Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: 2012 Spring Edition

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: 2012 Spring EditionWell perhaps you are surprised as I am to see this but the fact is that Trader Joe’s is on a decent little run of getting some nice juice in. Certainly the best that I can remember in at least the last 18 months. Coupled with the fact that many from my previous version are no longer available and it seemed like the time was ripe to refresh the list. So without further ado I present the latest:

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts and more importantly your favorites; Trader Joe’s or not. Until then may you find something good in your glass!

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: 2011 Holiday Edition

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: 2011 Holiday EditionI’ve been patiently awaiting the arrival of the Trader Joe’s Holiday Guide so I could unveil the latest version of the Top 10 list. So when it arrived in the mail last night I hopped right to action. Well not exactly… This is long overdue and I apologize for anyone that I left hanging for Thanksgiving but have no fear. The The new and improved Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List is now available with gift ideas for Christmas and wines to ring in the New Year. Hopefully a little something for everybody. And for those that can’t find these don’t fret. Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you find something you like. So without further ado I present the latest:

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts. Stay tuned for my report on my top wines of 2011 (where did the year go!). Until then may you find something good in your glass!

The Top 10 Trader Joe’s Classic Wines

The Top 10 Trader Joe’s Classic WinesA few days ago when I published the latest Trader Joe’s Top 10 wines list I mentioned that I often hear from folks who can’t find many of the wines included. My news to those people at the time was not to fret for another list was on the way. A list of wines you should be able drop into your local store whenever the need arises. So here you have it. 4+ years of Trader Joe’s wine tasting culminated into a single list of “classics” that produce quality wines at fantastic prices vintage after vintage. Without further adieu…

After looking this over I see two wines that already seem to be missing. Both from Columbia Crest. The Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon of which I recently had the ’06 and found it outstanding and the Two Vines Merlot which is always a nice, easy drinker. Did I miss any of your favorites? Any of these not available in your local market? Let me know in the comments below…

The Trader Joe's Wall of Fame...In the meantime I’ll start pondering my next Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wines List. Perhaps the “Wall of Fame”? Here are some contenders I’ve recently had that would be likely suspects to appear…

Not much to say about these wines other than I wish I had a time machine. If I did I would back up the truck and grab a few cases of each of these. The Clos LaChance Merlot is a fantastic wine of which I sadly only have one more. Time to go find Doc Brown…

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: The Holiday Edition

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: The Holiday EditionYes it is true. After leaving everyone hanging for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year I wanted to make sure I didn’t do the same this year. So with that the new and improved Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List is now available. Plenty of choices for Thanksgiving dinner, gift ideas for Christmas or bubbly to ring in the New Year. Hopefully a little something for everybody. And for those that can’t find these don’t fret. Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you find something you like. And just in case you are shy I have a list of the Top 10 classics, those wines that have delivered vintage after vintage, ready to publish in the next few days. So without further adieu I present the latest:

Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts. Stay tuned for the aforementioned classics list as well as my report on my top wines of 2010. Until then may you find something good in your glass!

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines: The New Year’s Version

2007 Trentatre RossoApologies! I missed Thanksgiving and yet again Xmas. With that I promised facing an 0-2 count I would deliver for New Year’s. At least for those waiting until the last minute to do your shopping! Little was inspiring me to publish a new Top 10 list, so much so that I was heading towards writing the classics list just to highlight those wines that had delivered vintage after vintage. Sometime over the last few weeks I realized I had more than enough new offerings to publish a Top 10 list of interest and without further adieu I present the latest:

Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts. Stay tuned for the aforementioned classics list as well as my report on my top wines of 2009.

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines Update: The Summer Version

 Trader Joe’s Wines: Top 10 Wine ListIt’s been almost three months and I didn’t want to miss the change to introduce a new, summer inspired Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wine list. There have been many that have come and gone in this time including what I would refer to as TJ’s one and only cult wine; the Chariot Gypsy. The list has undergone quite a shuffle with only six of the previous ten remaining. That said two old favorites have clawed their way back up the rankings. So before we get to it once again here is the only ground rule. All wines listed have to have been either purchased or available in the last month. Keep in mind I am located in the San Francisco Bay area so availability (and prices) may be different than your local Trader Joe’s. Without further adieu I present the latest:

Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List

Enjoy!

BTW, for those fellow wine bloggers that may be reading there has been many here asking for similar list from Costco and Cost Plus among others. Let me know if anyone has interest and I’ll be happy to share.

Trader Joe’s Wines: Top 10 List…it’s back!

 Trader Joe’s Wines: Top 10 Wine Listbetter late than never… just in time for Memorial Day… by popular demand… I know, I know. How hard can it be to write a post about ten wines. These things can snowball in your imagination when you start to think about the possibilities. I can do this, I can do that and soon you can’t do anything because there is so much to do. Wow, I just reread that. Pretty crappy way to apologize to all of you. Let’s try to make it more straightforward, sorry this has taken so long!

