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The Elitist and a Bottle of Chuck’s


The Elitist and a Bottle of Chuck’s

We, my guy and I, had dinner with this couple a few months ago. Acquaintances more than deep social friends, but it was a nice evening. We met at a restaurant and decided to order a bottle of wine.

My guy and I are pretty easy to please. We enjoy a nice cab or Malbec, but our palates are not so refined that we require only the most elite wine on the menu.

After much discussion, they chose a bottle of Cabernet. I’m not a connoisseur of much, but I, generally, know what I like or don’t. I don’t know what they finally chose. In the world of wine, it wasn’t that expensive, maybe, $50.

The bottle arrived. There was much swirling, sniffing, and sipping before approval was given for the rest of us to be served.

It was nice. It tasted like . . . wine.

The conversation, then, settled on different wines– their prices, country of origin, and our preferences. Our dinner friends had evidently experienced some exceptional wines in their time and– quite loftily– knew a great deal about wines in general.

I, on the other hand, know wine comes from grapes. That’s not to say, I haven’t had some mighty fine wines in the past. Expensive wines. Wines that were probably wasted on my pathetic palate.

But, regardless, who spends $100 for a bottle of cab to drink with pot roast or hamburgers? Okay. Rich people. Or maybe, less-than-smart people. 

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I’ve bought box wine that tasted just as good as a $30 bottle. The Malbec you see above and below are both quite good.


I’ve bought a few– which I’ll never buy again– that tasted like vinegar.

I’ve bought Two Buck Chuck, by Charles Shaw, at Trader Joe’s. There are various stories of how this wine came to be, but for an every day wine, it’s not bad. It no longer costs $2. The last time I was there, it was $3. It’s an okay wine, certainly worth more than $3. It’s biggest problem, to me, is inconsistency. I’m told that Chucky buys batches of grape juice to make their wine, so quality varies from one shipment to the next.



I mentioned this wine to our wine aristocrats at dinner. My guy, the ever loving man that he is, supported my comments. The aristocrats had never heard of Chucky. Of course.



The thing is this . . . yes, there are differences in quality and genuine differences deserve compensation, but, somehow, it seems to be an epidemic of superiority. Bottled water has become superior to other water. There’s artisanal water. Artisanal bread, or cheese, or entire restaurants. There you can eat artisanal oysters for $3.50 each. Do you know what artisanal means? Made by a manual laborer. Ah, the power of self-deception.

We’ve become saturated with over-priced crap that’s really not better in quality that regular-priced crap.

Don’t think I’m cheap. I just like what I buy to live up to it’s promises. Very little does.

We have a coffee pot that makes outstanding coffee. I researched coffee pots. I learned that for a good cup of coffee the water has to reach a certain temperature (195-205 degrees) and stay there for a certain period of time to allow the water to flow through the filter for a certain period of time (5-6 minutes). I found $800 coffee pots. I found $30 pots. The one with the best rating cost $150. We’ve used it six months and it does, indeed, make great coffee.

It was a brand I’d never heard of, but this is what it looks like and you can find one HERE





After dinner, we all walked to our cars in the parking lot. My guy and I happened to have dropped in Trader Joe’s before dinner. He pulled a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from the trunk and offered it to the husband. His wife looked on and said, ‘Oh, honey, we had that the other night at the Smith’s. It was really good. Remember?’

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