cba
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3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:56 pm

Has anyone ever had Charles Shaw Merlot? I was at a Trader Joe's the other day and was enticed by $3 bottles of this stuff. I usually stay away from cheap wine, as I'd rather spend a bit extra and get something that doesn't taste like horrid. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that you can find an excellent wine for $15 or less if you know what you're looking for, but I'll admit that I was skeptical about a $3 bottle of Merlot.

A few mates of mine claimed that it had won several awards, and one claimed to have been at a wine tasting where they rated the "3 Buck Chuck" higher than a fair amount of more expensive wines without knowing what it was.

Has anyone on the board tried the stuff? Anyone who is fairly experienced with wine ever tried it? I've only tried their Merlot as I'm not much for white wines in general.
 
lgbga
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:17 pm

I wouldn't say I know a lot about wine but I drink red wine and my preference is Merlot, that being said, I like the two (three) buck Chuck Merlot. That's the only one I have tried though. I don't have a Trader Joe's close, so I usually pick some up when in Chicago. There is some history about Charles Shaw at budgetvino dot com. which is a very good site if you don't know about it already. I also read that his Chardonnay recently won best Chardonnay in CA.

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that you can find an excellent wine for $15 or less if you know what you're looking for

I agree, but I even try to keep it under 10$ for just a regular nite at home.
 
cba
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:33 am

Quoting Lgbga (Reply 1):
I agree, but I even try to keep it under 10$ for just a regular nite at home.

Good friend of mine is very knowledgeable about wine, and claims that you're being ripped off if you pay more than $20 for a bottle because you can find one for less that's just as good if not better. I need to get him to try 3 buck chuck.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:38 am

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
Has anyone on the board tried the stuff? Anyone who is fairly experienced with wine ever tried it? I've only tried their Merlot as I'm not much for white wines in general.

Yes. It's disgusting.

Quoting Cba (Reply 2):
Good friend of mine is very knowledgeable about wine, and claims that you're being ripped off if you pay more than $20 for a bottle because you can find one for less that's just as good if not better.

A good friend of mine owns and operates the biggest wine merchant west of the Mississippi, and as such I've been privy to some of her insights and sampled many a good (and bad) wine. I can categorically tell you that your friends claims are untrue. The problem is, most people don't know how to taste wine, so can't detect the differences between a $20 bottle and a $50 bottle.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
deltagator
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
Anyone who is fairly experienced with wine ever tried it?

I'd like to think I'm a bit experienced with wine. Our family does have a vineyard and will be bottling the first vintage this year. I have tried it and I have to say it's not too bad.

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
Has anyone ever had Charles Shaw Merlot?

I haven't tried the Merlot but I have tried the Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Beaujolais, and the white ones as well. They are very good for the price and I've not found any major flaws with the ones I've tasted. I believe they use Hungarian Oak for the aging (more likely through bags of chips instead of barrels) which isn't as "smooth" as French and some American Oak but for the price you can overlook that.

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that you can find an excellent wine for $15 or less if you know what you're looking for

Absolutely. I try not to spend more than $25 for a bottle unless I've had it before and I know what to expect, certain wines from certain wineries, or want to splurge just a little bit. The wines we get in North Carolina in the $12-$20 range are great and the same goes for the Australian wines. California is a bit more wild but there are deals to be had if the word Napa doesn't appear on the bottle. (Napa wines are great but they have a price premium while there are plenty of good wines from Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Livermore, and the coastal ranges south of Monterey.

Quoting Cba (Reply 2):
Good friend of mine is very knowledgeable about wine, and claims that you're being ripped off if you pay more than $20 for a bottle because you can find one for less that's just as good if not better.

To the uneducated taster who doesn't know all the nuances of wine that statement holds true.

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 3):
The problem is, most people don't know how to taste wine, so can't detect the differences between a $20 bottle and a $50 bottle.

That is the problem. Everyone should take a wine tasting class to learn some of the basics.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
AeroWesty
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:19 am

I've had the Beaujolis, and it's not bad, but I'm not a real big wine drinker. A friend keeps a stock of 2-buck Chuck on hand, and when people are beginning to get tipsy from the first bottle or two of the good stuff, he moves to the Shaw wines, and no one complains.
International Homo of Mystery
 
LH423
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:24 am

I personally don't get the hype. Yes, it's an OK wine for the price but I'd rather spend a bit more for something I enjoy.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
SlamClick
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:36 am

Most places it is called "two buck Chuck" but in some places it is a dollar more. Here where I live that is because a local liquor distributor gets a dollar a bottle on any wine whether they stock/sell it themselves or not. They get a dollar a bottle on wine sold by their competitor.

Charles Shaw? Best I can say is it's okay. It"ll drink. I don't normally buy it for our consumption but I'd drink it if offered. Frankly it is hard to imagine a ten dollar bottle being five times as good. A fifty dollar bottle - probably is worth the money if you know what you are tasting.

