Tannin Salon: The Wines of Trader Joe’s

by A.A.

A word about my credentials: I am not a Master Sommelier. I am not Robert Parker‘s illegitimate child. But I do drink a fair amount of wine. And I do like getting a good value for my wine dollar. And sometimes I can do that at Trader Joe’s. So I’m glad to pass along the Trader Joe’s Wine Compendium blog. From their first post:

Fact: Trader Joe’s sells wine

Fact: Trader Joe’s sells wine OTHER than two buck chuck

Fact: Plenty of this wine is good

Fact: Some of this wine is bad

Fact: Some is downright abysmal

And they’re there to help you sort out the good from the bad from the abysmal. Drink up?


4 responses to “Tannin Salon: The Wines of Trader Joe’s

  1. The only thing my wife loves more that TJ, is buying bottles of wine under $6 at TJs. The problem is that most of them are undrinkable. And I’m not a wine snob at all – I swear. This will be a great help for my marital bliss. Thanks!

  2. This is my anecdotal experience, but I find TJ’s under $6 wine from Spain, France or Argentina to be way, way better than their under $6 wine from California — which is really bad for the most part. My advice: if you want really cheap TJ’s wine, go for the Two-buck Chuck. Otherwise stick to the $8-15 stuff.

  3. My humble suggestion is to buy wine local. TJ is over rated, imho. You can find a local shop owner who has a palate that agrees with yours and get much better deals on far more interesting wines (i.e. less “mass palate” like the fast food approach for wine, make sure it doesn’t offend anyone). Plus more of your dollars stay home!

  4. pseudonymous in nc

    Yeah, it’s a weird landscape in the US, given state-based distribution chains. If you can supply a big chain, then you’re making generic stuff. But local shops can bring in stuff from smaller producers, and TJ’s can sometimes occupy a middle ground, where its buyers can behave like a small retailer, or — even better — serve as a private-label seller to offload inventory from decent producers who don’t want to dilute their brand.

    (Oddbins used to do that in the UK, in the mid-90s, allowing Seagram could offload excess Mumm/Perrier-Jouët under its own label.)

    john: There’s a point at which you stop paying, in essence, for the bottle and shipping, and start paying for the quality of the wine. $6 California wine is basically “the cost of the bottle plus filling it with what’s handy”.

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