Trader Joe’s Wine Shopping

Trader Joe's Wine ShoppingAs mentioned, in my twitter feed I pulled in a nice 26 bottle haul, the details are below. Just another example of me backing up my talk with my wallet. The two I noticed as missing were the Chariot Gypsy and the Gravity Hills Syrah. Hoping the Chariot at least offers me one more buying opportunity but looks like I am out of luck. That is why I wanted to make sure I don’t get caught short of the Franc Merlot.


The haul:

12 – 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot ($5, Bulk Buy)
2 – 2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie” ($6, Buy It)
1 – 2007 Handley Vineyard Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc ($6, Buy It)
1 – 2007 Novella Synergy Blanc ($5, Buy It)
1 – 2005 Epicuro Aglianico ($5, Bulk Buy) – review for the ’05
1 – 2003 Epicuro Salice Salentino Riserva ($5, Buy It) – review for the ’03
1 – 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo ($5, Buy It)
1 – 2006 Rabbit Ridge Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($6, 12th bottle) review for the previous version of the NV (I call this the ’07)
2 – 2003 Raimat Tempranillo ($6, TBD)
1 – 2007 Condesa de Sarabella Viura ($5, TBD)
1 – 2005 Capolan Sonoma Merlot ($4, TBD)
1 – 2005 Trellis Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon ($4, TBD)
1 – 2005 Trellis Sonoma Chardonnay ($4, TBD)

Stay tuned for details on these soon!

*photo by Matthew Oliphant

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38 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Wine Shopping

  1. Yeah Jason, Thanks for the heads-up about the Rosenblum Viognier.
    I’ll put it on my Yule Wish List.

    Pinot Noir Report:
    We had the Rex Goliath, Castle Rock, TJ’s Grand Reserve, Robert Mondavi (regular release), Robert Mondavi: Carneros and the German from Rheingau. Unfortunately, the lower-priced bottles were OK, but nothing to write home about.
    The two Crew Favorites were the TJ’s Grand Reserve ($13) which had a pleasant, lighter, cherry-type finish, which had changed a little from the last time we tasted it (I’ll be serving it with the holiday ham) and the Rober Mondavi:Carneros ($22) which was Sexy Good! Smoky, super silky smooth and delicious, a definite buy in the Splurge or Gift Category.

  2. I concur with Angela on the German Rheingau pinot noir–it’s nothing special–a strawberry jam bomb lacking acidity/no ummmpfffhh-very one dimensional and no depth. Worst, some kind of sickly/sweet chemical manipulation seemed to have been used in production and that didn’t work for me, either. recommend you stay away from that one

  3. @dip: I believe both of those are already available and in our store at least.
    Where are you located? Let me know and I’ll check on your region.

    @Danny: Yeah, the only thing I might use the Rheingau for would be maybe a friuty cocktail with sparkling wine and perhaps pomegranate. Better to save the $$ and spend it on a nicer Pinot.

  4. Sorry, Angela, yes, they are available in my store (Woodland Hills, CA); I was just wondering if anyone had tried them yet and could recommend them. After I posted that, I did find a review written by Jason about the Kono Baru Shiraz (“skip it”). Nevertheless, I’ll buy one of each and try for myself.
    Thanks!

  5. @Ulla The Renedition is on my shopping list (though a bit pricey, I’m spoiled I know), think I saw it highlighted here. I’ve had the Kono Baru Riesling and loved that it was blogger ready but wasn’t a fan. The Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is my old reliable. Love it. Thought the raised the price of the latest vintage by $1 to $7.99

    @Angela Feel like I should give you the Kathy’s Cuvee for your contributions here. Thanks for the Pinot report. Trader Joe’s had this Castle Rock Monterrey County offering for a while which was a stand-out. The others I’ve tried have been averaged. I am going to grab a bottle of the TJ’s Grand Reserve. Pricey but not so much so that I should be missing out on it if its a winner!

