In these tough economic times, it can be difficult deciding which wine to buy, and how much to spend. But no worries – I’m your guide through this interesting dilemma, showcasing wines that can be purchased (usually) for under $10.
Today I’m looking at two Trader Joe’s wines. Both are under $6.00 a bottle – both deserve a second look.
Trader Joe’s Coastal Chardonnay 2009 – Central Coast. Alcohol 13.5% by volume, $4.99 regular price. Vinted and bottled for Trader Joe’s by Castoro Cellars, San Miguel, California
On the Label: “Located in the beautiful valleys of the Central Coast, Trader Joe’s presents this lush Chardonnay. Tropical hints of melon and peaches give way to a crisp and clean finish.”
My Take: This is an interesting wine. It’s not an oaky chardonnay by any means, but neither does it have the steel-infused flavor of a non-oaked chardonnay. It’s as the label says – tropical, crisp, clean. It almost tasted like a cross between a Pinot Grigio and a Chenin Blanc, with the crispness of the Grigio and the hint of sweetness of the Chenin Blanc. I really enjoyed it, to my total surprise. We had it as a sipping wine before dinner, and then with the meal – a lovely Moroccan-inspired dish my Hubby made. With the Hubby off to a big movie shoot late last night, and with me on carpool duty at 9:30pm, we didn’t imbibe the whole bottle – there was enough this morning for hubby to have a glass before he collapsed into bed at 5:15am, and enough for me to have a post-dirty kitchen cleanup glass when I got home this evening. And you know what? It was still a lovely wine.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Especially for the price!
On the Label: “Sangiovese, the star of the Tuscan wine varieties, is a luscious, full-flavored grape with a shape reminiscent of the full moon in autumn. Tuscan Moon Sangiovese celebrates a lovers rondesvous in the vineyards by the light of the full autumn moon.
“Tuscan Moon Sangiovese is a smooth textured, medium-bodied wine. Enticing aromas of black cherries and plums with flavors of juicy blackberries, ripe blueberries with a hint of spice. Pairs well with a wide variety of foods including pork, beef, duck, creamy pasta dishes or just a plate of olives.”
My Take: This is a nice wine, straight after opening. Do not let it air; instead pour heartily for your guests. Unlike the Chardonnay, this wine did not age well in my refrigerator (even with the proper technology to keep it from spoiling). However, that said, that first day it was a nice wine, big but not too big.
I bought it because a couple days earlier the Hubby and I had gone to see the Kings and the Ducks in a pre-season hockey game. We got to Staples Center so early that we had plenty of time to eat at Wolfgang Puck’s Grill across the street. I chose a pricy Sangiovese to go with our meal, and we thoroughly enjoyed both while people-watching in the common area.
Does this wine match up to the fancy bottle of wine from Wolfgang Puck’s? No. Of course not. But the same Sangiovese grape flavor was there, you could tell they were kissing cousins, and because of that, I was not disappointed.
Plus, I’m a sucker for Moon in the title of just about anything. (Hmmm…must put Moon in the title of my next book…)
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Or maybe I just have higher standards for red wines? At any rate, of all the Trader Moon wines I’ve tried, I’d willingly drink all of them again. And at under $6 a bottle, it’s a bargain.
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As usual, this is just my honest opinion and it definitely depends upon my mood, whether my kids have done the dishes, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~