Here’s the wine to buy at Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s had it’s humble beginnings in Southern California in 1967 and have now expanded to include locations all over the country. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love TJ’s. With their signature Hawaiian shirts, the staff makes you feel welcome and they always seem happy.
The big question remains, though, is the wine any good? After all, Trader Joe’s brought the world “Two Buck Chuck”. The answer is definitely yes. The wines can be terrific values. The caveat is that you need to sift through them to find the best deals. That’s what I’m here for.
The other day I bought four New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that were under $10.00 at my local Trader Joe’s so I could taste, review and see if I could find at least one real bargain. At these low prices you can taste several wines and then go back for a case or two of the one you really like. On more than one occasion I’ve actually tasted wines in my car in the parking lot and then gone back in to buy more. (Don’t tell the cops!)
This time I took the wines home to chill and share with my wine loving neighbors. Here are the wines I poured and my evaluation:
2016 Babich NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough – $8.99
This is a tight, balanced wine that definitely shows the typical grapefruit and grassy notes but is softened with tropical fruit and a floral layer. That being said, there is still plenty of acidic backbone that piques the pretty flavors and holds everything together. Really nice and a great value!
2015 The Pass NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough – $7.99
Fun and simple displaying the signature NZ Sauvignon Blanc profile with good acid and a decent finish. This is a basic wine that was a little over the top with its grassy notes and petrol. This would be a good choice for an outdoor summer party.
2015 Nobilo NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough – $8.99
This wine arrives on the palate with more tropical fruit and a background of a slight sweetness. It still has the typical white grapefruit, lime zest and grassy notes, but rounds them off with some white fruits and floral qualities. My complaint here was that it has a very short finish.
2015 Sauvignon Republic NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough – $7.99
Very typical NZ Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit, citrus zest and a bit more subtle grassiness. I got some tropical notes and pineapple that were pleasant, but the dominant trait in this wine is an over-the-top acidity that throws it a bit out of balance.
Babich was the hands down winner and The Pass edges the others out for its regional and varietal typicality and for it’s simple refreshing quality. Buy either one depending on your taste and you are getting a good value wine. My neighbors all agree and we’re all looking forward to the next tasting.