This list always depresses me slightly. For the most part it reads like a who’s-who of generic tasting juice (obviously), but on the other-hand if you look at a similar list of the top 30 restaurants in the country, you’re going to be greeted with the same level of mediocrity. Right?
To expect individualism on a list of this sort is not to be expected, since all of these wines are over 100,000 cases in production.
Now, on the other-hand; if these brands were charging $15 a bottle, that would REALLY give me a reason to be depressed. But they’re not. Out of the top 30 wines on the list, 15 of them retail for under $8. That’s INSANE! The fact that wineries can even manage to produce a wine for that kind of a margin blows my mind, when you consider not only production, but the huge marketing $’s these wineries throw at these brands. Generic as they might be, I can only imagine the bar on this list has been considerably raised, when compared to as little as 10 years ago!
Here’s the breakdown of the 2011 list:
– Cupcake remains at #1 (same as last year)
– Barefoot is up to #2 from #3
– Apothic (Gallo) is new on the list at #3
– Californian wines represents 25 of the top 30 brands.
– Gallo owns 7 of the top 30 brands.
– 15 of the top 30 retail for $8+.
– 15 of the top 30 retail for under $8.
– The average price of wines in the top 30 was slightly down from 2010.
– Apothic, 14 Hands, Fish Eye, and The Naked Grape are all newcomers to the 2011 list.