Better Than Two Buck Chuck!
When I saw a bottle of Sobon Estate Zin from Amador County in California, I thought, wow, I haven't seen that since I was in Amador County several years ago, so I picked up a bottle of the 2005 Old Vines Zin at the PCC for around $13. Now the last time I tasted a Sobon Estates Zin it was a Reserve. My expectations were high, perhaps too high. The wine was medium bodied with good black fruit flavors, but it had a "hole in the middle," kinda like Alice falling through a donut hole. The wine was good, better than Two Buck Chuck, but not exciting, big and complex like the reserve. This wine works, but you can get a similar Zin for a lot less, especially at Trader Joe's.
I hadn't tasted Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon in years. On a recent flight I was offered 2005 Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon, which usual comes in a jug, but came in a teeny weeny bottle (about six ounces, 187 grams?) on the plane. It was light, easy factory wine, but with good cherry flavors. Proof that "factory wine" has improved over the years and even though it doesn't have a cork, it gives Two Buck Chuck a run for the money, that is, if you buy it at Costco or a supermarket and not on a plane.