Bum Wine... Trader Joe's Style

July 23 2012 - 9:28 PM

I remember drinking Thunderbird in college. We called it “Dundabud”, in homage to sugary-wine-addled ne’er-do-wells that would kill a bottle, or more, in a sitting – or staggering. That’s when I also realized that MD, affectionately called Mad Dog, actually stood for Mogen David, the lesser known Kosher-cousin to Manischewitz. In any case the oenophile in me opted for jugs of Gallo instead of that chaptalized saccharin. The jugs of Gallo were a movable liquid feast held by the thumb and tipped over your shoulder to drink straight from the bottle. Kerouac would be proud… Cassady too.

Either way, those bottles were only a few bucks. Flash forward 20+ years and I find myself killing 750ml of $3.99 wine. This time though it’s a Sauv Blanc from Green Fin and Trader Joe’s. The popularity of $3 Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) has resulted in a deluge of cheapo wines. The downside is that very few of them, especially at the $4 price point are worth a purchase. This one grew on me, after several glasses what wouldn’t? Plus it’s made from organic grapes. It’s a far cry from the Night Train.

I’ve been a fan of a few of the base-priced wines- Napa River and Trellis Chardonnays are both VERY oakey but in a way where I’m not entirely turned off. For $4ish they are worth the dough and more satisfying to me than your average 8% Vinho Verde, the effervescent trendy white from Portugal (that’s also only 8% alcohol). A combo of the two will set you up at Millennium Park for even the warmest of evenings. I just find it funny that 20+ years later I still can’t help but kill a bottle.

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
-Jack Kerouac to Neal Cassady