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.
Deciding 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)
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!
It was a while since I posted one of these, but when I saw the announcement for the Wine Til Sold Out “Anything Goes” marathon, somehow I felt inclined to collect the data and create this post. As nobody has time to constantly watch all the wines been offered, the table below presents all (I hope) wines which were included in the marathon, so you can ponder at your own leisure – sorry, that might lead to some regrets too, but I can’t help you with that.
The fact that I didn’t do this in a while shows in the quality of data below, unfortunately – quite a bit of information is missing. I had to recreate the script, and the computer went to sleep right in a middle of a data collection and I lost it all on the wake up. But I hope you will still find it useful as limited as it is. You can see below the prices, the ratings and at what time the wines were offered and for how long they lasted.
Without further ado, here is the table with all the wines offered during marathon (including super-beauty double Barolo package offered right after). If you took part in the marathon, I’m curious to know what you got. And if you missed some wines – well, you can rant in that comments space below. Happy Wine Wednesday and cheers!
Here is the guide to the rating abbreviations (this list is ever inclusive – not all of them are used below): WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO – Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound, IWR – International Wine Report, TLC – The Library Collection, PR – Pinot Report, TWN – The Wine News, LM – Luca Maroni, Sn – Snooth.com.
|12:00a||Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano 2005/2007 2-Pack||WA95, ST95||$520.00||$199.99||62%|
|11:45p||Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon||JHN93||$70.00||$29.99||57%|
|11:29p||Podere la Regola ‘La Regola’ Super Tuscan IGT Red Blend 2008||WA93||$46.00||$22.99||50%|
|11:13p||Achaval-Ferrer ‘Finca Mirador’ Mendoza Malbec 2008||WA96, 93WS||$150.00||$59.99||60%|
|11:00p||Col d’Orcia ‘Il Veltro’ Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008||$50.00||$23.99||52%|
|10:44p||Clarendon Hills ‘Liandra Vineyard’ Clarendon Syrah 2007||JH95||$85.00||$33.99||60%|
|10:35p||Casalvento ‘Janus’ Toscana 2011 Half Bottle (375.00ml)||JS93||$60.00||$19.99||67%|
|10:20p||Giacomo Borgogno et Figli Barolo Riserva DOCG 2004 Special Edition||JS93||$110.00||$39.99||64%|
|10:06p||Chateau Luchey-Halde Pessac-Leognan Red Blend 2009||IWR92+||$95.00||$29.99||68%|
|9:50p||Philippe LeClerc Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux 1er Cru 2011||JHN92||$120.00||$49.99||58%|
|9:36p||Champagne Tendil & Lombardi Cuvee Rose NV||WS90||$69.00||$29.99||57%|
|9:30p||Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard 2011||WS93||$75.00||$39.99||47%|
|9:15p||Eagles Trace Winery Estate Grown Napa Valley Merlot 2007||$45.00||$22.99||49%|
|9:00p||Barolo 2009 Single Vineyard Cru Ciabot Berton Roggeri||WRO94, JS93||$90.00||$32.99||63%|
|8:45p||Marques del Puerto Bentus Reserva 2005||WE92||$60.00||$19.99||67%|
|8:36p||Rancho Zabaco Monte ‘Toreador’ 2010 Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Zinfandel||WA93||$60.00||$26.99||55%|
|8:23p||La Esquina Torrontes 2014||$22.00||$9.99||55%|
|8:09p||Corte Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Gli Archi 2004||WE92||$54.99||$29.99||45%|
|8:00p||Krutz Family Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011||$74.00||$39.99||47%|
|7:49p||Lisini 2009 Brunello di Montalcino 93 rating and 53%||IWR93, WS91||$78.00||$36.99||53%|
|7:34p||Sancerre 2013 ‘Les 7 Hommes ‘ 100% Sauvignon Blanc By Cherrier Pere & Fils||IWR90+||$39.00||$17.99||54%|
|7:26p||Quinta Seara d’Ordens Vintage Port 2011||WE92||$90.00||$37.99||58%|
|7:16p||Colle Lungo Campo Cerchi Chianti Classico Riserva 2006||$50.00||$24.99||50%|
|7:04p||Domaine du Grand Tinel Chateauneuf du Pape 2012||WS91, WA91||$60.00||$26.99||55%|
|6:52p||Robert Young Estate Winery ‘Red Winery Road’ Chardonnay 2013||$35.00||$17.99||49%|
|6:41p||Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rose Sauvage NV||WRO93, WS92||$69.99||$39.99||43%|
