There’s been a lot of buzz about "Two buck Chuck," the Charles Shaw wine that Trader Joe’s sells for $2.99. A lot of folks think it’s a great value.
If you like it, that’s great, but it doesn’t agree with my palate. I call it Two Buck Yuck, which is admittedly more pleasant than another name I recently heard: "Two Buck Upchuck."
Jock Wulffson, owner of Village Wine Cellar in Scottsdale, said, "You can’t get good wine for two or three bucks, but you can get really great wine for 10 bucks or less."
In response, he’s holding a Ten Buck Jock wine tasting 5 p.m. Friday at his store, 8877 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. It’s free, as are his tastings every Wednesday and Friday. Here are some other good bets:
• Vincent’s on Camelback, 3930 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, will feature eight wine dinners and a champagne and dessert wine tasting this spring. All events begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception with a winemaker or representative, followed by a sit-down dinner at 7:15 p.m. All dinners are $85 except the champagne event, which is $55, and the Penfolds dinner, which is $100.
The schedule is as follows: Today, Wattle Creek Winery, Sonoma County, with owner Christopher Williams; April 16, Hogue Cellars, Washington State, with president and co-founder Gary Hogue; April 25, wines from Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto and Lazio (Rome) with Bill Rumbolz, Winebow Imports (all wines have been rated at 90 or better by The Wine Advocate); April 30, Longoria Winery, Santa Barbara County, with owner/winemaker Rick Longoria; May 7, Vine Cliff Winery, Napa Valley, with national sales manager John Schulz’, May 14, Burgundy and Rhone Valley wines with importer Matt Licklider; May 22, Bordeaux with salesperson Wendy Lamer of Southern Wine & Spirits; May 29, Penfolds Winery, Australia, with salesperson Kim Manda. Call (602) 224-0225.
• Sapporo, 14344 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, will offer a four-course wine pairing dinner 6:30 p.m. April 30 hosted by Doug Simon of Henry Wine Group. $70. Call Epicurean Wine Services for reservations at (480) 998-7800; see www.epicureanwine.com for menu.
• My Wine Cellar in March re-opened in a new location, 5030 E. Warner Road, Phoenix, just a block east of its old place. Highlights include: A bigger wine bar, Riedel glasses, wine flights and the addition of Lucy’s Cafe, serving sandwiches, salads and wraps. My WineCellar also has ongoing tastings and classes. At 6 p.m. Friday, Carolyn Wente from Wente Winery will visit and sign bottles. (480) 598-9463 or www.my-wine-cellar.com.
• House Wines and Cheese, 7001 N. Scottsdale Road, No. 141, Scottsdale, is starting to feature music on the patio 7 to 8:30 p.m. on weekend nights. This Friday and Saturday: Los Banditos; April 18: John Knowlton. Other events: April 19 will feature a fashion show in conjunction with boutique Starlette O’Hara; $10 includes music, hors d’oeuvres and drink specials; music starts at 7 p.m., fashion show at 8 p.m. Tastings are held every Thursday; $10. (480) 922-3470.
• Wine Merchant, 4142 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, has tastings every Friday; includes five or six wines and appetizers. Friday: Crystal Valley, a project winery of Mitch Cosentino; April 18: New California wines. $12. (480) 706-9885 or see www.onlinewine merchant.com.
• Epicurean Wine Services, 7101 E. Thunderbird Road, Suite 101, Scottsdale, is holding a big cabernet sauvignon tasting 6:30 p.m. April 16 including Clos Pegase, Silverado, Fisher Family and more; $15. Seating is limited. See www.epicureanwine.com for more events. (480) 998-7800.