Monday, September 26, 2011

What's better than 2-buck Chuck?

94 cent wine!

What is two buck chuck, aka dollar ninety nine wine, aka Charles Shaw?  It's one of the house wines from one of my favorite grocery store chains in the States (mostly found in So California), Trader Joe's.  A few years ago they launched a pretty decent wine for $1.99 by Charles Shaw.  It must be some nom-de-plume for some overstock batches from some vineyard that doesn't want to go on record with their name on the bottle.  Anywhoo - it's ok for a wine cooler, or maybe cooking, or maybe drinking while cooking... or non-serious drinking... it's ok - but you wouldn't take it as a hostess gift at a dinner party.

In years past, Barcelona neighborhoods had little shops that used to sell barrel-wine "a granel".  It was the cheap abundant wine of the season... and you could bring your own bottle, and (re)fill it up.

Times have changed.  You no longer find these dark little wine shops, as they have mostly been replaced by fancier places.  But down in the neighborhood of El Born, there's this little grocery store called "De Tot al Born", and they still sell bulk wine.

these barrels are above the refrigerator case of fresh veggies
 They have a few varieties - and you can choose "tinto o blanco", red or white.  I didn't know they had moscatel - i love me some sweet wine... maybe next time.

sorry for the blurry picture - i'm trying to take a picture with my iphone whilst balancing my just-filled bottle of white (in the foreground).
As you can see there's a nice menu... and after i finish this wine, I'll bring the emptied (and cleaned bottle) back down to try another variety.  This little grocery store also sells good bottle wine - down in the cellar.  But why pay 6 to 10 euros for wine that's ok - when you can have 94 cent wine that's ok?  Especially when you're on a budget. 

Theoretically, it was a great buy... however I don't live too close to El Born.  I still had a 20 minute walk back to Plaza Catalunya to get to my train.  Did I get strange looks as I wound my way down the streets carrying a bottle out in the open, as I didn't have a bag?  Yep.  And I answered them with a sheepish grin.


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