Wine & Food

Snooth User: Gingerossa

Trader Joe's

Posted by Gingerossa, May 1, 2009.

Next week Trader Joe's will open a location just minutes from my home, I know they have all kinds of great specialty foods, and I've been told you can get some great inexpensive wine buys to stock up on. Any recommendations for their reds that are suitable for everyday enjoyment? I prefer Zins, Cabs and Pinot Noir. ~ thank you ~

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Reply by John Andrews, May 1, 2009.

From my experience that selection at Trader Joe's varies a lot. The only thing that seems to be consistent from store to store is the good ole Charles Shaw wine ... or better known as Two Buck Chuck.

Reply by ChipDWood, May 2, 2009.

From my (albeit limited) experience with TJ's- they carry a good amount of Rosemount wines (Sound & Solid Aussie producer)- including the oft-underrated "GSM" (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). We got bottles of the just mentioned for $15 a piece in New Chorsay.... about ten bucks cheaper than anywhere else.

They have deals beyond the Charles Shaw- which is ok, but more an entry wine than anything serious.

If ya keep your eyes out, in my experience, opportunities happen there.

Beyond the trffle pizza out of the freezer section I mean... which is currently the best deal in the known universe, and goes beautifully with any wine, from anywhere ;).

Reply by ChipDWood, May 2, 2009.

Yea not to put too fine a point on it: SEAK OUT THE TRUFFLE PIZZA... in the freezer section.

And buy like... seven of um.

Should last you the first night.


Reply by ChipDWood, May 2, 2009.

And I apologize for my pathetic spelling.

Thank you, and good evening ;).

Reply by Gingerossa, May 2, 2009.

Thanks - My shopping list is ready!!!
TJ shopping list:
1. Two Buck Chuck
2. GSM
3. RoseMount
4. Truffle Pizza
5. Truffle Pizza
6. Truffle Pizza
7. Truffle Pizza
8. Truffle Pizza
9. Truffle Pizza
10. Truffle Pizza

Reply by dmcker, May 2, 2009.

But that's only purchases for one day, right? :-)

Reply by Philip James, May 2, 2009.

Trader Joe's Reserve Zinfandel: $10
Read my review here:
Best Zinfandel i've come across in anywhere near that price range.

Overall I've found they do a lot of big brand name wines, at very good prices, and I've never had any complaints. I've heard different stories from others though (old, over the hill, wines that other stores can't sell, which they snatch up and offer cheap). I've never had anything but great deals from them myself

Reply by barri0s1872, May 2, 2009.

if you like Zinfandel Port, the evenus is pretty damn nice for 10 bucks.

Reply by Derek67, May 4, 2009.

They have a pretty nice $5 white rhone blend from Rhone Valley Vineyards. The label has a goat on it.

Reply by ChipDWood, May 6, 2009.

Yea. That list's a winner, and totally approved by the Snooth "Grocery list approval" board.

Try to find some Fontina cheese too, at some point- and particularly the Italian variety. Best be served by a local Italian market or even a Wholefoods if in a pinch.

A slice of it, no matter how thin, atop the truffle pizza... Was my wife's discovery. Something about the "earthy-creaminess", or something, and not to get too lewd beyond said description... I think you're good.

"Black Truffle Flatbread Pizza."

Pair it with whatever ya like in the red category. Specially a food red- like the GSM, or a good, solid cab or a Brunello.

Change ya life ;).

Reply by onlyreds, May 8, 2009.

They carry Bogle wines, very nice for the price. Sometimes they have Concannon Petite Syrah- rich!

Must find the truffle pizza.

Reply by cleere, May 15, 2009.

I think you can find some really good values at TJ's and it is a good way to taste something you might now have been willing to before and not worry about spending too much. We have had some of what looks like their own label and is not so good, but last week had a Condessa Viura that was 4.99 and it was light and easy to drink, not a dinner party wine, but a nice wine to have after a long days(or nights) work!

Reply by Poseidon45, May 15, 2009.

You might check out Veynerchuk's review here (albeit a little dated): I have my differences with Gary, but I think he's right on the money with this one.

Reply by Somm, May 15, 2009.

As the wine columnist for Chef magazIne and freelancer for many other magazines, here is one of the articles I wrote for Orange Coast magazine on Trader Joe's wine selections.

"Beyond “Two Buck Chuck:” Wine Bargains at Trader Joe’s
With the recession reducing your 401K to a 101K, you really need something delicious to drink at a reasonable price. So, take a trip to TJ’s and get some very good wine for a reasonable price. Leave “Chuck” for those who are not in the know. Spend a few dollars more and drink the good stuff! And, all of these wines are made in California, so you can stimulate the economy. And, speaking of stimulating, my toast to you is: kiss French, but drink American!

Clay Station Viognier 2007 $3.99
A marvelous, rich Viognier, one of my favorite white wines, with lychee and lime flavors.

Novella Synergy Blanc 2007 $4.99
An unusual blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat and Pinot Gris, with apple and citrus flavors.

Lorca Pinot Gris 2006 $5.99
Made by Jon Bolta, winemaker for the pricey Caymus Conundrum, this delicious pear-scented PG only tastes expensive!

California Wine Party Franc Merlot 2006 $4.99
Ignore the silly name and label and try this blackberry-flavored blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Castoro Cellars Syrah 2006 $9.99
With a nose of sweet berries, this smoky Syrah sizzles!

Parducci Pinot Noir 2006/2007 $9.99
Full of sweet cherries and baking spice, this Pinot pairs beautifully with turkey, salmon, duck--everything but Dover Sole!

Reply by Jessyca, May 15, 2009.

I just did a price-check yesterday, and most of the prices at TJs on wines that are available elsewhere didn't rock my world. Safeway has the best wine prices I've found (Vons and Pavillions in Southern California). If TJs gets something special, it's probably a good deal, but my rule of thumb is, if I've seen it elsewhere don't buy it there. I liked their Project Happy wine... it's got a big smiley face on it... can't miss it.

Reply by BWE, May 15, 2009.

Do try the Castoro Syrah. Consistently delicious and only $9.99.

Reply by dmcker, May 15, 2009.

Poseidon, good pointer towards the 2-buck-Vayner*chuk* video. Happy to see that even TJ can't totally despoil big batches of California syrah grapes...

Reply by lingprof, Jun 26, 2009.

Has anyone told you about the Chariot Gypsy yet? It probably wasn't there when the store first opened but it is now. $4.99. Lots of web buzz, but not just hype. Scored right at the top in a blind tasting including wines up to $34. Best value I've ever had.

Reply by rondolce, Jun 27, 2009.

I actually like their "Moon" series of wines. Not long ago I picked up a couple of their products, "Old Moon" (an old vines zinfandel) and "Honey Moon" (viognier). They were more or less honest representations of their varieties (although I'm not sure that the old vines were that old) and their balance was good. Certainly worth five bucks.

Reply by kevinelliott, Jun 28, 2009.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions you whipped up for HondaJohn. I've typically avoided most of the wines are TJ's, because nothing seemed to ever excited me with some of the previous wine purchases I've made from there. I'll give a few of the listed a go!

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