Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

What we’re drinking: Colores del Sol 2011 Reserva Rich Red Blend

Brynn writes:

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.

What we’re drinking: Spiral Wines

Brynn writes:

Every six months or so I try to get together with my girlfriend who I’ve known for 28 years. In that time her family moved to Orcas Island, we attended different schools, went off to college, graduated, lived in separate states, married and had children — her second child is just 5 weeks younger than our son, Ryland. What I love about our friendship is, it doesn’t matter how much time passes between our meetings, when we see each other it’s like nothing has changed.

She lives in Bellingham and so we make a practice of meeting at my mom’s house in the north end of King County because it’s our midway location. Typically we have dinner, uncork a bottle of wine and try to catch up, all the while chasing after our kiddos who don’t seem to understand that sometimes Mommies just need to unwind.

Our last catch up weekend was at the start of April. To keep it simple we did Thai takeout and she swung by Trader Joe’s on her way down and picked up a bottle of wine. She went for economical, I think the wine retails for $6 or less, but don’t let the price trick you into thinking you’re about to drink plonk.

This California red blend was a treat on my tongue. It was warm, full-bodied and exuded cedar and spice notes that hinted at time spent on oak. That oak aging also softened the blackberry and currant notes. The blend breakdown is 58 percent Merlot, 15 percent Petite Syrah, 16 percent Zinfandel and 11 percent Syrah.

If you happen to be at TJ’s looking for a decent red to have with dinner, I’d recommend this wine. I’m not sure how long it will be carried, my friend thought it might be on closeout, so if you see it, grab it.

Reader wine recommendation

Brynn writes:

I just love when people share their wine-drinking experiences with us, and I love being able to pass their recommendations on to fellow wine lovers like all of you.

I had an email this morning from Jim G. letting me know about a great wine he just tried. Not only does it sound delicious, but for the price it sounds like a steal.

Here’s his email:

I picked up a nice bottle of Australian Shiraz at Trader Joe’s last week.  Cost $4.99, label Banrock Station, screw top, year 2009, lots of plum and black cherry, very smooth. Hard to beat a less than $5.00 wine that good.

I might have to make a special trip to Silverdale to see the new Trader Joe’s (yes I admit I haven’t been there yet), and grab a bottle. If you have a favorite wine or one that you just tried that you’d drink again, we’d love to hear about it! Post it here, or send me an email: bgrimley@kitsapsun.com and I’ll share with everyone else!