I think qualitative differences between wine costing less than about $20 a bottle are a matter of luck. Your grocery store left this lot in the back of a trailer in Barstow for a week - it's gone. Next batch is pretty good.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Superfly
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:38 am

It's only $1.99 here in San Francisco, yet outsiders complian about san Francisvo being expensive. Yeah sure
Charles Shaw is a great wine and I praise this company as an example of smart capitalism. Charles Shaw is a fantastic wine and those that complain are just lying because they are fooled by the low price tag. There was a time when I'd spend as much as $65 for a bottle of wine. Then along came Carlie!  yes 
That is prtty much all I buy. I'll spend the big bucks on microbrews, whiskey, rum and vodka but no more expensive wines unless it's a gift for someone.
Bring back the Concorde
 
flybulldog
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:48 am

It's not bad. Anyone who says otherwise is being a wine snob. I've had far worse wines for over $50.00 and I've had far better for around $9.00. Most of the price of wine has to do with marketing, not quality.
 
cba
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:57 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 4):
Quoting Cba (Reply 2):
Good friend of mine is very knowledgeable about wine, and claims that you're being ripped off if you pay more than $20 for a bottle because you can find one for less that's just as good if not better.

To the uneducated taster who doesn't know all the nuances of wine that statement holds true.

Well, my experience thus far has been limited to wines under the $25 mark as a student I can't really afford to drop that kind of money on wine. I have had some pretty raunchy tasting $20ish bottles however.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 4):
That is the problem. Everyone should take a wine tasting class to learn some of the basics.

 checkmark 

Absolutely true.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:03 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 8):
Charles Shaw is a fantastic wine and those that complain are just lying because they are fooled by the low price tag.

I recommend going to some wine tasting classes at your local college, and then comparing two buck chuck-up with, say, a 2003 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Special Reserve. Once you know how the difference in colouration, opacity, clarity, aroma, impression, and finish have on the taste of wine, you'll appreciate that Charles Shaw wine is cheap plonk, good for getting drunk but not much else, while the more refined wines actually do what wines are supposed to do - taste good on their own and also enhance the flavour of food pairings.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
CaptOveur
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:11 am

It's good stuff.. Though I think it avoids any real acclaim by being a tad inconsistent. The way it gets to be so cheap is trader joe's buys whatever is cheap and bottles that as charles shaw. They almost always get good stuff but the point is it does vary slightly by batch.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
Superfly
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:15 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 11):
I recommend going to some wine tasting classes at your local college, and then comparing two buck chuck-up with, say, a 2003 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Special Reserve. Once you know how the difference in colouration, opacity, clarity, aroma, impression, and finish have on the taste of wine, you'll appreciate that Charles Shaw wine is cheap plonk, good for getting drunk but not much else, while the more refined wines actually do what wines are supposed to do - taste good on their own and also enhance the flavour of food pairings.

Trust me, I live in the wine snob capital and I am here to tell you that Charles Shaw can stand with the rest of the higher-end Napa Valley wines.

I don't like to get drunk on wine but somehow I end up getting drunk anyway on wine.  drunk 
For quantity, I'll have Carlos Rossi Burgundy, Chianti or Paisano.
Or the boxed wine, Franzia if I am having lots of guest over.
If I want the sparkling wine/champagne, I'll go for Andre Cold Duck. Big grin
All are fine California wines and I am glad that I am supporting local vineyards with locally grown grapes.
It's the enviornmentatly conscious thing to do.  spin 


Seriously though, I'll spend the big money on hard liquor and beer.
Bring back the Concorde
 
IFEMaster
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:21 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 13):
Trust me, I live in the wine snob capital and I am here to tell you that Charles Shaw can stand with the rest of the higher-end Napa Valley wines.

It can, but rarely, and only to those who haven't studied wine and taken some real wine tasting classes. The other thing to remember is that the batches that Charles Shaw enters in to competition (such as the Chardonnay that took gold with a rating at 98 beating out some stiff competition lats year) are not the same wines that get bottled.

Perhaps I've just had dumb luck, but every Chuck that I've tasted has tasted like what I imagine paint stripper to taste like.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
Superfly
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:38 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 14):
every Chuck that I've tasted has tasted like what I imagine paint stripper to taste like.

Wow!  Wow!
You've certainly got 'one up' on me.
I've never went tasted the garden of a stripper.  Silly


I guess my point is that Charles Shaw is closer in taste to the good stuff compared to the really, really bad stuff such as Thunderbird and Livingston Cellers. YUCK!
Bring back the Concorde
 
SlamClick
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:18 am

What ever happened to Annie Greensprings?
Red Mountain?
Boone's Farm?
Cribari?

Sterno?
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Superfly
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:58 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 16):
What ever happened to Annie Greensprings?
Red Mountain?
Boone's Farm?
Cribari?

