Slideshow: The Best (and Worst) Wines at Trader Joe's Right Now

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's been a while since we did our weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, but we did today and I was reminded what a fun place it is. Especially when you haven't shopped there in a while. And especially at the holidays.

The wine assortment hasn't changed much the past few years - other than the vintages. They always bring in a few higher end wines at the holidays but for the most part I'd avoid anything over $20 at Trader Joe's.

See also: Is Trader Joe's a good place to buy wine?

I saw a bunch of shoppers wandering the wine section asking the folks stocking the shelves which wines were best. The wine area at Trader Joe's is a pretty fun environment - probably because the worst thing that can happen is you spend $5 on a wine that's not very good.

See also: Four luscious reds to buy now at Trader Joe's

I zipped around and picked up a few favorites but I thought it would be helpful to share one guy's opinion on this subject for people who might be standing in the store or doing a quick Google search on the best wines to buy at Trader Joe's. If you're looking for luscious, fruit forward crowd-pleasers, here are some of my favorites:

Best Wines to Buy at Trader Joe's - slideshows

If the slideshow fails to embed or you want to get straight to the list, here are the 8 recommended wines in the slideshow:
  1. Castaño Monastrell - $6.99 (best $7 wine on the planet? I think so)
  2. Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet - $7.99 (back with a vengance in 2011 - sooo good)
  3. Dr. L Riesling $9.99 (SOLID German Riesling)
  4. Apothic Red $8.99 (luscious and delicious)
  5. Chariot Gypsy - $4.99 (also luscious and delicious - with a bit of sweetness - and extremely affordable)
  6. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc - Viognier $10.49 (gorgeous - aromatically and otherwise)
  7. Trentatre Rosso $5.99 (incredibly well put together and approachable for an Italian red)
  8. Cocobon Red $7.99 (light and juicy with streaks of mocha)
Note: Listed in order of how highly recommended each wine is (1 is most highly recommended)

And here are four I'd recommend you NOT buy:
  1. Avoid: Blue Fin Petite Sirah - $3.99 (gives Petite Sirah a bad name)
  2. Avoid: L'Authentique French Red - $4.99 (thin and bitter. worst wine ever?)
  3. Avoid: Lazy Bones Cabernet Franc $6.99 (so disappointing)
  4. Avoid: Hangtime Bourgogne - $6.99 (watery and devoid of flavor)
Note: Listed in order of how strenuously I recommend you avoid these wines

And remember Jason's Wine Blog? He hasn't posted lately but I did catch one recommendation from him. If a guy has had a year to think about one wine to buy at Trader Joe's it must be good:

Further Reading:
Charles Shaw blind tasting (or: Are we wasting $10 a night?)

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Question of the Day: What are some of the best/worst wines you've found at Trader Joe's lately?


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