Trader Joe's/Bargain Wine Finds

(Angela T Carlson) #1

Back after a long hiatus, thought I’d share something I brought home from work today.
Full disclosure: I’ve been working for TJ’s for over 12 years and have being involved in wine for at least 6 years. My husband works for Grocery Outlet’ s Corporate office and I love finding awesome deals during their Wine Sale. If posting tasting notes about wines we try in & outside of work isn’t cool, please let me know. BTW, my note taking is a little rusty. I apologize in advance.

2014 St. Somewhere Pinot Noir: $6.99: 99.85 % CA, .015% OR. 13.8% ABV. I believe it’s an exclusive deal.

Red fruits & baking spice (cinnamon?) on the nose. Smooth, well balanced, medium bodied. Red fruits & spice on the palate with a dash of acid & oak on the finish. Fruit forward without being fruity if that makes any sense.

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(Junior) #2

My local TJ’s does not carry liquor, I wish it did because maybe then I could learn to appreciate the store more.

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(Angela T Carlson) #3

Hi NotJvedivici,

Sorry you live in a place with restrictive alcohol laws. Do you get a chance to travel at all? If so, maybe check out a TJ’s with in store alcohol and see what the difference is. I have customers from places back East, like Pennsylvania, who are like kids in a candy store.

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(Junior) #4

I live in NJ and I’m not sure the laws are what restricts TJ’s, for what I’ve heard I just live near a small store in general. As I said I’m not really a big fan of the brand from my very limited experience so I wouldn’t be motivated to travel to one. Hopefully a larger one will open in a reasonable vicinity to me and I will be “wow’d”.

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(Angela T Carlson) #5

Ah yes, the small store situation doesn’t show us at our best. I also hope a larger store opens relatively close by so you can give us another shot. In NJ, it could be access to an alcohol permit, as is the case in MA.

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(Junior) #6

Since you have an intimate knowledge of the company, this is my local TJ’s.

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#7

Thanks for starting this topic. As I posted elsewhere, my current daily sips are Chariot, which seems to be a California central coast blend made in Hopland, and Porta 6, a Portuguese red wine probably made from douro grapes. The Chariot has a vintage year, currently 2014, and it’s round and smooth, less hearty than most central coast wines. The Porta 6 is fruity and light–not what you’d expect from the grapes that go into Port. I also like Josephina rose, also apparently from the central coast.

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#8

I ordered some eyeglasses online, and they came with a $100-off card for cases of wine at nakedwines.com. But when I went to the website, I didn’t recognize any of the producers. Does anyone know about this site–would it be worth $60 (after discount) for a case, or are these the kind of knock-offs you find at Grocery Outlet?

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(Angela T Carlson) #9

Hey Ernie,

Yeah, I’m not too sure about those folks. It’s hard to tell these days who has a quality product at a reasonable price unless you know the supply chain.

BTW, currently you might want to pop over to your local TJ’s and pick up a few bottles/case of La Grand Cote Paso Robles 2014 by Erich Russell: $2.99!
Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah: 15% ABV: Definitely needs 2 1/2 hours open so tannins & acid can integrate. I know the winemaker and he did this project to show a certain distributor that an actual good wine can be made at that price point. Back story: There was a surplus in Paso and no one’s making any $, but room was made for more wine and we all benefit.

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#10

Chariot has been a good value buy for years. I’m not familiar with Porta 6 but will look fir it. Thanks.

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#11

The Porta 6 is intermittently unavailable. I didn’t see any the last few times I was at a TJs, but this has happened in the past and they always have gotten more.

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(Angela T Carlson) #12

I think it got discontinued again. I’ll double check when I get to work.

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(Angela T Carlson) #13

Confirmed: Porta 6 discontinued, inventory depleted. The El Castilla Syrah from Spain: $5.99 has a similar fruit forward profile.

BTW, Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day!:wink:

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#14

I got a bottle of the La Grande Cote. It’s got a flavor profile that reminds me of French Cotes du Rhone wines, thinner and lighter than most American Rhone blends. But the acidity is a little too much for me, even after it was allowed to breathe for a while (even overnight). I tend to sip wines alone, without food, so the acidity might work out with food. I’ll get another bottle to try again.

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(Angela T Carlson) #15

Hi Ernie,

There seems to be a little bottle variation as well.
Not friuty/jammy but great with chocolate & food.
Also, when serving it to friends this past weekend, they agreed it’s the perfect sangria/mulled wine base.

There’s a new Hustle Buy Australian Cab (Blase?) for $3.99 that’s supposed to be coming in today that may be more to your flavor profile.

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#16

I actually like the less-jammy French Rhones in general, but in this case the acidity took over.

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#17

I’ve been looking out for St. Somewhere Pinot Noir at TJs since seeing recs for it here. For a while staff told us to keep check back. This lady check (the other day) resulted in us being told it had been a one time buy and wouldn’t be back. :frowning:

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(Angela T Carlson) #18

What store are you shopping at? The Rockridge store (where I work) currently has a side stack and it is orderable as of yesterday. It IS a limited buy and was TOS for about a week a little while ago. Find out who the Order Writer is and see if they have other reasons, such as space, for not carrying it.

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#19

The store is in Orange County, CA. The staffer who gave my wife that info said he does ordering. Next time I’m there I’ll ask at the manager’s desk.

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(Angela T Carlson) #20

Hmm, maybe available in N.CA but not S.CA?
That does happen sometimes.
Do you have Line 39 down there?
A little lighter, but fairly comparable to St. Somewhere.

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