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Chuck or Swirl? Whole Food’s Answer to Two-Buck-Chuck

Move over Trader Joe’s, make room for the Whole Foods version of the super-cheap two-buck-chuck. Priced less than a can a spam, the Whole Foods campaign, “chuck the chuck” offers a brand called Three Wishes in three varietals. The line promises “ridiculously delicious” wines at $2.99, giving value-conscious consumers an alternative to TJ’s popular Charles Shaw Two-Buck-Chuck. We found a panel of tasters who might have a knack for qualifying these wines.

Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my chuck!

The question at hand—could switching to Three Wishes really save you 15% or more on your taste buds? And how much chuck could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck 2$chuck? We recently surprised a pride of woodchucks as they were pulling corks with reckless abandonment (we forgot and left a window open) and for some reason they thought they would get three wishes if they opened and drank the bottles. Who knew woodchucks had evolved to reading and drinking wine, but hey, bears drink beer and monkeys can read, so it was only a matter of time before woodchucks figured out how to use a corkscrew.

California Chardonnay
Unoaked, simple, straightforward pineapple flavored chardonnay with a tinge of sweetness on the finish. On a hot day, this could disappear fast and I am sure the folks at Whole Foods would like nothing better.  Swirl it.

California Merlot
This is the Kool-Aid of Merlot. Light and bright strawberry, cherry and grape flavors with a slightly sweet cigar-box finish. Resembles a Pinot noir more than a merlot. Chuck it. Your tastebuds will appreciate it.

California Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweet and syrupy, almost resembling the likes of a Ludens cough drop with a splash of Welch’s grape juice. That is if Ludens made a cherry cough drop “lite” and I do not recommend cooking with it unless your want a dish with lite flavor. Chuck it.

The bottom line: What do you expect for $3 bucks?

**No woodchucks were harmed during the chucking, nor were they allowed to get intoxicated.  They were held to a strict two-glass limit, and only one woodchuck wanted more than one glass anyway.

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This post was written by the Enobytes staff. Our mission is to promote an exchange of ideas that benefit professionals and enthusiasts alike. We consider our publication an alternative source to mainstream wine periodicals with an emphasis on bridging the gap between consumers and wine industry professionals. Eat Well. Drink Well. Live Well!

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25 Responses to “Chuck or Swirl? Whole Food’s Answer to Two-Buck-Chuck”

  1. Presumably at this price they won’t be exporting it (to us in England, for example).

    Shame. One always needs a benchmark…

  2. n barham says:

    WF is suppose to be a natural market place, but these wines sound little like natural wines, with their recent push to lower organic standards for wine in California, I just wonder how much are their customers being ripped off by their food? Is it real or is it like these wines foods contrived to be something that they never were.

    They should be seeking out and offering REAL wines from around the world not trying to match trader’s joes.

  3. Michele says:

    LOL! I sprayed my coffee all over my computer screen reading this!

  4. Robbie says:

    Maybe woodchucks could replace wine reviewers all together? They seem like they know what they are doing ROFLOL

  5. Beau C. says:

    So basically, this stuff sucks just as bad as Charles Shaw. I’ve had the Shaw over the past few vintages and every time, it’s consistently crappy wine, was hoping for more from Whole Paycheck..er..Whole Foods.

  6. You’d think that a store like Whole Foods, known as much for their prices right now as their offerings, could offer more interesting and well made wines to their consumers.

    That being said, nice to see $2 Chuck get some competition. Doesn’t sound like the Cab is going to be competitive though as no California Cab should be reminding anyone of cough syrup.

    Any word on who is making these and in what quantities?

  7. enobytes says:

    be happy it’s not on a boat heading your way Sediment :)

  8. enobytes says:

    n barham, you bring up really interesting points. I hadn’t thought about the organic standpoint and how this might tie into the wines that they sell. And I agree with you – offering wines from around the world would be much more interesting than to mimic the likes of CH. Thanks for the comment. ~Pamela

  9. enobytes says:

    Michele – can I get you a tissue? :)

  10. enobytes says:

    Hey Mark, I agree with you 100%.

    The bottle doesn’t give the consumer much information except that the grapes were grown in Livermore and Ripon. The later – also home to (drum roll) Franzia. I couldn’t find information about production size, but WF had a wall of three wishes stacked a mile high similar to what the TJ stores do…

  11. enobytes says:

    Beau – my thoughts exactly!

  12. enobytes says:

    Robbie: woodchcuks would probably make good wine reviewers. They could use the Tasty Notes Generator to crank out reviews.

  13. JL says:

    This wine sounds like its made by the Wine Group being from Ripon/Livermore. They make many low-end wines for retailers including Wal-Mart (Oak Tree or Oak something)which sells for $1.97 in California. Bronco is located in Ceres and Chuck is bottled in Napa and Sonoma.

  14. Carol says:

    JL – Walmart, wow. Interesting.
    I’m completely shocked WF would follow this trend and sell such substandard wine. I’m a little disappointed.

  15. George says:

    Blame it on the economy. WHole Foods is probably just looking for ways to help the consumer cut costs and save money. Can you blame them?

  16. grapemaster says:

    the wine will leave you with a headache thus boosting sales of whole foods’ all natural cures.

  17. Jim says:

    They once again missed the boat on quality wines! Whole Foods should be embarassed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Christine Collier says:

    I thought sustainability and organics would be a priority for Whole Foods- even if it required a higher price tag.

    Doesn’t matter what your ideals are, mass selling wins all.

  19. enobytes says:

    Christine – looks like they threw the baby out with the bath water on this one…

  20. enobytes says:

    grapemaster – what a genius concept :) ~Pamela

  21. enobytes says:

    Jim, agreed. I’m wondering how long they will carry the wine before consumers start rioting :) or as George pointed out, maybe they are simply looking for ways help some of their customers cut corners. But to be honest, I don’t think WF customers would enjoy this wine. ~Pamela

  22. Donn says:

    WF has had a long history in Calif. of having a wine dept. that was the opposite of the rest of the store. Cheap wine. Lots of cheap wine. Now, to be sure, they also carry the standard selection of nice stuff, but they have had big displays and stacks and stacks of lots of cheap wines from the biggest mass producers around the world. Big Euro coops, big Aussie negociant – house labels. Why the big difference from the rest of the store depts? Maybe, by the time the WF shopper has loaded up on the rest of the store, they don’t have much $ left for a lot of fine wine. But the stock price of WF is a winner.

  23. Enobytes says:

    Grapemaster while my partner already weighed in on this subject I really think you are on to something here. Most of the WF clientele would only return there to buy the most redolent satisfying organic and holistic of remedies that probably brings in a whopping 65% profit so to offset the wine at only 17-21% PROFIT it is a brilliant move. However I would ask the woodchucks if you were really looking for a natural remedy. Seems they have evolved a lot quicker than anyone has realized. Whats next are the woodchucks going to ask to vote, can they join the military or despite the controversy will we allow them when they want to get married? ~Marc

  24. There are special banquets to pair foods with wines where the people who make the wine select dishes to complement the flavor. Some of the food-wine pairings are just plain awful…and they are chosen by people who definitely know a lot about wine!

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