It’s back again in your snail mailbox. The Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. “A Veritable Parade of Value.”Somewhere in the middle of this little newspaper, somewhere, between the Pumpkin Pie Spice Goodies and the Organic Baby Kale are the featured TJ Wines of the Month.
They always sound enticing and the prices compelling. But are they any good and are they worth the trip to the always busy TJ store near you?
We tasted and reviewed three from a recent issue. As usual, we put them to our tests:
1) open and pour. 2) Use an aerator (reds only) into a glass (whites – 5 minutes in the glass) and 3) Let it open up (reds) in a decanter for 30 Minutes.
This time we gave one red an additional chance to shine and challenged the white a real-world test.
OK, one wine we found totally worthy of your consideration and the other two a bit more complicated. None of them was terrible.
Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Meritage Red Wine 2013
First up: Napa Valley Meritage (a red blend in the “Bordeaux” French Style if you don’t know the made up USA term). Trader Joe’s dubs this one “Grand Reserve.” Which sound a bit lofty. So what’s it all about?
Well, it’s pretty good for $12.99 but you might choose to wait it out and pick a pretty big Cab Sauv glass. Be sure and read the full review for details.
Billy’s Shadow South Australian Red 2014
Next up was a wine from “Down Under.” This is Billy’s Shadow Red from South Australia. They made an Aussie type blend of Shiraz (aka Syrah), Cabernet and some Merlot. All this for $8.99. Since that includes winemaking, bottling, transport from the other side of the world, importing fees, distribution, warehousing and finally retail sales (whew) it had to start out costing less than ice tea. So what’s up with this one?
It’s OK. That is if you leave alone for a bit. Whether might be worth the price, given a bunch of decent Zinfandels for the same or less (click here for recent reviews), is up to you. Much more in our full review.
VINTJS Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Finally, the clear winner of this group of “Fearless” TJ wines: The VINTJS Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. For only $6.99, this nifty white wine is pretty good after a few minutes in the glass to shake off the cold just a tich and grab some air. It got even better after we did a 24 hour opened in the fridge (cork shoved back in) taste test.
This could be your “second night” white wine for only $6.99. Check out our full review notes.
As always, we encourage discussion and dissent with our opinions and findings.
More Trader Joe’s latest featured wine reviews, coming up.
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