TJ's Wine Insider - March 2015

March 30, 2015 in Category: Wine Insider

TJ's Wine Insider is your new go-to guide for Trader Joe's wines.

The wines featured here are not necessarily new ones… but they are necessarily good ones. And when you pair such quality with excellent prices (as we do)—the result is incredible value. Each selection below can be found in our stores where wine is sold. (Availability and price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees, and the like.)

This month we feature Wines to Herald the Advent of Spring with light floral aromasfruit-forward flavors, and even one with tiny sparkling bubbles

 

La Granja 360 Verdejo Viura

Castilla y León, Spain

La Granja 360 Verdejo Viura

 

Crisp, light, and refreshing. Delicate floral aromas. Flavors of lemon and stone fruits. Round, dry finish. 70% Verdejo grapes and 30% Viura grapes, grown and harvested in the Castilla y León Denominación de Origen (D.O.) of northern Spain. La Granja means "The Farm," a theme that is gleefully and artfully depicted on the labels of all the La Granja wines. Here, the bright peacock's tail turns into beautiful birds, suggesting the delicacy and lightness of this wine. Think Sauvignon Blanc with slightly more acidity. The whole package represents the best of the whites coming out of Spain right now—at a price rarely seen anywhere else.

forkEnjoy with lighter fare: vinaigrette-dressed greens, olives, seafood dishes...

Verdejo: (Spanish) Vur-day-ho.

Castilla y León: (Spanish) Kah-stee-yah / ee / Lay-own.

 

Denominación de Origen (D.O.): an official Spanish designation describing and guaranteeing a wine’s place of origin.  

La Granja: (Spanish) La-grahn-ha.

La Granja 360 Verdejo Viura is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $4.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: OR, WA, NM, TX, CO, ID, KY, NH, FL: $5.99; OH: $6.49; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.

 

Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay

Mâcon-Villages, France

Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay

 

Light floral aromas. Citrus and apple notes. Bright acidity. Mineral hints. Crisp, clean finish. Unoaked “White Burgundy” made from Chardonnay grapes. Vintage from Mâcon-Villages district of Burgundy. We've been partners with Blason (a co-op of 5 wineries and 800 growers in Burgundy) for over a decade, and we still believe they produce some of the top values emerging from the region. This one is also truly vegan, as no fining agents were used in the wine-making process.

ForkPair with delicate foods: steamed seafood, pasta with veggies, roast chicken…

Bourgogne: (French) Boor-gohn. French for "Burgundy".

 

Unoaked: describing wine not exposed to oak barrels during or after fermentation; characterizing a lighter-bodied, fruitier wine.

 

Mâcon-Villages: (French) Mah-caw / Vee-lahj.

Fining Agent: an additive that helps clarify a wine by removing suspended solids; sometimes derived from animal sources.

Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $7.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: CA: $6.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.

 

Blason de Bourgogne Rosé Crémant

France

Blason de Bourgogne Rosé Crémant

Tiny, sparkling bubbles! Crisp. Mild raspberry aroma and flavor. From Burgundy just next door to the Champagne region. 90% Pinot Noir grapes, 10% Gamay. Though international law prohibits officially calling it "Champagne," this Crémant is made using exactly the same method—the Méthode Traditionelle. Bubbly like this from Burgundy may be less familiar than bubbly from the Champagne region, but it's every bit as good—and less pricey!

ForkEnjoy with savory flavors: appetizers, risotto, roasted veggies, braised pork…

Crémant: (French) Cray-mawn; sparkling wine produced outside the Champagne region of northern France.

 

Pinot Noir: (French) Pee-noh / Nwar.

Blason de Bourgogne Rosé Crémant is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $9.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: OH: $13.99; NH: $11.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.

 

La Finca Cabernet Sauvignon

Mendoza, Argentina

La Finca Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Argentina

Deep red color. Sweet pepper aroma. Succulent berry flavor. Velvety finish. Hey, La Finca Malbec fans—you will love this Cab! The Mendoza region—dubbed the "Napa Valley of South America" for its flourishing wine production—sits at a relatively high altitude at the base of the Andes mountain range. This terroir has a positive influence on its wines: Hot daytime temperatures produce an intense, red color in these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Cool nights promote good acidity. In the end, this red's soft finish will keep you coming back for another sip... and another. 

ForkPair with rich foods: beef, lamb, aged cheeses, dark chocolate…

Cabernet Sauvignon: (French) Ca-bur-nay / So-vee-nyon.

 

Terroir: (French) Ter-wahr. The natural attributes of a place (climate, soil, geography) where grapes are grown contributing to a wine's final character.

La Finca Cabernet Sauvignon is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $4.49 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: CA: $3.99; OH, NH, GA, FL: $4.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.

 

Encuentro Red Bobal

Valencia, Spain

Encuentro Red Bobal Spain

Zesty, fruit-forward flavors of fig and ripe blackberry. Hints of lavender, thyme, balsamic. Luscious finish. We are excited to share this unique find—an uncommon grape that is organically grown. It's also vegan (no fining agents used). Grown and harvested in D.O. Valencia, situated in eastern Spain near the Mediterranean coast. The label art is an elegant and simple tribute to the vital connection between soil, air, flora and fauna.

ForkDrink with: tapas, Paella, red meats, tomato-based pasta dishes, tuna, sardines…

Encuentro: (Spanish) En-kwen-tro.

 

D.O.: Denominación de Origen. An official Spanish designation describing and guaranteeing a wine’s place of origin.

 

Vegan Wine: Surprisingly, not all wines are vegan; some use "fining agents" derived from animals (see note above on Blason Chardonnay). Who knew?!

Encuentro Red Bobal is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $6.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: CA: $5.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.

Tags: Chardonnay, Cabernet