• 11.10.09

7-Eleven House Wine Taste Test: My Mom Takes a Spin Down Yosemite Road

I don’t know about the chardonnay, but if Yosemite Road Cabernet, 7-Eleven’s house brand, were a song, it’d be “Red, Red Wine.” Not Neil Diamond’s original. Or even Tony Tribe’s excellent rocksteady version. It’d be the UB40 cover, because it’s obvious, completely inoffensive, and in this case, on heavy rotation in my mom’s place.

seven eleven wine

At a recent “purse party,” she secretly replaced her friends regular reds and whites with $4.99 bottles of YoRo. They were pleasantly surprised. At least to her face.


Why is my mother doing my dirty work? Because, 1.) I’m expected to edit this site sober (where I’m from spitting out wine is considered alcohol abuse), and 2.) As a woman who embraces Florida beach living (in a small town just south of Daytona Beach, where the white sand dunes themselves are said to contain a significant portion of pulverized ripple bottle shards), she knows from affordable wine.

Also, she has to pass at least three 7-Elevens on the way home from work, and our correspondent in L.A. couldn’t immediately find a bottle.

The first taster was “somebody who’s been to California a lot and is big into wines,” my mom says. This grape-coiffing aficionado reports that the white tastes like “chardonnay on training wheels … It has no bite. It’s not buttery. It’s fruity and is something that someone just getting into wines would drink.”

“You mean, like, at the start of a weekend bender?” I asked. No, she corrected. “It’s for beginners.”

She tried some herself, too. “I liked the chardonnay, and I’m not a chardonnay drinker. It’s sweet to me…. There’s the ‘training wheels’ for you.”

Onto the reds, she reported, “My red wine drinker who’s been everywhere all over the world drinking wines said the cab is ‘not bad, how much does it cost?’ And when I said $4.99, she said, ‘Yeah I’d buy it.'” (Apparently, in some cities, SevvyLevs are charging more than the $3.99 that was first announced–but it’s working!)

And with this, my mom confirmed what most people, even her patrician, world-traveling, part-time Sonoma County-dwelling renaissance friends secretly suspected: The more money that’s left over for a cherry Slurpee and a cheesy grip of nachos, the better 7-Eleven’s wines taste.


Thanks, mom. Please email your freelance invoice (with your tax I.D. number) to Fast Company. I definitely won’t sell your information to identity thieves and I’ll send you an I.O.U. that you can put with the others.

About the author

Tyler Gray is the former Editorial Director of Fast Company and co-author of the book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel and Buy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out in fall 2014. He previously authored The Hit Charade for HarperCollins and has written for The New York Times, SPIN, Blender, Esquire, and others.