Trader Joe’s & Away She Goes

Too funny… Everybody’s having a hey-day with Two Buck Chuck. Good Grape, Uncorked, Vinography, et al.

Several things going on here, that are really important considerations.

1) Double gold means every s-i-n-g-l-e judge gave the wine a gold medal… Every single one of them at many wine competitions… In the case of the California State Fair, as pointed out by Jeff (Good Grape blog) on Alder Yarrow’s Vinogrpahy blog, the wine had to receive a 98 score at the California State Fair to be judged a Double Gold.

2) I have to thank Dan Berger for bringing me (gratis) to his Riverside International Wine Competition, so I could see how they work… And they work, and work, and work… Near exhaustion. So, I can’t ever think of them as Willy-Nilly again… Which I never did, anyway.

3) It’s easy to not understand how important third party endorsements are, until you’re up against the wall as a sales rep, with a wine buyer who’s NOT willing to taste your wine (amongst the thousands being offered); not because s/he’s insecure about his or her palate, but just because s/he wants to know what company s/he’s keeping. When you have to jump through those hurdles, you’ll take your licks from anyone giving them away. Hurray for wine competitions… They offer talking points. If we only wait for Mr. Parker or Mr. Laube to bless a wine, that may never happen. There are those in the business of wine who need to hear what others have to say. Wine doesn’t always sell on its own. If every wine buyer was secure about his/her own palate, none of this would be necessary… But there you go. Pandora’s out of the box.

4) A group think; that’s what happens at a Wine Competition. Would you prefer that the judges fixed their scores, addressing their own credibility and integrity by fixing their results? Hum…. If they had, this wouldn’t even be a discussion.

What the heck… Let the chips fall where they may. I know what works on my palate, and don’t wait around for a third party endorsement… But, there are those who do, and the check-out guy at Traders Joe’s on Sunday told me that the extra floor stack (when I asked him if he had heard about the double gold) said, “Yeah, it’s flying outta here, and it’s being bought by people who’d never buy the wine!”

Consumers buying Two Buck Chuck will be the ultimate judges.

The upside? Lots of bulk wine is being sold through, making better wine rise to the top. Cream always rises to the top, n’est-ce pas?

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