|6:31p||Tempranillo ‘Valnuevo’ Toro 2006 Bodegas y Vinedos Tardencuba||WA93+||$70.00||$39.99||43%|
|6:23p||Eagles Trace Wines ‘Latitude 38’ Estate Grown Napa Valley Red Blend 2011||$85.00||$34.99||59%|
|6:12p||Gaston and Pierre Ravaut Aloxe-Corton Vieilles Vignes 2009 Cote de Beaune||WS90||$70.00||$35.99||49%|
|5:58p||Citille di Sopra ‘Poggio Ronconi’ Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010||JS97||$95.00||$46.99||51%|
|5:50p||Encantado Rutherford 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon||$50.00||$22.99||54%|
|5:38p||Ernest Meurgey-Perron Meursault Premier Cru White Burgundy 2013||JHN92||$100.00||$39.99||60%|
|5:24p||Champagne Philippe Prie Cuvee Archange NV||WS92||$95.00||$34.99||63%|
|5:15p||Mendoza Vineyards Gran Reserva Malbec 2011||WA92||$60.00||$19.99||67%|
|4:58p||Fontanafredda ‘Varej’ Barbera Piedmont DOC 2013||$17.99||$9.99||44%|
|4:48p||Champagne Henri Abele Rose NV||WS91||$55.00||$27.99||49%|
|4:42p||Long Meadow Ranch Rutherford 2013 Reserve Red Blend||JHN93||$100.00||$29.99||70%|
|4:36p||Antolini ‘Moropio’ Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010||WE93||$79.00||$27.99||65%|
|4:22p||Domaine Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige 2011||WS93, WA93||$80.00||$39.99||50%|
|4:16p||Sojourn Cellars ‘Campbell Ranch Vineyard’ Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012||PR94||$45.00||$39.99||11%|
|4:08p||Fattoria Scopone Brunello di Montalcino ‘Olivare’ DOCG 2010||JS95||$80.00||$36.99||54%|
|3:56p||Super Tuscan ‘Marchesale’ Terre del Marchesato Toscana IGT 2007||WE94||$80.00||$33.99||58%|
|3:44p||Ribera del Duero 2009 ‘Antonio Izquierdo’ Vendimia Seleccionada Bodegas Izquiredo||WA93||$120.00||$45.99||62%|
|3:28p||Keating Wines ‘Buchignani Vineyard’ Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012||WE91||$35.00||$19.99||43%|
|3:14p||Burgess Cellars ‘Library Release’ Napa Valley 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon||$150.00||$89.99||40%|
|3:11p||Antonin Rodet Macon-Ige ‘Le Chaillou’ Chardonnay 2011||JHN91||$35.00||$14.99||57%|
|2:55p||Domaine Louis Cheze Cuvee ‘Anges’ Saint-Joseph AOC Syrah 2007||WS93||$75.00||$29.99||60%|
|2:42p||Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon||JHN93||$70.00||$29.99||57%|
|2:29p||Bodegas Bioenos Gorys Crespiello 2010 91 rating and 72%||WA91||$100.00||$27.99||72%|
|2:18p||Fontanafredda ‘Lazzarito’ Vigna La Delizia Barolo DOCG 1999||WA92||$170.00||$49.99||71%|
|2:08p||Guillaume Baptiste ‘L’Evidence’ 2014 Pouilly-Fume||JHN91+||$35.00||$15.99||54%|
|1:58p||Pannier Egerie Champagne 2002||WE92||$100.00||$39.99||60%|
|1:52p||Casalvento Vineyards and Winery Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010||94||47%|
|1:46p||C. Donatiello Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012||92||56%|
|1:34p||Eagles Trace ‘Latitude 38’ Estate Grown Napa Valley Red Blend 2009||51%|
|1:26p||Chateau Moulin de la Rose Saint-Julien 2008||WE92||59%|
|1:16p||Clarendon Hills ‘Blewitt Springs’ Clarendon Grenache 2007||93||46%|
|1:08p||Valentina Cubi ‘Morar’ 2008 Amarone della Valpolicella||93||59%|
|1:01p||Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2012||94||43%|
|12:50p||Tenimenti Soprani Barolo DOCG 2010||56%|
|12:37p||Jamieson Ranch Vineyards ‘Reata’ 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir||92||56%|
|12:24p||Buoncristiani Family Winery ‘O.P.C.’ Napa Valley 2010 Proprietary Red Blend||92||40%|
|12:16p||Loacker Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008||93||59%|
|12:09p||H. Blin Champagne Brut NV||91||59%|
|11:50a||Maroon Winery Spring Mountain District Reserve 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon||50%|
|11:39a||Prosecco Bosco dei Cirmioli Veneto NV||50%|
|11:24a||Lisini 2009 Brunello di Montalcino||93||53%|
|11:16a||Vintage Port Wine and Soul ‘Pintas’ 2011||96||38%|
|11:07a||Gran Reserva Rioja 2001 Bodegas Lar de Paula Gran Baroja||90||47%|
|11:02a||Encantado 2012 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon||62%|
|10:55a||Joseph Mellot Vigne de la Demoiselle Sancerre Rose 2014||44%|
|10:47a||Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco DOCG 2005||50%|
|10:41a||Pinot Noir Premier Cru Beaune Perrieres 2007 Maison Louis Latour||90||57%|
|10:26a||Champagne Veuve Doussot Brut Rose NV 100% Pinot Noir||90||63%|