So, what caused this snowball effect. I wanted to make the Top 10 list a readily available on the home page. I wanted to make it available easily from the iPhone. I wanted to have pictures of all the wines and include your rankings. comments on each. Baby steps it will be. I have slightly integrated it to the home page via the clickable image on the top left, not to intuitive yet so look for improvements shortly. In addition I have made the list a standalone page which is good news. No more confusion over is this the latest or is that the latest. Bookmark it once and you can be sure you are getting the most up to date information for life. Again, baby steps. Look for further improvements shortly. Now, before we get to the main event here once again are the ground rules, all one of them. All wines listed have to have been either purchased or available in the last month. Keep in mind I am located in the San Francisco Bay area so availability (and prices) may be different than your local Trader Joe’s. Without further adieu I present the latest…the greatest…

Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List

Enjoy!

As an added bonus, should you not be inclined to Trader Joe’s wine or just prefer fishing in more than one pond after months of negotiations I’ve convinced RJ’s of RJ’s Wine Blog to start publishing the Whole Foods Top 10 Wine List. Next up is someone to take on Costco, think Bob of the The Wellesley Wine Press and I will be talking shortly…

Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of November 2008

 Best of Trader Joe’s Wine - Top 10 Wines of November 2008

Many months have come and gone and with the holiday season upon us now seems an optimal time to revisit my Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines. Perhaps you can use it to pick out some economically sensible gifts for the winos on your shopping list. Let’s get to it…the ground rules; wines listed all have to have been either purchased or available during the month to which the post refers. The rankings from the previous Top 10 will be provided in parenthesis and those that have fallen out of the rankings will also be noted. Now for the main event!

1. 2006 Dynamic Red Table Wine – $9 (Previous Rank: 4) – Wow this is good, somehow missed the depth here initially. Fantastic bottle for the price. Grabbed a case, you should too while you can, that is if you can make your mortgage payment…

2. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot – $5 (Previous Rank: 1) – Debate season is over but I am still enjoying this one like it is October… My most purchased Christmas gift…

3. 2003 Alderbrook Old Vine Zinfandel – $8 (Previous Rank: NR) – This one had fallen out of the ranking as it was unavailable. I lamented I should have grabbed more. Well it reappeared and I grabbed a case! (review not yet posted, stay tuned…)

4. 2006 Chiusa Grande Tommolo Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo – Thanks to @oenanist for putting this one of my radar. I have been enjoying it regularly and it is my new favorite in the Italian section.

5. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – $7 (Previous Rank: 5) It’s winter, but this is still good with salmon…

6. 2004 Santino Sierra Foothills Zinfandel – A nice, easy drinking Zin. For $4, sign me up! Better yet this one is from the Sierra Foothills which @Megan recommends and I need to explore more.

7. 2007 Novella Synergy Blanc – $6 (Previous Rank: 7) –This has a little more pairing versatility than Sauvignon Blanc and is still the “other” white wine of choice.

8. 2006 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 3) – This one is suffering a bit as it is best had on its own, in shorts, watching the sunset. Did I mention it snowed in San Francisco this morning? (link is for 2006)

9. 2006 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $8 (Previous Rank: 8) – The weather is getting colder and this is getting better. At least from a pairing perspective. Goes great with chili!

10. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Previous Rank: 6) All the Epicuro offerings are well worth the money. You won’t be disappointed if you chose this, the Salice Salentino or the Nero d’ Avola. Get’em all!

Falling – these have seen their stock fall over the last month…

2005 Santa Ynez Valley Winery Cabernet Franc – $9 (Previous Rank: 9) – My latest bottle was nice, but hey this is Trader Joe’s wine we are talking about. For $9, nice doesn’t cut it. (link is for 2005)

2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie” – $6 (Previous Rank: 10) – A nice, light refreshing wine has a hard time getting opened during the winter. This one needs frequent flyer tickets to the southern hemisphere.

Gone – sadly these appear to no longer be available…
2005 Chariot Gypsy – $5 (Previous Rank: 2) – Rumors of the ’06 abound with sighting in SoCal and Fresno, nothing in the Bay Area yet…

Let me know what you think. Did I miss any? Feel something is overrated? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,
Jason

Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of September 2008

If you arrived here and are interested in the latest top 10 list, click here. Otherwise please read on.

Another month has come and gone making it time to revisit my Top 10 Trader Joe’s Wines. With the seasons changing I thought whites might become scarcer but the weather in my neck of the woods is still doing plenty to encourage early evening quaffing with the sun setting in the background. Without further adieu…the ground rules; wines listed all have to have been either purchased or available during the month to which the post refers. The rankings from the previous month will be provided in parenthesis and I will provide some details on those that have fallen out of the rankings. With two new entrants in the top two spots this month let’s get to it.

1. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot – $5 (Previous Rank: 2) – Perfect for the debate season, get some before tomorrow night!

2. 2005 Chariot Gypsy – $5 (Previous Rank: NR) – Reminds me of my favorite wine ever, at a fraction of the price.

