On a whim, I decided to do a head-to-head throw down between two super “value” wines. I use quotes because value usually equates to a quality product for a price considered to be fair. Sometimes, such “value” is found in a wine or product that we feel like we are almost getting away with something for the price paid. This was not the case in this tasting extravaganza! Without further ado, I bring to Roasted Beast readers: The Two Buck Chuck Throw Down!
I’m not going to re-hash the history of Two Buck Chuck, it’s origin, and rise in popularity over the years. Feel free to google it and find out all of the fascinating details! I decided to do this tasting for a couple reasons. For one, I haven’t had any of the Two Buck Chuck wines in a long time. Secondly, while strolling through my local Whole Foods, I saw a display for the Three Wishes brand of wine for $1.99 with a sign that said “Dump the Chuck” or possibly something more clever- I can’t remember. In any case, it was clear that Whole Foods was branding it as the better $1.99 wine. Three Wishes makes 3 varietals: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. If I’m not mistaken, Two Buck Chuck offers a couple more. If options are what you are looking for, “The Chuck” has Three Wishes beat.
The label of Three Wishes attempts to appeal to the Eco-Friendly wine consumer stating that the bottles are lighter thus reducing waste and their carbon footprint. It’s worth pointing out that the Two Buck Chuck bottle weighs the same as the Three Wishes bottle, go figure. So, all things being equal, it comes down to the juice right?
For the tasting, I put the Cabernet Sauvignons to the test. The 2010 Two Buck Chuck Cab vs. the Three Wishes Cab. Oddly enough, the Three Wishes did not have the year on the bottle. So yes folks, Non Vintage Cab does exist. For this major event, I was joined by my lovely wife Siege, who, during the course of the tasting had an allergic reaction of sorts to the Two Buck Chuck Cab. Don’t worry, she’s fine- just lots of sneezing. We tasted “blind” because we didn’t want to be swayed by the Two Buck Chuck Wine voodoo charms or the granola, environmentally hip sensibilities of the Three Wishes wine.
Here are the inglorious details, tasting notes, and results of the battle.
|Two Buck Chuck Cab Sauv.||Three Wishes Cab Sauv.||Preferred Trait|
|Sight (Color/Clarity)||Claret/Ruby (Clear)||Garnet (Clear)||Even|
|Aroma||Alcohol spiking big time, a hint of blackberry||Smelly Cheese/Mold Funk/Cheese rind with a bit of red fruit.||No real winner here either|
|Taste||Sour Cherry with a predominant metallic flavor. Almost like you were licking a penny. No acid and virtually no tannic structure.||Soft and round with hints of cherry and red fruit. We both agree, sort of juicy. Slight bite from tannins.||Three Wishes|
|Score (100 Pt Scale)||70||78|
In sum, both wines were pretty drab with little to no character. No real surprise here, you can’t expect much from a two dollar wine. And yet, Two Buck Chuck is ridiculously popular. Will Three Wishes ever gain any of the coveted Two Buck Chuck market share? Only time will tell. As for me, I’d rather spend 10-12 dollars and get a decent table wine, such as a Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel or even that crazy 2008 Smoking Loon Syrah ($8) made with Mega Purple concentrate.