker to keep on keepin' on
- Increased risk of early onset Type II diabetes
- Sometimes hard to find Fresca for pairing with Cabernet
- Recycling all those bottles from the case is a pain; a box version would be easier, and more eco-friendlier.