Friday, June 29, 2007

98 Points??? Double Gold??? Two-Buck Chuck Chard WIns Big

So, OK, Two-Buck Chuck is not boxed wine, but I'm going to include this item here because I have had so many conversations about Two-Buck Chuck vs premium boxed wines. I must admit, I am stunned. The California State Fair Wine Competition judged the Charles Shaw 2005 California Chardonnay best best of class. This was on yesterday's Business Wire. The news is apparently so fresh that the results are not even up on the State Fair website yet. Here's a segment of the article.
$1.99 Chardonnay Judged California’s Best

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California’s wine world turned upside down – pricewise – today when the Charles Shaw 2005 California Chardonnay (yes, the $1.99 “Two-Buck Chuck” made by Bronco Wine Company and sold through Trader Joe’s) was judged the Best Chardonnay from California at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

G.M. Pucilowski, Chief Judge and director of the competition, said, “Since we judge all wines totally by variety, without different brackets for price, this double-gold achievement by the Bronco winemakers is astounding.” While the complete results are to be announced July 12, Renata Franzia of Bronco’s Franzia family received the news today and the word is spreading. The Chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, and the accolades of Best of California and Best of Class.

Dr. Richard Peterson, veteran winemaker and a State Fair judge for 20 years, said, “We have the most open judging I know. There is nothing to bias the judging: we get numbered glasses; we don’t know region, brand or price; we evaluate the judges frequently to make sure they’re tops in the field. Charles Shaw won because it is a fresh, fruity, well-balanced Chardonnay that people and judges, though maybe not wine critics, will like!”

$1.99 Chardonnay Judged California's Best

Three Liter Box Wine Volume Up 44 Percent in US

From the Orlando Sentinel
Cheers! Outside-the-box drinking
The Associated Press
June 27, 2007

Box wine is now the fastest-growing wine category. According to data from AC Nielsen, 3-liter box wine volume grew 44 percent in the past year, compared to a 3 percent gain in overall table-wine volume.

Although wine has been packaged in a box for some time, the new boxes aren't like those 5-liter jugs of sweet, headache-inducing wines of the past. Although those are still readily available, there are now premium varieties that show more complexity. Of course, premium box wines are more pricey. A chardonnay can run $20 a box that has the equivalent of four bottles, whereas lower-quality 5-liter boxes range from $6 to $10 for more than six bottles of wine. Premium boxes are still a steal, however, since a quality bottle of wine easily can cost $10-$30 or more.

Cheers! Outside-the-box drinking --