Now that I have reached the age of 21, I find wine tasting to be one of my favorite hobbies. Wine comes in such an incredible variety, each with different tastes and accompanied pairings. This love of wine has coincided with my love for Trader Joe's and that is what sparked the idea for this article. A wine tasting for less than $20? Say less. 

Pinot Grigio 

Olivia Berens

Pinot Grigio is one of favorite white wines. It is smooth and slightly sweet, but remains very light. My first impression of this was the citrus notes that were followed by a strong aftertaste. You can definitely tell that this one was $2.99, but on a budget, it isn't half bad. It wasn't as fruity as I think most Pinot Grigio's are, but I it was smoother than I expected. I would pair this with a light pasta dish or a fruit plate. 


Olivia Berens

This Chardonnay was very dry, but still maintained a smooth aftertaste. Some say that this can be described as it being "buttery." Just like the Pinot Grigio, it had lemon-y notes, but it was a little bit more fruitier. I would say that this was the best white wine that I tried. My recommended pairing with this would be a flaky white fish or any light seafood dish. 


Olivia Berens

Honestly, I have never tried Shiraz before so I was mostly curious to try this one. I love a good red wine, as long as it is smooth. However, the initial taste of this one was very dry. It had a peppery smell and maintained that sort of bite throughout the entire sip. It had a light ruby color which was surprising due to the strong taste. I would recommend this wine with a beefy steak. 

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Olivia Berens

This was my favorite wine out of all of them. Cab Sav is leaning in the sweeter direction and is full of flavor. You could get subtle hints of berry in the smooth sip. This was the only one of the reds that didn't leave the slight burn in the back of your throat, which can be referred to as tannins. Although this one packs a big punch, I would pair it with something like pepper-crusted ahi tuna. I think it would compliment the notes of the wine nicely. 


Olivia Berens

This Merlot was the lightest of the reds and it didn't have much of an aftertaste like the others. I could get a slight taste of the berry in this one, but it was not as smooth. After tasting the Cab Sav it probably came off a little too dry for my liking, but I would pair it with a hearty roast chicken. 


Overall, this wine tasting was a hit! I got to taste some unique flavors while simultaneously not blowing all of my money. The best part is — I didn't even have to leave my house. I can definitely see myself bringing a couple of these options to my next Girl's Night or using them to accompany the next steak that I grill. As for now, I will be recovering from opening five bottles of wine by myself.