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Charles Shaw topic from Chains board

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I assume this was posted on the Chains board because Charles Shaw is sold at Trader Joe's but it would have been more fun here. The subject article seems to have been deleted, but it was apparently "revealing" the 'oddities' and realities of low-end bulk wine production especially as practiced by Bronco Wine Company.

To paraphrase Zin1953: "Charles Shaw is one of the best $2.50 wines". At least I think that's how he'd put it, if he'd put it at all.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985088

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  1. don't love it, don't hate it and beats the heck out of a lot of stuff relatives bring around. (oh if the per ounce price is an issue just get a box-o)

    1. the original article was over the top exaggerations and accusations -- ridiculous crap like how the vineyards used by Bronco produce overripe grapes (ahem...only if you don't pick them in time...) and how because they use mechanical picking equipment, there's bugs and RODENT BLOOD in the wine. The writer apparently doesn't realize just how many well-respected vineyards plant their vines to minimize turns with the equipment, plant the vines oriented to maximize the sun exposure to the grapes, and then yes, harvest with machines.

      Wasn't worth the pixels it was printed with -- and that's pretty much the consensus of the discussion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sunshine842

        Not to mention, as I posted elsewhere, that a grapevine is the backbone of the whole operation and, with a 3-year lead time before new plants can bear fruit, they're treated with great care by the grower so any mechanical processes are going to be delicate. Trying to reimagine the Charles Shaw harvesting and winemaking process as some horrific mechanized anomaly is pretty misguided. It's definitely not getting the same level of attention as other wineries may give, but it's failings are in its ordinariness, not in any Frankenstein's-lab methodologies.

      2. I was on a recent road trip to Las Vegas and popped into Trader Joes as we don't have them where I live. I picked up my very first case of Chuck - Shiraz. My first impression was "this is nasty - I'm going to have to throw it away". However, after a while it tasted better. Subsequent bottles didn't give me that bad first impression. Is it great? No! Is it OK? Yes, it's drinkable. I still vastly prefer my slightly more expensive Bota Box Old Vines zinfandel.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kagemusha49

          It really is a luck of the draw proposition. Sometimes it's fine, other times it's tinted rubbing alcohol. I don't get it very often but it's obviously enormously popular.

          1. re: kagemusha49

            it is definitely a candidate for decanting and/or breathing for a while before drinking.

            1. re: hill food

              You can decant violently (literally turn the bottle upside-down over a decanter) or pour it back and forth between the two.

              Or the other golden rule if it's plonk: chill swill.

              Put that bad dog in the fridge -- and use it for sangria. Between the fruit and the cold, it'll be great! :)