While Three Wishes Wine from Whole Foods may not be the best wine in all of the land, for around 3 bucks and 12.5% alcohol by volume, you’re not only getting your moneys worth, you’re getting a not too shabby buzz to boot.
Trader Joe’s — who we write about relatively frequently as a great budget wine shop — was dominating the value wine market with its surprisingly tasty store-branded wines available under $5. Whole Foods recognized this and realized they needed to compete in some capacity.
Enter Three Wishes Wine in 2010, Whole Foods’ store brand that undoubtedly plays off of the price point of their wine.
Ironically enough, the cheap wine that was and still is so successful at Trader Joe’s, is produced by the same company that now makes Whole Foods private label Three Wishes wine. Yes, you heard that correctly. Charles Shaw, known globally as one of the largest value wine producers, crafts the now famous “Two-Buck Chuck” available at Trader Joe’s. Charles Shaw now also produces Three Wishes wine for Whole Foods.
Three Wishes Wine Grape Varieties
So what grape varieties does Three Wishes come in? Currently, you can snag bottles of:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Grigio (Newest)
I’m not here to try to sell you on cheap wine. Cheap wine has a habit of doing that for itself. Instead, I just want to give my honest assessment and opinion of what I believe to be a great value for the price.
Out of the three grape varieties we mention above, there’s no doubt that my favorite is the Cabernet Sauvignon. Why? Well, the grape itself typically produces more full-bodied and tannic wines. But that doesn’t mean the Three Wishes Cabernet is full-bodied and tannic, it just has a leg up over the Merlot. In fact, it’s light-medium bodied.
Three Wishes wine grapes are sourced primarily from two regions that we know of within California. They include Livermore and Ripon — two relatively inland regions in Central California, almost directly East of San Francisco. Sourcing grapes from these lesser quality regions is automatically going to cut costs, as opposed to buying them from Napa or Sonoma, for instance.
Since these wines are produced in a bulk-fashion, not much finessing is utilized during the growing, harvesting, or vinification process. Mechanized harvesting is utilized, cutting back on labor costs. Grapes and or grape juice is sourced from multiple vineyard locations and fermented, cutting back further on production cost. These wines are then aged for very short periods of time before they’re bottled, which again makes them cheaper to concoct. Lastly, Whole Foods doesn’t own Charles Shaw (Three Wishes Vineyards), they just sling the wine under their label, so there’s really no maintenance or overhead costs associated with the production process.
Three Wishes Tasting Notes
All of that being said, don’t expect a 3 dimensional wine. Instead, expect a very drinkable wine for the price.
The Chardonnay was not my favorite. It was unbalanced, a bit acidic and lacked any discernible stone, tropical or citrus fruit flavors that I so love in a Chard. The fruit flavors seemed muted.
Both the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon offer a better tasting experience, though I would push you more towards the Cabernet which maintains a bit of a bigger body with some refreshing black cherry, raspberry and soft vanilla tones over a short-medium finish.
Three Wishes wines make for great party or table wines. Or if you’re balling on a budget, you can pick up half a case of these bad-boys for under $20, what? In short, if you’re just looking to get drunk by drinking a palatable wine, I can’t really think of a better choice.
Food Pairing Three Wishes Wines
Both the Merlot and Cabernet make for ideal lean red meat choices. Consider char-grilled Bison or 90/10 Beef Hamburgers. Given the lighter-body in these wines, you could just as easily have food pairing success with barbecue chicken wings, turkey burgers or even teriyaki salmon.
If you’re drinking the Chardonnay, which I recommend you avoid, you’re really going to need to leverage the citrus and or salty aspects present in whatever dish you decide to pair it with. That’s because these elements help to bring out more flavor in the wine. Char-grilled lemon braised Swordfish filets or Cilantro-lime Mahi Mahi tacos in Mango-poblano sauce will help you out in this regard.