Trader Joe’s Wine Haul – Part 1

We have a (fairly) new Trader Joe’s here in Winston Salem.  Although it has been her for a few months now, I just had my first shopping experience there Saturday.  I was anxious to see their wines.  I have never bought wine at Trader Joe’s before, but I have read some reviews and seen comments on Twitter – some good, some not so good. I will review each of the wines I bought hoping to give some valuable insight on what you can expect when you shop at Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe's

My first Trader Joe’s wine – 2011 Tribunal Red (Tribunal Cellars made and bottled by Kunde Estates).

The person that helped me with my wine selections at Trader Joe’s explained that the store actually oversees the making of most their wines through various wineries working closely with each winemaker, tasting and blending until they get it right.  So in researching Tribunal, I did see on the Snooth website that this was bottled by Kunde Estates; which is one of my favorite wineries and one of only two wine clubs that I belong to.  This might explain why I really liked this wine.

I fell in love with this Tribunal.  It seems recently that I haven’t been able to find a wine that hit the palate just right, so it was leaving me with a craving.  Well this did it!  From the reading I was doing about this wine, it appears that it is a TJ favorite with a lot of their customers and they tend to run out of it for months at a time.  (Enough research on that, I headed back to TJ’s the next day and bought a case.)  I’m anxious to try the other wines I have purchased at TJ’s.  I am sure they won’t all measure up to this, but it is really nice to find a few good wines under $10 to stock up on.

I found my favorite flavor profile in this wine: leather, cherry, chocolate.  It was smooth and bursting with flavor that lingered just long enough on the palate.

One wine down, six to go and so far, a “thumb’s up!”

Varietal:  A mystery Sonoma “red blend”          Alcohol:  15.1%          Price:  $9.99

To read more about the wines offered at Trader Joes read, “TJWineCommunity – Recommendations of Trader Joe’s Wines.”

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wineandhistory
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 12:19:18

    I’ve always been pleased with the Cline Zinfandel that I see there in the middle. It’s a nice everyday red. They are really friendly at their tasting room too. I hope you let us know what you think.


  2. talkavino
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 13:04:20

    I don’t remember having much of the actually bad wines from TJ’s. I had some which were “just ok”, but may be only one wine which was not good at all… Enjoy the exploration!


    • Red Wine Diva
      Apr 27, 2013 @ 15:41:57

      Any wine exploration is fun. I have actually already tried one that I may not write about. It was fairly nondescript and not much to say about it, but then it was only $4.99 – I guess you get what you pay for. 🙂


  3. triadfoodies
    May 01, 2013 @ 15:05:34

    I love trader joes for wine. Yes I know I promote loving local but we can’t all get what we need exclusively from NC wines. I am curious what you thought about Chariot Gypsy. I really like that one myself. Also another good red at TJs that is great on own is Green Fin. All these wines are under $10.


    • Red Wine Diva
      May 03, 2013 @ 07:43:23

      I did buy the Gypsy Red, but it wasn’t a favorite. My research shows that the blend has changed a lot with each blend. It no longer has any zinfandel in it. Thanks for dropping by!!!


  4. Trackback: Trader Joe’s Wine Haul – Part 7 | Red Wine Diva
  5. foxress
    May 18, 2014 @ 18:06:45

    I had just about given up on TJ’s for wine as I’ve had too many ‘not so good’ wines from there. But I will give Tribunal a try. It sounds like a good value. Thanks for the recommend.


  6. thefermentedfruit
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 05:36:35

    Kunde is one of my favorite producers in Sonoma and I will certainly make it a point to try the Tribunal next time I’m at Trader Joe’s. Nice post!


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