In search of a bargain wine that was good, or at least decent, and wouldn’t break the bank I headed to the one place where I knew I could find a great deal: Trader Joe’s.
When the wine guy asked me if I needed any help I responded with these exact specifications: “Yes, I’d like a bargain wine that actually tastes good.”
He didn’t even blink and asked if I wanted white or red? (I said both) and walked me right over to a display of wines from Argentina. The price tag? $2.99.
My reaction? Yeah right, there’s no way this is going to be good. But I looked at the bottles — the wine was from what looked to be a legit winery — and thought “OK, I’ll give it a try.”
The first bottle Mary and I opened was the Colores del Sol 2011 Reserva Rich Red Blend. I have to say, my first whiff, and the following sip, gave me what I was expecting: A wine that tasted like it was a bargain.
Then I was proven wrong. I tried the wine again a few hours later after the bottle had been open and poured. Air is this wine’s best friend. What first felt like a tight wine with a more acidity than I like on the finish turned into a wine with nice fruit flavors. It did even better when paired with food.
The blend break down of this wine is an interesting mix: 45 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Bonarda Argentine, 15 percent Malbec.
As you remember from our recent definition, Bonarda is the second-most widely planted grape in Argentina.
The color of this wine is a rich purple, which signifies its young age. It is one I’d recommend with food — it did really well with the pepper-crusted salami I couldn’t keep my hands off. It also did well with the rosemary and sea salt crackers.
With a full meal I’d recommend peppered steak or even hamburgers. For $2.99 it really is a good bargain.