On Sept. 3, customers everywhere rejoiced as Target released their first line of wine. The line is called California Roots and features five different wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Red Blend. The best part? They're only $5 each. 

In the name of good journalism, seven upperclassmen took it upon themselves to taste test this gift to us from Target. While blindfolded, they gave their honest opinions about the flavors and took their best guesses at what each one was. Here's what they thought about Target's wine.


Matthew Wenger

Chardonnay is traditionally a great choice if you prefer a fruity, dry wine. It's perfect for hot summer days, and pairs well with fatty fishes, rich sauces, and artisanal cheeses. Our seniors had mixed reviews with Target's take on this classic. 

One senior stated that it "definitely tastes like it costs $5 at Target" and another said that "it smells fruity, but tastes like feet." The Target wine continued to get bashed, but our third senior pointed out a redeeming quality, saying, "it tastes like something I would chug during an awkward first date" — a wine that we can chug is never a bad thing.

Only one upperclassman put this wine at the top of her list and defended it, saying, "yeah it's cheap, but it definitely does the trick better than Two Buck Chuck." With such varied reviews, you might just have to try California Roots Chardonnay for yourself.

Pinot Grigio

pasture, herb, vegetable
Matthew Wenger

Like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio is a drier, lighter wine. Target's version has a tropical scent to it and it's a bit bubbly. Pinot Grigio pairs well with a light fish dish and a fresh salad. Our seniors paired it with blindfolds, some apprehension after wine number one, and of course pretzels to clear the palate (read: because no one wanted to use a traditional wine tasting spit bucket). 

Our first senior said that it "smells like a scented candle, but is a bit too fizzy." She incorrectly guessed that it was the Moscato. Other seniors said that it has a light scent and tastes just fine, with less flavor than the other whites. Overall, the Pinot Grigio was a winner, however it ranked in the middle of the pack.


pasture, herb, spinach, salad, lettuce, vegetable
Matthew Wenger

Target's version of this iconic dessert wine is just as sweet and cheap as Barefoot's Moscato. The taste is reminiscent of sparkling apple juice, and the bubbly aroma reminds us of apricots. If you like sweet wine, this will be your new best friend.

This wine was the clear winner of Target's entire line. All of the seniors raved about it's perfect balance of bubbles and flavor, with one senior going as far to say that if this wine was in a Capri-Sun juice box she'd drink it constantly. Another senior was day-dreaming about sipping this wine over ice while watching "Pretty Woman" — i.e. perfection.


Matthew Wenger

Cabernet is traditionally a full-bodied red wine with dark fruity flavors. This wine is somewhat oakey and goes great with heavy meats such as ribeye, short-ribs, or a burger. The first time we purchased the California Roots wines, both Targets near campus were sold out of the Cabernet, so we had high hopes once we got our hands on a bottle.

Our upperclassmen ranked this wine in the middle of the list, but as far superior to Target's Red Blend. A junior said that this wine would be perfect in a sangria recipe. It's not too sweet, and he would definitely drink it again on its own. A senior said that it isn't as fragrant as some of the other wines, and she enjoyed that it tasted lighter than red wines normally do. 

Red Blend

Matthew Wenger

This red wine is reminiscent of berries combined with a touch of spice. The red blend isn't for individuals who are new to red wines, as the taste takes a little more time to adjust to. Red blends compliment heavy pastas, as well as other comfort foods. 

The reviews of this wine started off on a rough note as a senior said it "smells strongly of bad decisions." Another senior said, "[it] tastes like communion and smells like fresh tennis balls," which is a different, yet equally worrisome take on the flavor. One senior simply sipped the wine and then said, "nope," which is why this wine was ranked as the worst of them all.

Despite the mixed reviews, the upperclassman agreed that all of these wines were worth it for the pricing. If you're a Target-fanatic such as myself, make sure the next time you go that you pick up one (read: or all five) of the California Roots wines. Your inner wine connoisseur will thank you, without hurting your wallet.