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Sep 21, 2007 06:04 PM

Wine Cube & 2 Buck Chuck, you likey?

I'm interested in who is willing to admit that they drink cheap swill... admit it and tell us what it is. A friend of mine has a sister who is a well-known master sommelier (has her own tv show, several books in print, etc) who swears that Target's wine cubes are decent every day burger & pizza wines (of course she is a paid consultant to Target). The cab/shiraz blend is not heinous. There I admitted it.

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  1. Probably the same MS that was on the Target payroll for a while.

    Two Buck Chuck and T-Cubes both suck, period.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

      One person's swill is another person's house wine . . .

    2. Have not tried the Target product, and the tastings done with 2BC were when they were hot. Never found anything worth the calories.

      For "everyday" fare, I go to my "house wines." I have to admit that all are probably 5x the 2BC, which, I hear, is now 3BC. The Bronco wines might have improved over the years, but I have not felt a compunction to even try them. The first ones were bad enough, and someone would have had to pay me much more than $2 to drink them. Too much good wine - too little time.

      Sorry that I cannot contribute to your thread in a positive way. I keep hearing about wines of that "ilk," that, when brought to wine events populated by serious winos, win rave reviews, and become the "pick of the litter." To date, no one has ever been able to provide the names of these wines to me. Urban ledgend? Who knows, as I have never gotten any names.


      1. Random Thoughts:

        Andrea DOES have an excellent palate. (And a nice person, too.) And whether it's Target, Starwood, or even back to her days with Kevin Zraly at Windows on the World, she has done more than any Master Sommelier I know to (attempt to) dispell the myths, mysteries and myriad of misinformation around wine . . . to make it accessible as an everyday beverage with food.

        There is NO REASON that one HAS to spend "big bucks" to find enjoyable wines. In that, Andrea is absolutely right, and I don't know of anyone in the wine trade who disagrees.

        As I've said elsewhere, probably 50%+ of the wine I buy today falls somewhere between $8-20. Another 25% probably costs up to $30. It's really only Champagne and Porto when I find that I HAVETO SPEND the "big bucks." Well, clearly I don't have to -- but in order to find wines that I personally enjoy, I spend that much . . . But when it comes to table wines? I don't have to.

        I hope that makes sense . . .


        3 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          In regard to the Target Cubes, she is a sell out; the stuff is miserable. Target may call it "wine", but it's wine in the sense of an "alcohol delivery system", as opposed to a pleasurable beverage. Fact is she use her MS title to pimp this plonk.

          1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

            Suffice it to say, I disagree.

            I've never tasted a Target Cube, so I cannot comment on the quality of that specific wine(s).

            That said, this is NOT a chicken-and-egg question. She was hired as a consultant to Target to specifically upgrade their wine department's selection, and one of the wines she brought IN was the cube. Thus, she didn't sell out by endorsing a wine that she thought was swill . . . she approved the concept and bought the wine.

            Indeed, although there are few wines at Target I would personally buy, I think she did a very good job for them and their clientle.

          2. re: zin1953

            Well said, Jason. I agree... wholeheartedly. I'm typically in the $8-$20 range myself. I always look for WS best buys. I occasionally will use a wine cube or 2bc to make sangria or to braise meat with.

          3. Vinny, I've never tried it, so I can't comment.

            1. The thing here is, everyone has a different taste profile they like, and more importantly a price range they like to stick with. Vinny, most likely your pallet is way beyond the $5 bottle of wine. I am in the same boat, along with a lot of you on this site (from reading your posts over the past month). But not everyone is as advanced. Most of the people that buy wine at Target wouldn't know the definition of varietal, Single Vineyard, or even know where Napa Valley is. (But that is what I will be drinking tonight with my porterhouse) Chances are they are looking for a clean crisp white wine and a round easy going red wine, which is exactly what the Wine Cube is. And when you factor in that there is 4 bottles of wine in that box for $15 or so, then it makes for a good deal for people who are at a simple level of wine enjoyment. Especially if this person most likely is buying the usual supermarket table wine brands (Sutter Home, Turning Leaf, Lindemans, etc etc). The same thing goes for beer. I would much rather buy a 6pk of a local microbrew than buy the 24 pk suitcase of your standard Bud/Miller. But obviously I am in the minority when you look at beer sales. One of the biggest problems with wine is that it is very imposing to most Americans. So by calling something "swill", you put the fear into normal wine drinkers that they are drinking bad wine. Why not just say, I tried it and did not enjoy it, or that it is not for me. I believe people should drink what they like and not worry about what traditionalist say they should like. I can do a tasting in a store and promise you that I will sell 10 times more Moscato than I will of any nice tasting Cabernet I have open, simply because the average person is looking for something easy going and affordable. There was a blind tasting on 3lt box wine done by some wine professionals here in Austin, and here are the results.

              7 Replies
              1. re: mac8111

                Andrea Immer (the sommelier referred to in the opening post) called the Wine Cube wine "absolutely delicious." That's promising substantially more than "clean crisp white" or "round easy going red."

                I bought the Riesling that came in first in that Austin Chronicle tasting. At $3.50 / 750ml it was a good value but I wouldn't buy it again. Tasting notes:


                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I inferred that the MS was Andrea Immer, but did not know so. Thanks for the clarification. I have also not had the Target cube-wine, so I cannot comment on this. I would feel that part of the motivation for signing on for a project like this would be for her to get good wine to the "masses," at a fair price. However that slope can become very slippery, if the wine does not live up to its billing. I guess that it is time that I give some of these a try, (wish that the volumn was not so large, as I hate to throw wine down the drain, if I do not like it) and also do a tasting of 2BC, again. Though many have alluded to the range of differences between the Bronco wines within the same "vintage," if one can call it that, because of the varying sources for the wine. One could get a good 2BC Chard, or a really bad 2BC from the same time frame. To me, this is one of the biggest problems with a wine of this type.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Thanks Robert. That does help a bit. I guess that it's off to Target to buy a tasting. If I survive (big grin inserted here), I'll report back. May take longer to get up the nerve to buy some 2BC though.


                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        The Pinot Grigio seems to get the most approval in tastings.

                2. re: mac8111

                  Just like everyone else, I too aways seek out a bargain. There are plenty of delicious wines under $10. I have yet to find anything (from anywhwere) in a box that is IMO palatable. I will say that too much stock is placed on the MS title, and for someone who has put in the time, effort and in many cases the dough to earn this title certainly has the right to sell out (or some would say cash in on said title). But applying a MS endorsement to something that that is IMO plonk, will indeed boost sales. I will also say that I have no axe to grind with Andrea or any of the other Masters that do as such; everyone who has paid their dues is entitled to make a good living in the wine biz.

                  1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

                    Hiring a sommelier to find good values is better than just buying the cheapest bulk plonk and slapping a house label on it.

                    Target does a good job of selling good design cheap, no reason they couldn't do the same for wine.