3. 2006 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 1) – Seasons are changing but this one is standing the test of time. (link is for 2006)

4. 2006 Dynamic Red Table Wine- $9 (Previous Rank: 6) – Perhaps you could say this is a much more elegant version of the Franc Merlot. Certainly worth every penny but a bit pricey. (review not yet posted)

5. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – $7 (Previous Rank: 10) Enjoy this one more and more each time I drink it.

6. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Previous Rank: 9) This one has made it back into my rotation and reminded me why it was ranked number one for so many months in a row.

7. 2007 Novella Synergy Blanc – $6 (Previous Rank: 7) –Mistakenly referred to as Chardonnay last month, while the name has changed the enjoyment factor has not. A great white blend that will surely please all.

8. 2006 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $8 (Previous Rank: 8) – Still dependable but with the Franc Merlot and Chariot Gypsy in the picture getting relegated to the back burner. (link is for 2006)

9. 2005 Santa Ynez Valley Winery Cabernet Franc – $9 (Previous Rank: 4) – Like the Carmenere this has been a bit overshadowed by the excellent Cabernet Franc blends available right now. Still, looking forward to the next bottle soon. (link is for 2005)

10. 2007 Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Sur Lie” – $6 (Previous Rank: NR) – A nice, light refreshing wine made to be consumed on the patio with friends on a warm summer evening.

Falling – these have seen their stock fall over the last month…

2005 Kono Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 5) – It may be the hideous new label throwing me off here, or the $2 extra per bottle versus the King Shag either way it has at least temporarily lost its luster.

Gone – these appear to no longer be available…let me know if you have seen them!

• 2003 Alderbrook Old Vine Zinfandel – $8 (Previous Rank: 3) – Should have gotten more of this one while I had the chance…

Best of Trader Joe’s Wine – Top 10 Wines of August 2008

If you arrived here and are interested in the latest top 10 list, follow this link now!

Hard to believe it has been so long since we have last done this. With my laundry list of quick Trader Joe’s Wine reviews published I am finally ready to tackle this after a long absence. Many of those posted below have yet to be reviewed individually, look for these soon. As always, the rankings from the last post are provided in parenthesis and I will provide some details on those that have fallen out of the rankings. Let’s get to it…

1. 2007 Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 1) – link is for 2006 but the ’07 is not missing a beat. The best white at TJ’s, hands down!

2. 2006 The California Wine Party Franc Merlot – $5 (Previous Rank: NR) – A perfect wine for the election season. A blend of Cab Franc and Merlot, grab it fast it seems to be disappearing already. I’ll grab a case if I can find it.

3. 2003 Alderbrook Old Vine Zinfandel – $8 (Previous Rank: NR) – $20 on wine.com and you can taste complexity. I’m looking for more

4. 2006 Santa Ynez Valley Winery Cabernet Franc – $9 (Previous Rank: NR) – link is for 2005 (which was #2 on my Top 10 list for 2007) but not sensing much fall off with the ’06. High quality as well.

5. 2007 Kono Sauvignon Blanc – $8 (Previous Rank: 5) – If my notes serve me correctly we just went from the ’05 to the 2007. This isn’t the Geyser Peak but it is sure a nice change of pace. Especially if you prefer Citrus on the palate.

6. 2006 Dynamic Red Table Wine- $9 (Previous Rank: NR) – An excellent wine, a Cab Franc, Cabernet, Merlot blend and from Mendocino to boot. Just not sure I can justify an additional four dollars beyond the “Franc Merlot”

7. NV Novella Chardonnay- $6 (Previous Rank: NR) –This one replaced the Callaway as the house Chardonnay.

8. 2007 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere – $8 (Previous Rank: 6) – Now the ’07 which also added a $1 to the price tag. That said, it seems as dependable as always.

9. 2005 Epicuro Aglianico – $5 (Previous Rank: 2) Still drinking nice with easy fruit up front. Time to get another case as the first two have more or less disappeared…

10. 2007 King Shag Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc- $7 (Previous Rank: NR) A buck cheaper than the Kono and just as good. A little more zing and a little less citrus.

Out…
2006 Michel Leon Gewurztraminer – $7 (Previous Rank: 9) – Still good, just haven’t been preferring the sweeter wines lately.

2006 Callaway California Chardonnay – $5 (Previous Rank: 10) – Taken out of the equation by the Novella Synergy

2005 Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon – $6 (Previous Rank: 7) – now the ’05 rather than the 2004. Vintage shift also saw appellation switch to Washington from Columbia Valley. Seems a bit greener but settled it with time. Worth revisiting in a few months.

2005 Gravity Hills Base Camp Syrah – $5 (Previous Rank: 8) – Still better than most, just a plethora of options.

Gone
2005 XS Red California Cabernet Sauvignon – $4 (Previous Rank: 3) – Disappeared all too fast. Had a case, would like a few more…

2003 Red Flyer California Red – $3 (Previous Rank: 4) – A nice blend of many grapes. Many imitators at Trader Joe’s today. Just few that can do it this well.

Let me know if you have any others that I may be missing. or if you have any thoughts let me know as well.

Cheers,

Jason