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!
Tuscan Moon Sangiovese 2009 California – Alcohol 13.4% by volume. Vinted and bottled by Trader Moon Wine Co. Manteca, California $4.99 a bottle (or maybe $5.99 – not too sure! But UNDER $6.00)
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.
~ ~ ~
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! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?
Oh, great to know, Christine! I love chardonnay and don’t like the heavy oak flavor many of them have. I also like the non-oaked chards, but sometimes they come off too tangy for me. Love the price of TJ Coastal!
thanks for the tip.
You’re so welcome, Lynne. I was very pleasantly surprised at the flavor – let me know what you think!
These are great prices, but I’m always impressed with TJ’s prices for everything. : )
Must try the TJ Coastal. I’ve seen it there on the shelves but usually zone in on my fave.
I also love the word moon. I’m already thinking of titles for your next book. Loved Demon Soul, but somehow Demon Moon doesn’t work. Ha ha. But wait, Moon Demons does. There you go.
Trader Joe’s sells a nice red wine, Purple Moon. Not sure who actually bottles it. Since I’m the only wine drinker here, I tend to the under $5.00 bottles, but I found one recently at $7.99 (eek!) called Little Black Dress. Worth every penny.
Mona, welcome to the blog! I’ve enjoyed the Purple Moon – all the moon wines are produced by Trader Moon. I’m assuming it’s a Trader Joe’s brand. Thanks for the Little Black Dress recommendation – I’ll have to give that one a try. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Roben, I agree – Trader Joe’s has long been one of my favorite places to shop.
And I thought of Demon Moon, too… and you’re right, it doesn’t quite work. And Moon Demons? Hmmm…maybe the next series…lol!
Hi Christine, Thank you very much for this blog. I’m learning a lot about wine brands. Also, you mentioned you had a “yummalicious hollandaise sauce” for the microwave. Please share this recipe with us. Thank you again and cheers, Ashley
Hey Ashley, always glad to help! As far as the hollandaise sauce goes, I’ll put together the blog post and have it up no later than Monday. I wondered if that would get anyone’s attention, lol…
Thank you, Christine. It will certainly get my attention. :-)Cheers, Ashley
I’ve had the TJ’s Coastal and I agree with you, but I have tried to the Sangiovese and so you’ve given me something else to look for when we head over there this weekend. Thank you!
You are so welcome, my dear!
These sound really good, Christine! I’ll definitely recommend to the husband and neighbor – they buy all the wine around here. Thanks for the info!
I love Trader Joe’s for wine, and the “Moon” wines are awesome. I’ve never tried the Tuscan Moon Sangiovese – you’ve inspired me! Thanks for the reviews!