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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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08.18.06

Cheap Wine, Oh So Fine

Grape Pun: All Things Wine, Podcasts


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Cameron Hughes

This week I sit down with Cameron Hughes, the man some folks are dubbing the robin hood of wine. Hughes owns no vineyards, makes no wine, but he has an inside connection to some of the best wineries that do. The way the model works is many top wineries produce wine that either doesn’t fit in to their profile or they make too much of a wine. That’s where Hughes steps in. He buys up the excess lots and then markets them under his own label and sells them direct on his website or through Costco. Because Hughes bypasses traditional middle men and marketing fees, he’s able to offer incredible wines for about $10 bucks.

Now I know this all sounds too good to be true. I was skeptical myself. I’m very concerned about craftsmanship and it seems that if this excess wine was any good, it would be selling, or the wineries would market the wines themselves. I don’t know why I decided to listen to Hughes. I guess part of it was the Two Buck Chuck, or Charles Shaw cheap wines phenomenon. While I don’t drink it everyday, Charles Shaw is a good drinkable wine and it’s cheap. I was curious why I’d want to pay more. As you’ll hear in the interview, there is no comparison. Hughes wines are superior to Charles Shaw and only for a few bucks more.

If you are in Chicago, Hughes will be in store at the Lincoln Park, Glenview and Oakbrook Costcos this weekend telling his story. My personal favorite was the Lot 14, a nice spicy 2003 Merlot.

If you have Adobe Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Cameron Hughes Interview

4 Comments on "Cheap Wine, Oh So Fine"

Cynthia

Great interview — fascinating development in the world of wine.

It strikes me that we have gotten away from the “name” wines of the past — always looking for the Chateau Lafitte or whatever — to simply looking for what tastes good. Of course, the requires a lot more guidance, so the folks at Wine Spectator have job security for a while.

My only quesion is, how does one get on that e-mail list Cameron mentioned?



Jessica Kogan


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Hi there - Just sign-up for our mailing list at http://www.chwine.com/list/. Mike - thanks for the great interview. We have really enjoyed it over here. jess



Valerie

I read an article about Cameron Hughes’ wine some months ago in the local newspaper and subscribed to his email list. I have purchased several of his wines at Costco and have been impressed and am now a big fan!



mina

Boring interviewee. He isn’t doing anything new. I have no desire to buy my wine at Costco. He touts the wine as special yet it sounds like a big marketing spiel.



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