TJ's Wine Insider - May 2015
TJ's Wine Insider is your new go-to guide for Trader Joe's wines.
With winter well behind and the prospect of summer easing into view, we’re featuring Wines to Build a Dream On. These are some of our best values from France, Italy, Spain, and the Napa Valley. Just one sip can fill your head with the rich and romantic possibilities of soon-to-come sultry days and balmy nights. But, why stop at a sip?!
Each selection below is gettable in any of our stores where wine is sold. (Availability and price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees, and the like.)
Les Portes de Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Composition: 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillion
Tasting Notes: Tangy, fresh, lively. Lemon and grapefruit notes. Well-balanced, crisp finish.
Story: This wine is called “The Gates of Bordeaux” (in English)—a fitting title since it drinks like a welcoming door to the delights of whites from the city called the ‘wine industry capital’ of the world. With Trader Joe’s in mind, a fourth generation family of Bordelais wine-makers has fused their old-world experience with some of the most modern equipment available to craft a fruit-driven, well-balanced white. And you can call it “vegan” as a bonus. Enter Les Portes to experience another one of the remarkable wine values we offer everyday.
Dish with: fish, shellfish, turkey, light pasta, goat’s milk cheese...
Availability: Les Portes de Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc 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; NH: $7.99; OH: $8.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.
Le Grotte Lambrusco dell'Emilia Bianco Dolce
Composition: Lambrusco, three varieties: Salamino, Mariani, and Maestri
Tasting Notes: Refreshingly frizzante with apple, melon, and white-grape flavors. Off-dry.
Story: Summer is near, and you’ve got that sparkle in your eye. But, what about on your tongue? Le Grotte Lambrusco Bianco from the Medici winery in the city of Reggio Emilia (northern Italy) is a sparkler, though less so than Champagne. The off-dry taste (mildly sweet from some sugar derived from the grape must) also shimmers with flavors of apple, melon, and white grape. Hot days and warm nights are made for wines such as this. Its vibrant profile, and lower alcohol content (8%) make it perfect for parties and summertime sipping.
Enjoy with picnic and party fare: summer salads, cold meats (salami, prosciutto), pizza, summer fruits, hard aged cheeses...
Availability: Le Grotte Lambrusco dell'Emilia Bianco Dolce is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $4.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: IA, KY, GA: $5.49; NH, FL: $5.99; OH: $6.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.
Spiral Cellars Merlot Napa Valley
Region: Napa Valley, California
Country: United States
Composition: 80% Merlot; blended with Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah
Tasting Notes: Cherry, plum, blueberry flavors. Vanilla & spice hints. Dry finish.
Story: Spiral galaxies present the natural wonder of the universe. Spiral staircases display human prowess in architecture. Spiral Merlot combines the wonder of nature (harnessed in little red grapes), with the prowess of humanity (embodied in skillful winemaking), for a red that will quickly ascend to the top of your list. Our exclusive Spiral wines present the most appealing, approachable juice Napa has to offer. We could go round and round, but bottom line: This luscious, fruity Merlot compliments rich, umami (“delicious-tasting”) foods. Best if it winds up on your table very soon.
Enjoy with umami flavors: tomato-based Italian dishes, herbed roasted chicken, Beef Bourguignon, rich cheeses…
Availability: Spiral Cellars Merlot is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $7.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: NM, KY, GA, FL: $8.99; OH, NH: $9.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.
Albero Tempranillo (organically grown grapes)
Composition: 100% organically grown Tempranillo
Tasting Notes: Big, zesty wine with raspberry, red cherry, vanilla aromas. Woody, toasted notes. Hint of coconut. Very long finish.
Story: This label features the embroidery detail of a chaquetilla (sha-ket-TEE-ya)—that short, ornate jacket worn by bullfighters—suggesting that what’s in the bottle is as complex as a matador’s mentality… graceful artist, bold wrestler, mad man who dares enter the domain of a fuming, horn-ed bull. It’s a good connection. Spain’s oldest estate-bottled winery has gracefully aged 100% organically grown Tempranillo grapes in American oak barrels for at least four months. The result is bold and zesty with a very deep and diverse flavor profile. Crazy-good—no bull. Only available at Trader Joe's.
Enjoy with bigger flavors: roasted meats and vegetables, pasta with spicy red sauce, tapas, Mexican food...
Availability: Albero Tempranillo Barrica is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $5.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: KY, GA, FL: $6.99; OH, NH: $7.99; CT, TN: unavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.
Epicuro Salice Salentino D.O.C.
Region: Salice Salentino
Composition: 80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera
Tasting Notes: Bold, but fruit-forward & jammy. Cooked-blackberry, plum flavors. Medium-bodied, full finish.
Story: Who ever heard of wine made in the heel of a hot boot? Well, if the “boot” is Italy, and the “hot heel” is the sunny, southern city of Salice (Sah-LEE-chay) Salentino, then we have. Epicuro Red Wine comes from the Apulia region, known for a less familiar varietal called Negroamaro. Don’t let the name (which literally means “black-bitter”) fool you. Negroamaro grapes are liked for their intensity and ability to age well. They’re especially good when blended with the lighter, highly aromatic Malvasia Nera grapes from the same region. That's what we’ve got here! It's a unique find that’s delicious, to boot.
To Mangia: grilled pork, baked lamb, calabrese salami, stewed sweet peppers & onions, curries...
Availability: Epicuro Red Wine is currently available in Trader Joe's stores where wine is sold. It is $5.99 plus tax unless otherwise noted here: CA, Las Vegas, NV: $4.99; NH: $6.99; OH: $7.49; CT, TN: unavavailable. Alcohol availability & price may vary due to state laws, taxes, shipment fees & other such stuff.