Rock at Wine: Buying wine at Trader Joes
Trader Joes is fucking awesome! Their self branded food, and hippie mentality is a suburban liberal's wet dream. Their wine selection on the other hand can often seem too good to believe. I mean come on, can you really get a good Ripasso for $4.99? Or a Barolo for $14.99? It seems surreal, and way too generous. But if you know what you are doing, you can really rock the Trader Joes wine aisles, pick up some steals, and even find a few hidden gems. So here are some tips that will help you rock at buying wine from Trader Joes
Know what you are looking for
Not so much what wine you are looking for, but what occasion you are looking for. If its a quiet night in, you can go straight for the cheap and cheerful, but parties, dinners, and any date night event will require a little bit more thought.
Try and think of some wines you always enjoy
That one time you had an amazing Cabernet Franc that cost $50 a bottle at that winery in Paso Robles, and now you see a Cab Franc at TJ's for $7...yeh that ain't gonna cut it. Picking wine from TJ's is more about the tried and true that you know you will like, that you know what you will be getting. It may seem a bit safe, but it will save you some massive disappointment.
Look for details...
The more details the wine label has (region, sub region, vintage, etc.) means they are holding themselves to higher standards. At the very least they are holding themselves to the standards passed by the region.
...Or just enjoy yourself
Does that wine have a really funky/funny/cool/modern label? Awesome! Have at it. Studies show we enjoy the wine more if we enjoy the label. Its weird, yeh, but you should not be ashamed of it.
If your expectations are not too high, you can never be wrong!
Trader Joes has a lot of mediocre wine, but they have a lot of great wine, and some real steals. Hungarian Gruner Veltliner at $5 a bottle anyone? Its part of their business because they can buy wine in bulk and offer it to you at huge discounts (we assume). Their wine buyers are no slouches. They know what you are buying the wine for, and they just want you to have a good time and chill out. Its not meant to be fancy, its meant for you to have a good time. Just enjoy the groove man and you will rock the TJ's wine aisles.