• Kevin A. Ball

Top 8 Mass-Produced Wines You Probably Need to Replace

Let’s face it, sometimes you get into a wine rut. You find that bottle that you love and you get more, and more… and more of it. You need something that you can trust is going to be tasty and you can grab at a moments notice. Unfortunately, these wines are typically mass-produced and aren’t the highest quality or best for you. Remember, wine can be healthy! But don’t let your fear of trying something new be the thing that stops you from getting really amazing wines. That’s why you have a wine guy like me!

As you may know, I’m not a big fan of mass-produced wines for a couple of reasons:

The largest wine brands sell about 60% of a grocery store shelf. They are controlling the market and limiting what you can get with their large purchasing power. That’s why I work so hard to find the really special (and affordable) wines from the smaller guys doing it right.

Many of the big guys are rely on wine additives to get consistency and cut corners. Things such as

  • Sulfur Dioxide- Extra sulfites?!?! No thanks!

  • Water - You might be getting watered down wine if it was too boozy.

  • Oak adjuncts (Oak chips, sawdust, or “essence’) - Yummy…. Who doesn’t love sawdust in their my wine?

  • Sugar - A spoon full of sugar helps the wine go down... But don’t let this fool you; this isn’t just for sweet wines! Trusted standards like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot and Merlot get sugar added regularly to soften sub-par grapes and help in the fermentation.

  • Powdered Tannin - If you like tannins you can now get it in powdered form… just like MSG.

  • Mega ­Purple - That’s right, if you like that deep rich color as so many of us do, you can get it by adding dye to your wine.

The U.S. alcohol and tobacco tax and trade bureau allows 70+ additives or treatments to wine. And they don’t have to include it to the labeling. Here is a longer list of additives if you really want to learn more.

But there is a solution (and not a chemical one)! So let’s find some alternatives that taste even better:

Out with the old: Kim Crawford. Did you know that Kim is actually a man?

In with the new: Ken Forrester Sauvignon Blanc

This is a prime example of fresh and lively Sauvignon Blanc. Why over think?

Cut Hay | Tropical Fruit | Nectarine


Out with the old: Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. An easy go-to that is giving Chardonnay a bad name.

In with the new: Criss Cross Chardonnay

Apple, lemon and pear nose. The taste has the vanilla, pineapple and richness while also being crisp and refreshing. Butter notes with great vanilla smooth taste! A classic chard that is eager to please.

Apple | Butter | Pear


Out with the old: Apothic Red.

In with the new: Lost Angel Mischief Red Blend

Here comes the fruit bomb... but super tasty! Fruity but well balanced. Intense but simple and direct.

Plum | Black Cherry | Raspberry | Smoke


Out with the old: The Prisoner. A so-so wine that got a cult-like following before it became a sellout.

In with the new: Troublemaker Red Blend (Plus you will save some dollars!)

Pure gluttony in a glass. This rich, intense, bold baked juicy red blend is here to captivate all of your test buds. This wine has no shame.

Prune | Over Ripened Blueberry | Yankee Candle Vanilla


Out with the old: Meiomi Pinot Noir. Pino is more popular than ever, but there is such a big world out there! Explore something new.

In with the new: Ironstone Pinot Noir

Great Pinot, fruity, full flavored, easy drinking . Spicy and juicy but not sweet, nice and smooth too. California Pinot at a great price point!

Cherry | Vanilla | Leather


Out with the old: La Marca Prosecco. Everyone needs a bottle of bubbles for brunch or to have on hand.

In with the new: Enguera in a Bubble Cava

Fruity, fresh but still round in a way. Lots of apples and pear. The bubbles are nice and the acidity balanced. Very easy to drink.

Green Apple | Citrus | Cream


Out with the old: Josh Cellars Cabernet

In with the new: Steele Canyon Cabernet (Special deal!! $19 or 3 for $45, use code “OutWithTheOld”)

Why are you drinking regular “California” Cab when you can be drinking Napa Valley cab at the same price! Approachable, almost slammable, Napa fruit at a great price. Indulge in California dreams, won't ya?

Blackberry | Black Cherry | Oak | Licorice

SHOP NOW, use code "OutWithTheOld"

Out with the old: Menage a Trois

In with the new: Gran Passione Rosso (Special deal!! $19 or 3 for $45, use code “OutWithTheOld”)

Very balanced soft tannins small acidity with the quality that comes from that region! This bottle remains as a staple on my wine rack.

Blackberry | Vanilla | Cherry

SHOP NOW, use code "OutWithTheOld"

Ready to stock up on something tasty to replace your tired old go-to? Contact me today and I’ll set you up with something perfect for your palate (and wallet).

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