Trader Joe’s Merlot Run

October 31, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

As some of you might know, I can never pass on visiting the local Trader Joe’s when traveling – as long as it offers wine (which seems to be the case so far in the most places I visit). Last week I was in Santa Clara in California, so the trip to the nearby Trader Joe’s was unavoidable.

trader joe wines californiaDeciding on what wine to buy at Trader Joe’s is difficult. I always take price into account, but then there are lots of wines in the same, super-reasonable prices range of $5 -$8. The next option is the label – yes, I’m a sucker for creative labels, and then, of course, the region comes to play.

As I slowly walked along the wine shelves, the label of Jebediah Drinkwell’s caught my eye – it was strangely attractive – plus I like Meritage wines, so it was an easy decision.  I picked up Trellis Merlot because it was a Merlot (and October is a Merlot month) – and I was really curious to see what $4.99 can buy you from Sonoma. Cecilia Beretta was the third bottle I got – wanted to go outside of California, and “Partially dried grapes” always sounds like a music to me.

Looking at the wines later on, the idea  of #MerlotMe dedication came along – would all these wines be Merlot based? To my delight, in addition to the 100% Merlot from Sonoma, two other wines also had substantial Merlot content, so here you go my friends, a Merlot run at Trader Joe’s.

Here are my notes:

NV Jebediah Drinkwell’s Meritage Red Wine Paso Robles ($5.99, 37% Petite Verdot, 31% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec)
C: dark Ruby
N: touch of smoke, roasted meat,
P: soft fruit, blackberries, tobacco, good acidity, medium-long finish
V: 7+/8-, quite enjoyable

2014 Trellis Merlot Sonoma County (14.5% ABV, $4.99)
C: garnet
N: restrained, distant hint of cassis, herbs
P: soft, round, cassis, good acidity
V: 7+, excellent QPR

2014 Cecilia Beretta Soraie Veneto IGT (14% ABV, $7.99, 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina, 20% Cabernet, 10% Croatina, grapes dried for a few weeks before pressing)
C: dark garnet
N: touch of blueberry pie, quite restrained
P: touch of blueberries, tobacco, hint of dried fruit, good power but round, soft tannins, medium finish
V: 7+, will work well with food – pasta with some hearty tomato sauce would be perfect

As you can tell, it is pretty amazing what $18 can buy you at Trader Joe’s. Also, it is my second experience with non-vintage wine at Trader Joe’s, and I’m definitely impressed with the quality of that wine.

Do you buy wines at Trader Joe’s? Any interesting finds you care to share? Cheers!

  1. October 31, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes part in this ritual!

    • talkavino
      October 31, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      aha! Glad to hear that 🙂 TJ’s wine selection is always very interesting.

  2. October 31, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Our trader joes in NJ do not sell wine and you always make me so jealous when I see your TJ posts! :o)

    • Inka
      October 31, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      NJ has two Trader Joes that sell alcohol: TJ’s Princeton and TJ’s Westfield (the last one is currently closed for repairs).

      • November 1, 2016 at 6:08 am

        Oh. Wow. No where near me. I didn’t know. Thanks!!

    • talkavino
      October 31, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      next time when you are in CA, don’t miss it 🙂

      • November 1, 2016 at 6:08 am

        They are building one right by our new home. I’m very excited! When they open and I’m there I should take a pic and send it to you!!!

  3. October 31, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    These wines look great! I wish the Trader Joe’s near me sold wine!

    • talkavino
      October 31, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      There is one at Gramercy Park – that is the only one in the city. But this is exactly why I love exploring the TJ’s around the country – their wine selection is excellent, there is always something interesting to taste without breaking the bank.

  4. whirlaway
    November 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Which TJ’s was it? The one on Coleman Ave near SJ airport?

    I must be lucky in that I have 6 different TJ’s in six different directions from my house, all within about 4 or 5 miles!

    Among the recent interesting wines, I saw they had a fabulous red blend called “Stark Raving Red Blend” a couple of months ago, and priced it at $3.99 They were all gone before you could say, “This is a great red blend at such a low price!” Glad that I was able to get 4 bottles. I went back the next day (to 3 of my 6 nearest stores) and they were all gone!

    • talkavino
      November 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      The one on Coleman Ave, you are right. Yes, TJ’s has lots of great wines – it sounds like they are equally hard to get 🙂

      • whirlaway
        November 21, 2016 at 5:09 pm

        This TJ’s is just outside Santa Clara, and in San Jose. But I guessed this is what you meant. Actually, there is NO TJ’s in Santa Clara at all! But Santa Clarans are never too far from a TJ’s since neighbor Sunnyvale has one and San Jose has several.

        The one that is commonly referred to as “Cupertino TJ’s” is also just outside Cupertino and again in San Jose.

  5. Inka
    May 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    “Do you buy wines at Trader Joe’s? Any interesting finds you care to share?”
    I do buy wine at TJ and like it very much.
    Recently I was very impressed with Trader Joe’s Reserve Meritage (2013, Mendocino County, Lot #138) for $9.99.
    Another find is Pontificis Viogner-Roussanne-Marsanne (2015) for $6.99.

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