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All Chucked out? Try these alternatives

At Strohecker's in Southwest Portland, wine manager John Hansen says: 'I'd recommend the Pepperwood Grove merlot or syrah, at $6.99 a bottle. Foreign wines tend to be better at the low price point, and I rate Penascal Tempranillo from Spain and the Languedoc Vernede from the south of France, both $6.99.'

At Fred Meyer's Stadium store, head wine steward Theresa Crone recommends people try the Gato Negro from Argentina. 'The chardonnay, merlot, cabernet and cabernet-merlot blend all cost $3.99. We also sell a lot of Leaping Horse chardonnay and cabernet from California at $4.49 a bottle.'

SOURCES SAY

The Tribune asked people interviewed for this story to choose the one thought they would most like to share with readers. Their responses:

T.R. Hill, consumer : 'If you don't like the taste, you can always use Two Buck Chuck to fill up your wine cellar, like a fake library book.'

Harvey Posert, spokesman Ñ Bronco Wines: 'In 38 years of doing publicity in the wine business, I've never seen anything like this. I went to a party at a millionaire's home in Napa last week, and they were serving all four Charles Shaw varietals.'

James Laube, senior editor Ñ Wine Spectator magazine: 'Two Buck Chuck defines the U.S. wine market's price elasticity and underscores consumers' desire to drink wine regularly, provided it's at the right price. The wines are nothing special, but they're better than many wines that sell for two or three times as much.'