Wine is fine: Three Buck Chuck International Chardonnay 2008

23 Nov


It'll get you drunk.


One of the hardest things about moving to Fitchburg is not living within walking distance of Trader Joe’s anymore.  I was recently at Barriques Wine Cave for some wine training and couldn’t help making a stop at TJ’s before I headed home.  Now I don’t really need to espouse the phenomenon that is Charles Shaw wine.  Depending where it is you call home, you may know it as Two-, Three-, or Four-Buck Chuck.  Here in Madison, it’s Three Buck, and aside from a wine called Tisdale that I found at Woodman’s that matches it, is just about the cheapest you can get for wine made from actual grapes in a corked bottle.  Before my foray into the world of wine, Chuck was generally only found in my home as a cooking aid, but now that I’m a burgeoning oenophile on a budget, I’m always on the lookout for bang-for-your-buck grape drink.

Wine: Charles Shaw International Chardonnay 2008

Origin: South Eastern Australia, Bottled in Napa, CA

Vitals: 12.5% abv, $3 a bottle

My take: Pours a pale straw color.  Nose is vibrant with bright with notes of tropical fruits – banana and pineapple come to the front – with a light lemongrass back end.  Tropical fruits continue through to the palate where the overall impression is “pina colada” and citrus.  Mouthfeel is full and lingering, with a robust acidity cutting through to keep it drinkable and a hint of butter in the finish. I’m doubting this is oaked (from a quantity, efficiency and price-point perspective), but I could be wrong.  Certainly much more tropical and funky than the more traditional chardonnays I have had, though I’m not sure whether that may owe to its Aussie roots or its quick and dirty production.  Either way, this is a fun and flavorful, if not refined wine that is certainly worth its asking price.  It’s $3, folks.  It doesn’t taste like nail polish remover.  That’s saying a lot.


2 Responses to “Wine is fine: Three Buck Chuck International Chardonnay 2008”

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