Category Archives: Trader Joe’s Wine – Reviewed

Terrenal Seleccionado | A Kosher Trader Joe’s Find?

Terrenal Seleccionado | A Kosher Trader Joe’s Wine Find?

Terrenal Seleccionado

The Trader Joe’s Wine Section has developed a loyal, cult-like following for its eclectic, value-oriented selections. Not surprisingly, while picking up this bottle of 2014 Terrenal Seleccionado, I overheard an excited customer remark “Wow, this is great! These wines are so cheap!” Your first time is always exciting.

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Sara Bee Moscato | Sweet Wine at a Sweet Price?

Sara Bee Moscato | Kosher Moscato Wine – Trader Joe’s Wine

Sara Bee Moscato

I have received quite a few e-mails for Kosher wine recommendations lately, so I will make an effort to include a few more Kosher wine reviews when possible. Taking into consideration the surging popularity of Moscato wine at the moment, I thought it might make sense to try out an affordable Kosher Moscato wine option. Meeting both requirements is the Sara Bee Moscato, economically priced at just under $6 in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section.

At 5.5% ABV, I fully expect that the Sara Bee Moscato will fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum (during fermentation, yeasts convert alcohol to sugar, so a higher alcohol rating translates to lower sugar levels). While sweet wines aren’t exactly my cup of tea, my goal is to help readers determine if this is indeed a Moscato Kosher wine bargain or one to avoid altogether.

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Reserve des Cleons Muscadet | Summer Seafood Partner

Reserve des Cleons Muscadet Wine Review | Perfect Partner for Summer Seafood

Muscadet Wine

Muscadet might be tough to pronounce (try Moose-cah-Dey), but if you’re familiar with this popular Loire Valley white then you already know just how easy it is to drink, especially paired with seafood during summertime.

Many of the best Muscadet’s hail from the Sevre et Maine appellation and are aged sur lie, which means on the dead yeast cells. This process adds complexity and lends a certain creaminess to the resulting wine.

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Alamos Malbec Reviewed | Still A Robust Bargain?

Alamos Malbec 2014 Reviewed | Still A Robust Bargain?

Alamos Malbec

First things first… I realize that I’m not bringing you anything groundbreaking or immensely exciting here with an Alamos Malbec review. Its long been a perennial favorite now and is practically the poster child for the Malbec craze. It’s tough not to like its plush, intensely fruited profile and soft, approachable style.

But I hadn’t actually tasted this wine in years and am curious if it’s still a halfway decent bottle for the price. And did I mention how popular it is?

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Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cabernet | Reviewed

Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2013 | Trader Joe’s Wine

Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Cabernet

The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve and Platinum Reserve Wines might vary in the type of wine as well as the AVA specific sub-appellation from which they are produced but a few things remain constant: they are often excellent values, routinely over-delivering for the price and the best ones sell out quickly. The program is not unlike Costco’s own private-label Kirkland Signature one.

The Grand Reserve Meritage ($12.99), Grand Reserve Oakville Merlot and the Platinum Reserve Yountville Cabernet ($14.99) have been personal favorites of mine. While the Grand Reserve Meritage seems to be somewhat more readily available, the latter two offerings sold out really quickly.

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Tribunal Wine Review | A Pour to Pass On?

Tribunal Wine Review North Coast Red Blend 2012 | Trader Joe’s Wine

Tribunal Wine

While I was at Trader Joe’s updating my Guide to Trader Joe’s Wine with new additions and updated pricing I decided it was time to pick up a few more bottles to put to the test. When I am there I always make it a point to ask a staff member what they believe the best wine values are and whether or not they have actually had the opportunity to taste them.

Chief amongst those recommendations was today’s subject: The Tribunal Wine North Coast Red Blend 2012. The enthusiastic associate described it as an unusual blend of several varietals resulting in a rich and surprisingly complex wine considering it’s sub $10 price point. Intrigued, I decided to investigate…

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Epicuro Nero D’Avola Review | Sicily’s Answer to Malbec?

Epicuro Nero D’Avola Review | Sicily’s Answer to Malbec?

Nero D'Avola

When looking for a bottle of wine, do you seek out something that’s rich in dark fruit yet has soft tannins and a smooth mouthfeel? If so then you’re probably a fan of Argentinian Malbec, but have you tried Nero D’Avola?

Otherwise known as “The Black Grape of Avola” (a small town in Southeast Sicily), it’s quite similar in style to an Argentinian Malbec and just so happens to be Sicily’s most popular and widely planted grape.

Plus, many fine examples can be found under $12. But just how good can Nero D’Avola be at half that price? Today I’m investigating a possible find in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section: The $6 Epicuro Nero D’Avola 2013.

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Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut | Not Cheap, But Inexpensive

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava | Trader Joe’s Wine

Jaume Serra Cristalino

The Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava has become a perennial favorite amongst those looking for a nice bargain bubbly. Is it’s success due to the clean and elegant label? Or possibly because the catchy name sounds an awful lot like the awfully expensive Cristal Champagne?

Or is it fittingly because the Jaume Serra Cristalino is simple a great sparkling wine for the money? I spotted the Cristalino Brut while browsing my local Trader Joe’s Wine Section and decided to answer those questions for myself. I mean it can’t be all that bad if Wine & Spirits Magazine has rather impressively named the Jaume Serra Cristalino the ‘Value Brand of the Year’ for three consecutive years!

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Korbel Champagne | A Controversial California Champagne

Korbel Champagne | A Controversial California Champagne | Trader Joe’s Wine

Korbel Champagne

Made famous by it’s controversial yet wildly successful Korbel Champagne, the Korbel Winery in California’s Russian River Valley was founded in 1882 by the Czechoslovakian Korbel brothers: Francis, Joseph and Anton.

The producers of Korbel Champagne sold their winery in 1954 to Adolph Heck and then in 1974 Adolph’s son Gary took over the winery. While in charge at Korbel, Gary succeeded in increasing production of the now ubiquitous Korbel Champagne from an already healthy 150,000 cases per year to today’s impressive level of 1.3 million cases per year.

Today, by volume, Korbel Champagne is the most popular sparkling wine produced in the United States using the traditional ‘méthode champenoise’ method. The incredible success and popularly of Korbel Champagne surely only adds to the frustration of the French officials and Champagne producers in Champagne, France. What’s the rub? Korbel has insisted on marketing themselves as Champagne when in actuality it is merely a California sparkling wine.

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Contadino Pinot Grigio Review | Trader Joe’s Wine

Contadino Pinot Grigio Review | Trader Joe’s Wine

Contadino Pinot Grigio

I rarely drink Pinot Grigio and am somewhat guilty of partaking in the widespread belief that most low-end Pinot Grigio’s are insipid, watery and just plain boring. Having said that, there are certainly times when you want a wine that is crisp, refreshing and light and the popularity of the Contadino Pinot Grigio in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section piqued my interest.

Hailing from Northern Italy and ringing in at under $6, the Contadino Pinot Grigio is certainly priced like a value-oriented offering. But just by virtue of being inexpensive does not necessarily make it a good value, and I’m quite curious to see just how good the Contadino Pinot Grigio really is!

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