|10:17a||Robert Stemmler Winery Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir 2011||91||55%|
|10:08a||Groth Vineyards and Winery Reserve 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon||94||36%|
|9:53a||Barolo DOCG Cascina Adelaide ‘Fossati’ 2008||WS93||$125.00||$39.99||68%|
|9:44a||Domaine Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige 2008||93||63%|
|9:34a||Sancerre 100% Sauvignon Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2012 Domaine Raimbault||91||62%|
|9:29a||Cru du Rhone Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2011 Domaine du Grand Montmirail||91||64%|
|9:22a||Casa Brancaia ‘Ilatraia’ 2009 Maremma Toscana IGT||94||56%|
|9:15a||Beaulieu Vineyard ‘Tapestry’ Napa Valley Reserve Red Blend 2011||54%|
|9:00a||Piper-Heidsieck Vintage Brut 2006||92||33%|
In its typical style, when you least expect it (meaning – the day before the event), Last Bottle, a purveyor of the fine wines at the value prices, announced yet another “Madness Marathon”. The promise is to make it the most over the top ever, and considering that at 1 PM Pacific time Last Bottle plans to offer Domaine de la Romanee Conti (yep, the sacred DRC!), that might not be an empty threat.
Here is all you need to know:
The event takes place on Thursday, December 18th, starting at 9 AM Pacific time (Noon Eastern), the wines will be offered at a neck-breaking (hmmm, may be, finger-breaking? ) speed at the Last Bottle web site. No notifications of any sort, not even on twitter – you have to click “refresh” all the time. No minimums, all the wines you will buy will ship free, shortly after the event will be over. The event will last for two days or until all the wine will be sold out.
You will need to have an account with Last Bottle, and I also highly recommend to be logged into your account all the time during the event, with your payment information filled it – if you are not fast enough, you are not getting that amazing wine at an amazing price – there is always someone who clicks faster than you.
As usual, when I mention Last Bottle, in case you don’t have an account with them already, I always offer an opportunity to sign up – if you will sign up using this link, you will get $5 off your first purchase, and yes, I will get $20 after your first purchase. The beauty is that moving forward, you can sign up your friends, and now you will be the one to get $20 after they will buy the wine from the Last Bottle.
Okay, enough reading – go make some room in your cellar – you will need it. And if you will be the one to buy the DRC, can you please at least leave a comment here, so I will be able to envy you?
Happy [great value wine] Hunting!
Yes, I know – this is a last minute note – but I just got an e-mail about it…
Only yesterday the dust settled after the WTSO Magnum Marathon, yet another one of my favorite [amazing] value wine purveyors is throwing in a challenge to our wallets and our storage spaces (who had been threatened recently by the significant other to go live outside of the house “if you only…” on one or both counts – raise your hand!) – Last Bottle Madness Marathon will be starting today (04/24) at 12 PM Eastern/ 9 AM Pacific time, and continuing for the next 48 hours, or until the Last Bottle cellar will be empty.
All the wines will be offered in the rapid succession, without any notifications – no twitter, no e-mails, no text messages. The only way to follow the madness is by constantly refreshing your browser window. There are no minimum requirements – you can buy 1 bottle at a time, it is fine. All the wines you will buy will be shipped together 2-3 weeks after the event.
You will need to have an account with Last Bottle wines, and I suggest that in that account you will have all the information ready to go – speaking from the experience, the wine you want might be well gone by the time you will finish putting in expiration date for your credit card. In case if you don’t have a Last Bottle account already, I will be glad to be your reference – if you will sign up using this link, you will get $5 credit on your first order (yes, I will get $20 credit after your first purchase – but once you are in, now you will be the one who will tell friends about it). In case the link doesn’t work, feel free to send me an e-mail to talkavino-info (at) yahoo (dot) com.