Sterno?

Well generation Y prefers MD 20/20, Club pre-mixed Long Island Iced Tea cans, and yes wine coolers are still envouge with younger women.
Funny story;
i've mentioned this before in the forums
One day after work, I was craving a Long Island Iced Tea but was not going to go out and spend the $60+ for all the ingredients that go in to one. So I went to a local family owned grocer/liquor store to buy a few Club brand Long Island Iced Tea mixed drink cans. Well it happens to be 2 blocks away from a continuation school (for bad kids).
The store owner didn't have any on the shelf so I asked him if he had any in back.
He tells me in a very thick Cantonese accent; "All the kids in the neighborhood come every Tuesday when I get my delivery and buy up all of my Long Island Iced Teas"!  Wow!
He even pointed to the empty shelf space which was right next to the Snapple, Gatoraide and Hawaiian Punch.
The poor old man had no idea that Club Long Island Iced Teas was an alcoholic beverage!
I wasn't sure how to respond to this. I remember when I was a teenager and how sacred we valued stores that ...umm...understood our plight.  Wink
I didn't say a word especially since most teens around here ride public transportation or drink in there parents basement or at the beach.  Silly
Bring back the Concorde
 
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fxramper
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:07 am

All you guys talking about $3 bottles...

 rotfl 

I just got back from Specs, picked up a Silver Oak Cab. Mmm...  drool 
 
SlamClick
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:42 pm

Quoting FXramper (Reply 18):
a Silver Oak Cab. Mmm...

You are comparing apples and Jolly Ranchers there.

2$C is a blended wine-like beverage that is cheap enough to serve to your brother in law. Fine varietals are to be savored by those who appreciate the nuance.

P.S. Cabs are so wussified in the last 25 years they are hardly worth drinking. They taste likes the Zins of the not too distant past.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
MattMSP767
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:09 pm

I actually work part time at Trader Joe's, and we sell several thousands of bottles of 3 buck chuck every week. It's not the best bottle of wine...but hey, you get what you pay for. In my opinion, some of the best bottles of wine there are between 3.99 and 6.99. I would never buy a bottle of wine any other place than Trader Joe's.
 
cba
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:29 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 14):
every Chuck that I've tasted has tasted like what I imagine paint stripper to taste like.



Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
One day after work, I was craving a Long Island Iced Tea but was not going to go out and spend the $60+ for all the ingredients

What kind of places are you going to? Most I've ever paid for a tea was $20, and that was in London (10 quid). Most bars I've been to sell them for around $10.

Quoting MattMSP767 (Reply 20):
I would never buy a bottle of wine any other place than Trader Joe's.

If you have one of those large Specs warehouses in your town, that's the only place to go to buy wine. You can get a steal on a lot of things there, especially if you buy in volume.
 
bablackpilot
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:37 pm

I'll try some 2$C this weekend and see what the hype is all about. As far as good wines....Rombauer Chardonnay is by far my favorite.

I bring a bottle to Houstons or to The Crab House on Pier 39 in the city all the time. (Hey Superfly, do I hear a double date)
A little cracked crab or chicken, some great wine that is by the way on average 25$/bottle and I'm set......
My arrogance is only an issue between you and your self-esteem!"
 
aa61hvy
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:46 pm

As a side note; I tired Barefoot Pinot last night $4.50 per bottle last night. Great stuff.
Go big or go home
 
flybulldog
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:18 am

Quoting Bablackpilot (Reply 22):
Rombauer Chardonnay is by far my favorite.

Great choice! I think this is one of the best Chardonays I have ever tasted. Chalk Hill is a close second.
 
Superfly
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:07 am

Quoting Cba (Reply 21):
What kind of places are you going to? Most I've ever paid for a tea was $20, and that was in London (10 quid). Most bars I've been to sell them for around $10.

I didn't want to go to a bar. I wanted to drink at home.
Bring back the Concorde
 
halls120
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RE: 3 Buck Chuck Wine (Charles Shaw)

Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:59 am

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
Has anyone ever had Charles Shaw Merlot? I was at a Trader Joe's the other day and was enticed by $3 bottles of this stuff. I usually stay away from cheap wine, as I'd rather spend a bit extra and get something that doesn't taste like horrid. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that you can find an excellent wine for $15 or less if you know what you're looking for, but I'll admit that I was skeptical about a $3 bottle of Merlot.

3 buck Chuck is drinkable. Better than some of its competitors at double or triple the price, in fact.

While I find few wines at any price that I simply cannot drink, I rarely pay less than 10 bucks for a bottle these days. In fact, I usually pay more. I agree that you can find truly excellent wines in the 10-15 dollar category.

I subscribe to the maxim that life is too short to drink crappy wine, and as such, I'm willing to pay a bit more to make sure I live by that rule.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography

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