With the death of investment banking and the collapse of the housing market, Americans have had to be that much smarter when it comes to spending their precious few remaining almighty dollars; even when it comes to wine the bottom line has become more about cost than, well, anything else.
As a wine newbie myself I was pretty static in my wine selections, sticking with $9-$12 Shiraz like McWilliams and Woop Woop, as my ventures into the less expensive wine arena (Charles Shaw, Yellow Tail, etc.) were disappointing across the board.
Who has been my financial savior in 2009, saving me from death by 2-buck Chuck and cubed-wine? Walmart! Ah, the Evil Empire of Arkansas is sly and clever, and knowing no one would buy Walmart Wine they cleverly manifested the Oak Leaf Vineyard line of inexpensive wines, the only catch being that Oak Leaf Vineyard doesn’t actually exist as it’s really The Wine Group and Oak Leaf Vineyards serves as merely a marketing/label storefront. Diabolical, I love it!
Regarding the Oak Leaf Vineyard wines, the Shiraz and Chardonnay are both quite pleasant and one would normally have to spend 3x as much (read: $9) for an equivalent value, and the other offerings (PinotG, Cab, Merlot) are certainly serviceable for the price point. My point here is simply this: at $2.97 the value proposition is saving 3x+ on what you throw into your cart when shopping at your local grocery store or Target, so stop doing it! If you’re like my household and consume 4 bottles of wine per week (be honest with yourselves now), the value proposition translates to $12 (4 bottles of Oak Leaf) * 52 (weeks) = $624 vs. $40 (bottles of $10 so-so wine) * 52 (weeks) = $2080, the difference being we are now on track to spend $1456 less per year in household wine, which is a bottom line I can live with.