Having recently tasted and posted about a Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw white, I thought I’d grab a bottle from the Three Wishes line of wines at Whole Foods – priced suspiciously toe-to-toe with the TJ wines. This is a Chardonnay and the Chuck was a Pinot Grigio. Not the same thing at all. So this can’t be considered a comparison.
Winemaker: Three Wishes (by Concannon for Whole Foods)
Price: $3.29 at Whole Foods
Notes: The color of this inexpensive Chardonnay was – big surprise – yellow. The hue did seem to have more “color value” than most Chardonnays I’ve seen. Well, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be throwing around terms like that. I’m certainly no graphic artist, but I’ve heard them talking about Pantone color, hue, color value, etc. at work. I can’t give you an exact PMS (Pantone Matching System) number for it. Let’s just say it was colorful and cheery to look at. On the nose I caught scents of citrus, honey, white pepper and hints of wildflowers. The body was in the medium range with a bit of a coat-the-tongue feel to it. I thought the acidity was a little low, and the alcohol was at 12.5%. I usually prefer Chardonnays a little drier. On the tongue, I tasted some citrus, oak, honey, white pepper, and green herbs with floral notes. Overall, this wasn’t a terrible cheap white. It wasn’t offensive. Even so, I think it could definitely use some tweaking to get the balance of flavors, acidity and sweetness in sync. But again, it’s $3.29 a bottle. While I wouldn’t personally serve this at a dinner party, you may like it well enough to use it as your house white.
First, let me say that the Three Wishes selections provided a mystery from the outset. Now, I love a mystery. When I read books for personal entertainment, that’s the genre I gravitate toward. The mystery in question here was, “Who makes the line of Three Wishes wines for Whole Foods?” Queries on all the major internet search engines turned up nothing about the winery, until …. I found that Three Wishes Vineyards shares the exact same address as Concannon Vineyards in Livermore, CA. Ta da!
Winemaker: Three Wishes Vineyards (by Concannon? for Whole Foods)
Price: $3.29 at Whole Foods
Notes: Starting with the appellation “America,” I listed it that way because there is no indication of grape source other than the words “American Merlot” on the back label of this wine. In the glass this inexpensive Merlot was a medium garnet color. It definitely had that brownish tinge around the edges like a garnet has. On the nose I got very faint scents of berries, pepper, and a musty earthiness. On the palate it was pretty thin. By that I mean that it was extremely light-bodied, and the flavors weren’t very intense. After it breathed awhile, the flavors I found were cherry with raspberry notes, some slight hints of pepper and spice, and a cream of tartar zip of … tartness. At 12.5% alcohol there is a bit of sweetness there to offset the tartness, but it isn’t a sweet wine in the main. There were no tannins to speak of, and acidity was good. Overall, I didn’t think this was a great wine. Of course, at $3.29 a bottle I wasn’t expecting it to be a blockbuster. It isn’t a typical Merlot – it’s lighter and a bit more tart that most. But it’s entirely drinkable. Actually, I feel this wine is the perfect candidate for Sangria. So grab several bottles! Get some fruit, etc. and enjoy it at your next patio party. If you don’t have a Sangria Recipe, the one at this link looks pretty great.
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.