Happy [amazing wine at great value] hunting!
It is Sunday, and I have rather a hodge-podge mix for you here. I have a few things a wanted to share, and while they are all not connected (or may be they are), I think it all make sense in the format of Sunday time. Here we go.
The first one belongs to the Daily Glass category, which is intended for the simple daily wines I drink, well, daily – and I’m always looking for value. This time, the search for value lead me to Kirkland Signature Médoc.
I love value wines. Of course we can remove the word “value” from the previous sentence – yes, I’m an oenophile, also often known as a wine snob. At the same time, I think the word “value” is important. “Value wine” means you get disproportional amount of pleasure compare to the amount of money you invest into that bottle of wine. A €1.29 Portuguese red and white are ultimate examples of the value wines. Trader Joe’s carries a lot of outstanding value wines at $5.99 or less. I remember amazing Montepulciano wines at $5 per bottle I was buying by the caseload. Well, La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza at $30 will also perfectly fit the bill, but this is the whole other story. Okay, I’m sure you got my point.
So here comes Costco. Value is a whole premise of huge warehousing operation of Costco’s chain, and of course it extends into the wines. To deliver ultimate value (supposedly, at least), Costco even has its own brand, called Kirkland.
When I visit Costco which has a wine section (not all the warehouses have it – the one I usually go to does not), I always have to explore it. And yes, I’m looking for value. This time around, I decided to extend my quest for value to the ultimate heights, and got a bottle of Kirkland Signature Médoc, which I found for $8.99 at Costco in Massachussets.
Médoc wine for $8.99? How good can that be? Finding palatable wines from Bordeaux (not even talking about good wines) at that price is mostly a mission impossible. And this wine is not even designated as a whole Bordeaux, it is Médoc AOC, which theoretically means the grapes should be better- but again, at under $10? Well, let’s see if Costco can actually do it.
2011 Kirkland Signature Médoc AOC (13.5 ABV, $8.99, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot) had dark garnet red color in the glass. The nose didn’t exhibit much of the fruit. On the palate, there was a hint of raspberries, and may be a whiff of tobacco, otherwise the wine was rather flat, lacking the mid palate weight and substance. Drinkability: 6. This was the wine without sense of place – you know you are drinking wine, but otherwise it completely fails to solicit an emotional response. Was that the worst wine I ever had? No. Was that the wine I would recommend to someone? No. Was that the wine I would ever buy again? No. Can you buy this wine if you must have Bordeaux on the table? Yes. Would that wine benefit from aging or aggressive decanting? Maybe, but we will need to establish it first. Is it possible that you actually might like this wine? Of course! And I would love to hear from you if you do.
Next up – the Holiday Dinner Party video. No, this is not the wine video, but instead, it is a great video dedicated to all of you cooks out there. This was sent to me by a friend, an avid cook herself (if the recipe doesn’t require at least a stick of butter, she is not making it). With the holidays, and all the festivities, friends and families getting together, I’m sure all of you can relate to what you are about to hear. But enough words – here is the video:
And last, but not least for today – the wine infographics. I’m an information junkie, and I love processing of the lists of all sorts. Continuing the theme of value wines, below is a very interesting infographics presenting 10 great wines for $10. Well, yes, “great” is a very personal characteristic, but it is always fun to align the opinions and see what the other person thinks – definitely a fun for me. To be honest, I don’t remember tasting any of the wines below. So please take a look, and of course, comment away – I’m very curious about your opinion.
That’s all I have for you for today! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and cheers!
About two weeks ago, on February 20th, WTSO (Wine Til Sold Out), one of my very favorite purveyors of great QPR wines, had another one of their Cheapskate events – all the wines are priced from $7.99 to $18.99, offered in the quantities of four, new wines are offered every 15 minutes or sooner, and all the notifications about new wines are only coming out on the Twitter. While I was on vacation and couldn’t take advantage of any offers, my faithful computer did its best to collect the information (which in the end of the day made me upset as I saw how many great deals I missed).
As I have done it before, I would like to share with you all the data, so you too can get upset – or not, as you can instead be happy about all the money you saved. Let me add few observations here. There were about 130 wines offered. Very few wines lasted 15 minutes, many wines disappeared in a matter of couple of minutes. I counted four very strange glitches, where the wine was seemingly offered at WTSO web site, but not showing up in the twitter stream – if you followed the event and saw that too, I would like to know what you think about it. This is definitely a first time for me observing such a discrepancy (not that this is all that essential though).
Before I will leave you with the data, here is the usual guide to rating abbreviations: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO – Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound.
Enjoy and cheers!