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Bogle edges Barefoot to win 2014 cheap wine poll

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2014 cheap wine pollTalk about a hanging chad. Bogle won the 2014 cheap wine poll by a margin so thin that the outcome was in doubt until the voting ended on Tuesday night. It recorded just four more thumbs up votes than runner-up Barefoot; the latter’s thumbs down votes were more harmful, with three times as many as Bogle.

This is shocking, given that Barefoot finished sixth last year after spending most of the poll in ninth place. Plus, it’s not like I’ve been enthusiastic about Barefoot over the years, and the brands that it beat are some of the best cheap wines in the world. Barefoot second ahead of last year’s winner, Falesco Vitiano, which dropped to seventh? Unbelievable.

The explanation? Availability, I think. The top three wines, which included McManis at No. 3, are sold in grocery stores and are easier to find than most of the rest. You can only vote on what you’ve tasted, and a lot of people have tasted Barefoot. On the other hand, Two-buck Chuck was a badly beaten 10th for the second year in a row, and a lot of people have tasted it.

Other surprises? Chateau Bonnet, which is one of the last cheap French wines that tastes French and not like it was made by a committee obsessed with the so-called American palate, was ninth, with more negative votes than positive after finishing fifth in 2013. I can’t think of a reason for this, unless the voters don’t like French wines that taste French or are still hung up on freedom fries. On the other hand, Domain du Tariquet finished fourth, and that’s also a French wine that remains completely French.

Complete results are here, or you can click on the graphic at the top of the post. You can see last year’s poll here. Thanks to everyone for voting. We mostly equaled last year’s vote tally, and given the site’s Google woes over the past 12 months, that’s not too bad.

Barefoot wine review 2013

Barefoot wine review 2013This year, the Wine Curmudgeon picked two Barefoot award winners to review – the pink moscato, which earned a double gold this month at a prestigious California competition, and the merlot, which got a gold at the 2011 Critics Challenge (the 2013 version of which I judged over the weekend).


New this year: The 2014 Barefoot wine review


My impressions? Both were sound, not flawed, provided value, and were much more impressive than the pinot noir and sauvignon blanc in the 2012 Barefoot review.

More, after the jump:

The Internet loves Barefoot and Cupcake wine

Dec. 24 update: The blog has been going crazy for a week, thanks to Barefoot and Cupcake. Six of the top 15 days ever have come since Dec. 18, as people search the Internet for Barefoot and Cupcake reviews. If I'm getting numbers like this, imagine how much wine Gallo and The Wine Group are selling — and imagine how little they care what wine writers think of their products.

The blog has had four of its top 10 days ever in the last week, mostly because wine drinkers are looking for reviews of Cupcake and Barefoot for the holidays. And, as we well know, there aren't a lot of places to find those reviews in the cyber-ether.

Almost 10 percent of the visitors yesterday — the seventh-best day ever — used the search terms Barefoot or Cupcake to get to the blog. Which, if I understand how this stuff works, is an impressive figure, especially for a one-man operation like this.

The other thing worth noting: The people who visit the blog are much better educated and make a lot more money than the typical Internet user, according to Quantcast. And they're searching for cheap, grocery store wine. What does that say about the wine business?

And, because the Wine Curmudgeon is always eager to boost traffic, here are links to the most recent Cupcake and Barefoot reviews.

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