Wine snobs all over the country are still fuming over a blind tasting in which Charles Shaw's 2005 Chardonnay was voted the best tasting California Chardonnay by the judges at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. You may have heard this already, but so many people have been asking me about it that I couldn't let it go unnoticed! The shocking results were leaked on June 28th and declared "Two Buck Chuck" - as the wine is affectionately called due to its $1.99 price tag - the highest scoring white wine. The official verdict shows that 64 judges awarded "Two Buck Chuck" the prestigious Double Gold award, placing it first over 350 other Chardonnays, and in the top of the entire pack of 3,029 wines.
There are those who feel that the results should not be taken into account as the judges are not true, trained wine professionals.
The California State Fair competition is dismissed by some critics as representing broad-based consumer tastes rather than the palates of true wine connoisseurs.
Whether the outcome will be taken seriously or not, one thing can be certain, thousands of cases of this Chardonnay will be purchased. To be a part of the hype head to your local Trader Joe's and taste for yourself. At just $1.99 a bottle, you can buy one for all of your friends!
We all have a favorite wine. Some of us have a favorite white and a favorite red. By special request from a dear friend, I am going to quiz you on two very poplar varieties (her favorites): Chardonnay vs. Pinot Noir. I want to know which variety of wine you think has more calories.
Last weekend, I headed over to 'wichcraft (Tom Colicchio's casual sandwich spot) for a tasty fried egg sandwich (which was yummy, if not a bit too heavy on the frisée). I was originally going to grab a nice refreshing bottle of water to accompany my meal when out of the corner of my eye I spotted this lovely little soda bottle. Upon inspection I saw that it was called Vignette Wine Country Soda, and well, I can't explain it, but just looking at it made my mouth start drooling like one of Pavlov's dogs.
So naturally, I put down the bottle of water and grabbed a bottle of the Chardonnay flavored soda instead. Now I assumed it would be a refreshing addition to my lunch, but I was not expecting it to be as delicious as it was. It was a crisp, bubbly kick in the tastebuds - not too sweet and with a subtle fruit flavor. I only wish all Chardonnay could taste this nice.
Also, while I was at the Fancy Food Show I had the opportunity to talk to founder Patrick Galvin. He let me know that Vignette is the first carbonated soft drink completely sweetened with the juice from Californian varietal wine grapes and is completely natural. While there, I took a taste test of the Pinot Noir flavor. Although it was also tasty, it just didn't seem to have the crisp, freshness that the Chardonnay had. But then again, regular Pinot doesn't really have the same crispness as real Chardonnay either.
Order yourself a bottle at Hello Delicious, but be warned, it's $4 a bottle. I'd like to say it's worth the price (it is delicious), but I'm pretty cheap and know that I purchased it for much less than that. Unfortunately it's slowly rolling out into stores, so unless you live near a store that carries Vignette, you'll have to pony up and pay the price.
January 26 UPDATE: Patrick Galvin just informed me that the price is now back to $2.50 a bottle at Hello Delicious. Now that's a price I can handle.
He also wanted to let me know that at the show, the "preference for the Chardonnay or Pinot Noir has consistently been split 50/50."