I have a strong aversion to shopping, especially at over-crowded mega stores like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.  There should be some type of city ordinance which limits the number of people in these stores at any one time.  I’m certain there are at least 4 people per square foot packed in to these stores every time I make the mistake of going there.  Despite my aversion to Wal-Mart type of stores, I headed to Sam’s club for a shopping trip with my wife… and of course, the place was packed – at least 10,000 clueless people with oversized shopping carts roaming aimlessly around the store. 

While my wife did her thing, I headed to the wine section to browse their current offerings.  It’s important to note that my aversion to shopping at mega stores is only surpassed by my distaste for spending my money in these places.  I make every effort to support small, locally owned stores (especially small wine shops) whenever possible, but today the stop at Sam’s Club was unavoidable.

While strolling through the wine section, I noticed a sign promoting Sam’s lone organic wine offering… the Greener Planet Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend.  Although I am a huge proponent of biodynamic and organic viticulture and the resulting wines, I am somewhat skeptical of promotions that attempt to leverage the organic message solely for marketing purposes (i.e. – does Sam’s and Wal-Mart really care about organic viticulture?).  Seeing an organic wine in Sam’s Club caught me off guard so I picked up a bottle for dinner tonight and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this wine for $10.

greener-planetThe Greener Planet brand was launched in 2006 by wine writer Robert Joseph (Ultimate Encyclopedia of Wine & Wine Travel Guide to the World) along with Bordeaux-based winemaker, Hugh Ryman.  All of the Greener Planet wines are certified by Ecocert, which now certifies more than 70% of France’s organic producers.  For every bottle of Greener Planet wine that is sold a contribution to Water Aid.

Greener Planet 2006 Shiraz-Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon

Made from organically grown grapes – a blend of 40% Shiraz, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon grown near the city of Carcassonne at the western end of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc.  For me, the cab dominated this wine – dark purple color along with aromas of blackberries, blueberry with earth and leather components.  The wine is well balanced – juicy blackberry (clearly from the shiraz) with a strong sour cherry finish.

This is what I would expect at a $10 price point – not transcendent, but good a good buy for ten bucks.