This well-known Trader Joe’s brand simply must be a part of my tastings. After all, this is a blog focusing on inexpensive wines. While Charles Shaw can no longer be called Two Buck Chuck, it still sells at a very low price point.
Winemaker: Charles Shaw for Trader Joe’s
Varietal: Pinot Grigio
Price: $3.29 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: In the glass, this California PG was a light yellow color. The bouquet was extremely faint – as in almost none. So I’m not going to articulate specific scents this time around. If you decide to take a whiff yourself, let me know what you think. Alcohol was at 12.5%, the body was light with a pleasant gentle viscosity to it. Acidity was fine. Flavors I tasted included sweet pear and melon, grass, touches of oak, and a tad of a stony mineral to boot. I thought it was pretty decent on the front side, but the finish was long. That could be good except that the finish brought very present bitter grass and quinine to my palate. Even the light sweetness couldn’t mitigate the bitter finish. As a result, I will give this selection from the Charles Shaw shelves a pass next time I’m looking for a cheap Pinot Grigio. I like bitter flavors but appreciate them in moderation. If you like bitter flavors in abundance, this might work for you. Especially considering the price.
OK! Back to business – tasting primarily inexpensive wines. This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe’s is definitely a budget-friendly selection. In fact, I almost didn’t grab it because of my last experience with a $3.99 bottle of wine. Happily, this TJ private label was worth investigating.
Winemaker: VSPT, Vitacura for Trader Joe’s
Wine: Trader Joe’s Viñas Chilenas Sauvignong Blanc Reserva
Varietal: Sauvignong Blanc
Appellation: Valle Central, Chile
Price: $3.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: In the glass this wine is a pretty light yellow. On the nose I found scents of citrus, pear and honeysuckle. Flavors for me were a core of lemon throughout, hints of pear, and some zest at the finish. I would almost add a bit of honey, except it wasn’t the taste of honey but the sweetness. In fact, at times the flavors came together in a lemon drop sort of way (not as intense as the candy). This is a light wine – light-bodied and light on the taste buds. Alcohol is at 12%, and acidity is good. Light though it is, I think it could stand up to a Sea Bass or Tilapia entree.
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.