With wine, you get what you pay for

Last month my sister, a wine enthusiast, was visiting from Canada. We happened to be shopping at Trader Joe's when suddenly there was a "Charles Shaw" rush. Employees could not truck in the stuff fast enough for the throng of people loading multiple cases into their shopping carts.

My sister could not believe the wine was selling for $1.99 a bottle, and asked one of the throng if she had tried the wine. "Oh yes," she said with great enthusiasm, "the Merlot is excellent!" We could not resist buying at least one bottle each of the Cab, Merlot and Chardonnay to try.

We got home and tried some immediately, thinking we might have to rush back and buy more. We stayed put. How your tasters could rate this Merlot a "4" (decent house wine) is beyond me ("Taking $5 Wine Seriously," Jan. 9).

I do feel that the tasters' clever comments revealed the truth: There are very few palatable wines under $5.

Lisa Sutton


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