Everyone knows about how amazing Trader Joe’s food is, but my favorite thing about TJ’s is their inexpensive wine. No I’m not talking about Two Buck Chuck (which has annoyingly increased to $3). I’m talking about the wide variety of under $10 wines from across the world. These wines are so college budget friendly, you’d be ridiculous to shop for alcohol anywhere else.
If you also are not a fan of Two Buck Chuck, you may be skeptical as to the quality of TJ’s wines as I was. Let me assure you, some of Trader Joe’s wine is more pleasant than a $15 bottle from the liquor store. Everything is better with a glass on wine, so get shopping.
1. Villa Cerrina – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Not going to lie, the initial attraction I had to this type wine was its fancy sounding Italian name. Once I discovered it, I became obsessed and it is now my go-to red wine. This crisp and dry wine is great to sip on and pairs well with most foods, including pesto eggs. For someone who is not a red wine drinker, but is looking to try it out, this wine is a very easy transition into the world of reds.
2. Laurent Dublanc Côtes-du-Rhône
This wine is perfect for when you’re feeling a little French. Pretend you’re in Paris, grab some brie, a baguette and a couple of friends, and host a wine and cheese night. This blended red is smooth with subtle hints of vanilla and other spices. There are also fruity notes to make this wine complex, and make you look like a sophisticated wine drinker.
3. Picton Bay – Sauvignon Blanc
This New Zealand wine has a special place in my heart because I studied abroad in Auckland, and this wine instantly takes me back. With a crisp and fresh taste, with one sip you will feel like it’s summer any time of the year. Dry with fruity flavors, Picton Bay is great for any wine drinker looking for something cool and refreshing.
4. Green Fin Grenache Rosé
This is a classic and fruity rosé without being overwhelmingly sweet. For the girliest of girls, this sweet wine is meant to be sipped on by the pool with a magazine, some killer shades and these pool toy inspired treats. A bonus for those who are health conscious, this rosé is organic and sustainably produced.
5. La Granja 360 – Brut Cava
For any special occasion – or a Monday night where you just feel like poppin’ bottles – this is the perfect sparkling wine. Imported from Spain, this wine has pronounced notes of orchard fruits, ginger and vanilla. Bubbly is welcome any time of day; use this wine to make an amazing mimosa for a weekend brunch.
6. Mezzacorona – Pinot Grigio
A true pinot grigio, this Mezzacorona balances fruit and minerality well. A very aromatic wine, it is enticing from the moment you open the bottle to the second it hits your lips. Pairing well with seafood and chicken, it can also be used to cook dishes within this profile.
7. Le Pépin – Pinot Noir
Pinot noir originated in France, so it is only fitting that you start your search there. Le Pépin has the traditional dryness of a pinot noir along with sweet notes of berry and subtle clove. This play on earth flavors and sweetness dances in your mouth and pairs well with rich foods such as pot roast and curry.
8. Blazon de Bourgogne – Chardonnay
Crisp and clean with floral aromas this wine is perfect with seafood on a summer day. It also complements other delicate food such as chicken and pasta with vegetables. On the dry side as all other chardonnays, impress your friends with a sophisticated choice at your next meal. Also check out Blazon de Bourgogne’s rosé brut for a something light and bubbly.
9. Grifone – Any Variety
If you want to find a brand to that makes consistent wine across the board, look no further than Grifone. Balance is key as they offer a lovely table Bianco that is not too sour and a Sangiovese that isn’t too heavy. The Primitivo, one of their more popular wines has a slightly spicy flavor with sweet plum notes. All their varieties pair well with food, so serve this at your next dinner party.
#SpoonTip: If you get to the store and they are out of the wine you were looking for, don’t fret. Trader Joe’s has people on hand to answer questions and point you in the right direction.