    @Danny wasn’t tempted by the Rheingau but will make sure to steer clear.

    @dip Thanks for the independent streak. You may love the Kono Baru Shiraz. Always good to remind everyone these are just my opinions!

    Thanks everyone for all the comments!

  6. Hey Jason,
    Oh, twist my arm and make me drink Viognier! : )
    Plenty of good eats in Alameda, come on over.

    @Danny: Haven’t gotten to either of those yet, but the Holiday Ale is eagerly awaited ever year by the beer guys on the crew. This one looks to be dark & chewy. I’ll ask around and get back to ya.

  7. A buddy brought a bottle of the TJ Grand Reserve Pinot Noir (2007) to our very low stakes poker game last night. He was kind enough to share a little with me. One sip of the wine from this bottle uncorked/opened on the spot told me told I had just saved $14. It may have been a bad bottle or it may not have opened up or it may just have been a bad match with my taste buds. However, I’m steering clear of it. My tastes in pinot noir seem to resonate well with pinot noir sourced from Sonoma Coast and New Zealand.(Some French, too, but all the French ones seem to cost too much for me). The quest continues.

  8. Hi Jason,
    I work in the wine section at TJ’s in Ventura. Here’s a hot tip on the Castle Rock Mendecino Pinot….The 2007 is REALLY good! It’s a little tricky to find though, because we seem to keep getting half with the old lable, and half with the new more classic looking label, simpler with gold lettering. I’ll chime in if I come across anything else. These two customers the other day were literally hooping and hollering over a “Vino Verde” that we have for $3.99??? I don’t know anything about it, but I will get the name and get back to you!

  9. @Angela I certainly owe you a bottle, we’ll figure out the logistics soon as my brother-in-law in Germany wants me to ship him a half case of the same…

    @Danny Interesting to here your take on the Pinot. I ended up grabbing a bottle on my last visit. Not going to get to it until after the holidays (unless I see it at TJ’s in Milwaukee). Yours is the first negative thought I’ve heard on it. Stay tuned!

    @Diane Love Mendocino Pinot but had the ’06 Castle Rock and wasn’t a fan. That said I am game for trying the ’07. Should I be looking for one label over the other? Also on the Vinho Verde the brand is Espiral and I had a similar reaction buying 3 bottles on sight without tasting it…

  10. Hi Jason,
    Yes, look for the “new” label. Much simpler with gold lettering. I really didn’t like the ’06 either. I liked their ’06 California Cuvee more. But, I do really like the ’07 Mendocino. Did you end up tasting the Espiral Vinho Verde? I am going to get a bottle at work tomorrow because I am just so curious!

  11. I just stumbled across your blog and love it! I LOVE the Vinho Verde, but I can’t find it anymore. Do any of you Trader Joes people know if it will be back? I asked at my local TJs today, but the guy had no idea what I was talking about. I really want to get more of this wine!

  12. Ask at the office for someone to look in the Alcohol Order Guide for you.
    Tell them to look under “Imports” as it’s from Portugal .
    Some stores carry this one while others don’t. Hence the “???”

    If it’s available through your local store, tell them how many you’d like and try to Special Order it. If that doesn’t work, come to Alameda.
    Last I looked (Wednesday) it’s on the top shelf on the Imports section, first bay as you go towards the back, far right-hand side next to the German wines. (Tall green bottle)

    Please don’t dally as unusual varietal wines tend to have a very short shelf life if they don’t sell well.

  13. Hi I am in Australia and would like to know how I could buy the following wine that i have sourced on your site wine 2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie”

  14. Hi Damian,

    Well, Trader Joe’s is an American grocery store chain owned by a German company. Our focus is good food & drink at value-oriented prices. That said, we are not set up for Internet retail, let alone International shipping. Even if I personally sent this to you, by the time you paid for shipping, the wine would no longer value-priced.
    Jason, any suggestions for something similar available in Damian’s neck of the woods?

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