Let's not mince words: I love wine. I'm all about crafty cocktails when I go out to a nice bar, or beer if I'm at a pub or more relaxed spot, but when I'm at home, when I'm having dinner or a casual night with friends, wine is my beverage of choice. Most of my friends know my strong love and appreciation for the the grape-y goodness, but they might be surprised to find I'm not well versed when it comes to purchasing wine. Don't get me wrong, I wish I was an expert at wine. I was fascinated by the documentary SOMM and had vague machinations of becoming a sommelier. [that lofty ship has sailed!] But right now, I'm not at a place where I'm willing to shell out the big bucks for a bottle. Don't get me wrong, I'll occasionally pick up a bottle that's $15 and upwards, and will order a nicer glass of wine when I'm out, but for a party with friends or chill night in, I like to keep things affordable. That's where Trader Joe's comes in...
Oh Trader Joe's, you have no idea how much I appreciate your focus on making wine more accessible. Yes, you can find bigger ticket bottles there, but the majority won't break the bank, and nearly everything I've tried is quite good. Again, I'm not a wine aficionado, but I have tasted my fair share of bad wines, so I can at least distinguish between good and sub par. [it's a start right?]
I'll usually buy several bottles in one sitting, especially if I know I'm having friends over or have some social events on the horizon. I will take my sweet time scouring the shelves, reading copious reviews on my phone, even whipping out the Vivino app to take photos of bottle lablels and read reaviews [it's a fantastic tool if you want to learn more about wine or at least catalog what wines you purchase, like, don't like or are curious about].
After my rather lengthy research, and at least 20 minutes stood in the wine aisle, I opted to pick up this selection of bottles. I went with three reds, two whites and one rose [because we're rapidly approaching rose all day weather!]. If I'm being honest, I would solely drink red wine, but when it comes to cooking and eating seafood and lighter meals, white does tend to pair better.
I've tasted all of these wines and can vouch for them. No, I $4.99 bottle isn't going to give you a life changing glass of wine, but they're tasty, great for a party or a casual meal, and a great place to start if you're just getting into wine. I'm not giving descriptors of the taste since I don't feel qualified to do that just yet, but I am ordering them in order of my personal preferences. If you pick up any of these, let me know what you think!
Trader Joe's Wine Picks
1. Cocobon Estates 2014 Red Blend $6.99
2. La Granja 2014 Garnacha/Tempranillo $5.99
3. Grifone Italia Rose $4.99
4. Espiral Vinho Verde $4.99
5. Dark Horse 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon $7.99
6. Green Fin Organic White Wine $4.49