Trader Joe’s bumps Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (89 pts.) price by 17%

    Granted, it’s only $1. But fair warning folks, you should grab the Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling while you can. Still a bargain at $6.99 (Trader Joe’s recently raised the price by a third a Two-Buck Chuck — yes Two-Buck Chuck is actually now Three-Buck Chuck). You may also want to check Safeway, and take advantage of the 10%, 6-bottle discount.

    Those that follow my wine articles on this site, are probably either sick or bored to death with my ramblings on this Riesling from the large Washington State wine house. What can I say… I like it. And it pairs so well with Loni’s fabulously spicy chicken curry. It’s a match made in heaven. One without the other just doesn’t work.

    On it’s own, like I’ve written in previous posts, the wine is a tad too sweet for me. I’d prefer a dry Chardonnay for example to this if I’m enjoying it in the backyard at day’s end as the sunset’s reflection fades slowly across the San Jose foothills. Then again, the view can make anything taste better.

    Speaking of wine under $20, Eric Asimov of the New York Times has another good blog entry on wine prices posted today (Nothing Wrong, but Nothing Right).

    A couple of interesting points he makes worth highlighting here. On quality of wine in today’s marketplace:

    Wine-lovers today don’t need to fear flawed wines so much as dull, uninteresting wines

    He also has a few points to make about Fred Franzia (the man behind Two-Buck Chuck and a marter of sorts for dirt cheap wine):

    I don’t revile Mr. Franzia, but I think it’s ludicrous for him to say that no wine is worth more than $10 a bottle. He’s not a man of the people making high-quality bottles available for less. He’s a businessman masquerading as a populist for his own benefit, which is fine but his defenders ought to be honest about Mr. Franzia’s motivations. 

    Way back, I actually could drink Two-Buck Chuck. I still can, but you do get what you pay for. It’s drinkable at minimum. But as Eric Asimov says it’s “insipid”. It does, however, provide the opportunity to thousands of people every day to get into wine, when perhaps they would have balked at paying anything more than a few dollars to “give it a go”.

    Also, I credit Franzia with helping to ease the mystique that formerly surrounded wine as something exclusive, or only for those living in palaces and riding horses. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.

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