Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sea Ridge White Zinfandel 2006 – California

We never know what to expect from a $5 wine (which is probably why we seldom buy them). We just bought this blind, because we actually like white Zins (if they’re not syrupy sweet); and because we just sometimes try something for no particular reason. Poured into the glass, this has a peach/pink color – sort of like the old, original “flesh”-colored Crayons. The nose is quite light, with hints of peach, apricot, and strawberry. The tastes are quite nice with peach, papaya, and a touch of strawberry. This is pleasant, light, with a slight acidity that keeps it from being KoolAid. Yes/Maybe (at the price). Still, we doubt we’ll go out of our way to buy this again. $5 retail ($4.50 on sale).

BACKGROUND NOTE: From everything we can find, Sea Ridge was an independent winery on the California coast in the 1980s and early ’90s. It seems it’s now a label of Bronco, and sold in Safeway stores. Bronco also makes the (in)famous “Two Buck Chuck” (aka Two Buck Junk).

A 2004 Wine Business magazine article says: “[Fred Franzia, owner of Bronco and creator of Two-Buck] also seems mystified that more groceries don’t emulate Trader Joe’s. ‘How can any major grocery chain not have a wine that competes with Two Buck Chuck?,’ he asked. He said that Bronco’s Sea Ridge brand, which is sold in Safeway for $4.50, sells for about the same at wholesale as [Two Buck Chuck], so Safeway could sell the wine for $2 and still make a profit.”

The implication being that Two Buck Junk sells for about $1 wholesale. As does, apparently, this Sea Ridge White Zin. Draw your own conclusions.