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Sep 2, 2004 12:13 PM

Cheapo wines - Golden Gate Vintners - $2.50 at Albertsons

  • k

I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about wine ... or as Schultz on Hogan's Heros would say "I know nothing ... NOTHING".

I've come to the conclusion that pretty much anything you get in a supermarket tastes the same. So, why spend ten dollars when you can spend two.

Given that, I find the Golden Gate wines a good value. They certainly compare with Sutter Home. IMMHWO (Most Humble Wine) the chardonay is the best ... there is even a hint of vanilla there ... don't know if that is good, bad or cliche, but I like a hint of vanilla in my chardonay. They are better than two buck Chuck, without the hype.

The cab is a nice drinking wine. The Merlot a bit mediciny, however, at my branch of Albertsons the Merlot is usually sold out.

Don't get me wrong. I love fine wines. It is just too exhausting and costly for me to persue that hobby seriously. I rely heavily on suggestions in fine restaurants and enjoy the results. I had a truly memorable wine at Chou Chou that, damn it, really DID have a hint of violets ... I was impressed ... it is no longer on the menu, btw.

Also, I have not sunk so low as to appreciate Arbor Mist (which is superior to Wild Vines).

Yes, I drink the Appleby's and Olive Garden equivant of wine at home. BTW, I wasn't that impressed with Black Box. For the price, some of the Franzia wine was better. Hardy's is pure swill at a premium price.

So, for what it is worth, I recommend Golden Gate.

So, do you have a cheapo you love. No ... I am not looking for those little finds in the bargain bins that you never see again. I am talking about the McDonalds variety of wine where the taste is consistant and drinkable.

Melanie, I blush in shame.

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  1. Vanilla is a sign that the wine has spent time in oak, which can be a good, bad, or cliche thing depending on how it's done and the drinker's preferences.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nja
      Melanie Wong

      At low price points, the harsh vanilla note is more likely from addition of oak chips or other wood flavoring agent to the vat. Maturation in an oak vessel is too costly.

      I'll add that my latest Black Box recommendation (previously posted on the General Topics board) was limited to just two of the current offerings: Monterey County Chardonnay and Sonoma County Merlot. For Franzia, the "Chablis" is a neutral, cleanly made white wine with decent acid balance and is mostly Chenin Blanc.

    2. w


      For goodness sake -- don't be so hard on yourself! There's certainly no need to apologize for not being more of an expert on wines. Not being able to pair the correct wine with certain dishes, or not being a connoisseur and consumer of high-end wines -- whether at home or out at a nice restaurant -- is not a sin. If it were, I venture to say we would all be somewhat guilty of that. Instead, "let he who is without Zin cask the first Rhone."

      Cheer up and remember: "life is a Cabernet, old chum!"

      1. but nobody's answering your original question and we KNOW there are a lot of closet cheepo wine folks out there. So I'll confess.
        One of my favorite cheap wines is Viano Vinyards Zin. I think the 00. You can find it at Andronico's on the bottom shelf where they put all the cheap wines (must correlate w/that study that taller folks make more $)
        It sells for the princely sum of $4.99 bottle. Made in Martinez! I don't much care for their $10.99 Port though.

        1. Okay, I'll admit to having an on-going affair with some cheap wines from Trader Joes!

          Yellow Tail Shiraz $4.99
          Camelot Pinot Noir $4.99

          Not necessarily wines you'd bring out when guests come over, but both are very good table wines and are nice for drinking while reading a book or watching TV.

          1. I like Paul Masson's Emerald Dry - it's the closest thing I've found to "moselwein", the wine-by-the-carafe in taverns in Germany. About 6 bucks a jug. Goes well with a bratwurst.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sharuf
              Melanie Wong

              Getting a little closer to Germany's Moselwein quaffer, the Rheinhessen Niersteiner Kabinett Riesling from JuHA Strub is about $12 per liter and is delicious and a great buy year in and year out.

              And, I should have said this earlier, Krys need not apologize for her wine palate. The 2001 Chardonnay from Golden Gate Vintners has beat out many chards that cost 5 to 10 times more in repeated blind tastings. While I haven't tried it myself, it's a wine value that will be hard to repeat.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Krys Stanley

                Thanks to you and others for your comments.

                I always wondered why the vanilla taste in Chardonay gets disparaged. Thanks for the insight.