23-09-2017 ~ 4 Comments

Neither “whole” nor “food”, Don Simón in a healthy place?

Whole Foods Market has been in the news a great deal recently as it was purchased by Amazon. More market-driven minds than mine have picked apart this deal to no end, so there’s little reason for me to go into it but it does give me a good wedge to bring up Whole Foods.

This mecca of supposedly “better for you food” has been able to get quite silly prices for all manner of products that you can find in other stores for a great deal less. Many people used to talk about their wine section as something special but again, most everything in it can be found in other shops both on and offline for much less and more importantly, there’s nothing about their wine selection that’s particularly “healthy” as they have many big producers that are most assuredly not organic nor making wines in any kind of “holistic” manner.

This was no further farted directly into my face than when at the Franklin store in San Francisco two weeks ago. There, on a shelf I saw what is the mother giant of all shitty Spanish wine, Don Simón. College kids in Spain think twice before tossing it into party sangria if that gives you some idea of how it’s regarded. Sure, we’re used to seeing it in a Tetrabric for less than 1€ in Spain so seeing it in a glass bottle was a bit of a surprise, but what the hell was this doing in “Whole Foods”?

Don Simón is an industrial producer who make wines using whatever they legally can to get the wine out to market because at $4 in the shop, they probably paid less than 0.50€ a bottle for this. While it’s an amazing accomplishment to produce something that can legally be called, “wine” at that price, I really don’t want to know how it’s done and I’m certainly not going to drink it. I mean Don Simón and others like them are why the “natural” wine movement got traction.

Undoubtedly, this has been placed in stores in response to Trader Joe’s “Three Buck Chuck” that I also won’t drink. This isn’t out of snobbishness, but out the fact it causes physical, burning pain when imbibing it. I can’t see how this Don Simón offer would be any better, especially as there’s a wealth of transport and import fees involved in bringing it from Spain whereas Chuckie is made from California’s Central Valley offer.

It’s such an oddity to find this at Whole Foods, a place where you can usually not walk through the aisles with ease as the picky shoppers there are reading every single ingredient on the products to see if it matches one of their many allergies. Just goes to show that wineries still manage to get away with murder when it comes to not being obligated to state ingredients on wine labels. In vino veritas, my assitas.