In Defense of Plonk

Having lived for a while in London, I heard and started using the word “plonk”, which is generally considered a pejorative term meaning “cheap wine”, usually not very good.  It is also true that it was often used in conversation to simply mean “table wine” or “vin ordinaire” which is the way I and my English friends used the term.

There was a related word, “plonkable”, which was used to describe a wine that was decent and drinkable, not great, but good enough; think Two Buck Chuck at its best.

So in my life, “plonk” is not a pejorative term, but simply a wine which is a decent, drinkable table wine, a wine which is “plonkable”, not sophisticated but goes down well.

On a recent trip to the Gold Country, I told my partner that this was a trip to find plonk.  I wanted to find a decent, lower priced wine that we could drink every day without breaking the bank.  When you walk into a winery and ask if they make a plonkable wine, they do look at you funny.

But we did find a good plonk: Jodar’s Vinesaurus.  It is a delightful table red which is a non-vintage blend of Zinfandel and Merlot.  It sells for $99 a case ($8.25 a bottle).  It is eminently plonkable!  We bought two cases.  This wine isn’t going to be cellared, but consumed with BBQ and pasta and with itself at the end of a long day.  The Vinesaurus is better, much better, than Two Buck Chuck.  But it isn’t a sophisticated wine, nor is it a wine you want to save for a special occasion.  It’s plonk, in the very best sense of the word!

What wine is your “go to plonk”?

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About dslocicero

David is an author and architect living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes about wine, food and travel. His first book is Pour Me Another: An Opinionated Guide to Gold Country Wines, now one of the highest rated books about California Wines.