Petite Sirah

The Jewel Challenge

11 April 2011

It’s been a goodly long time since I’ve purchased wine in Jewel-Osco. Many giant chain stores stock an ample supply of wine, but their selection belies their motives: Appeal to the lowest common denominator while charging as high a price as possible.

But plenty of people surely purchase wine at Jewel-Osco, which led me to wonder: Is it possible to find anything remotely unusual or obscure in such a setting?

I started working my way down the wine aisle from left to right. Here were the inexpensive (and yet overpriced) jug wines, the coterie of cutesy-named Cabernets, the machine-made Merlots, the marsupial Shirazes, the greasy ocean of butterball Chardonnays, the run-of-the-mill Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings, and finally, the insipid, shameless Pinot Grigios.