Sparkling Wine: Gloria Ferrer Sonoma County Brut, NV; $14.99:Trader Joes best Sonoma County sparkler is Gloria Ferrer Sonoma County Brut. Made from a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay and aged a minimum of 18 months in bottle, this wine has distinctive bright flavors of green apple and citrus. It has crispness and an elegant richness on the finish. This is one of the most consistent bottles of bubbles around, at an unbeatable price. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Sauvignon Blanc: Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc Sonoma County, 2018; $10.99:One of Ferrari-Caranos flagship wines, the 2018 Fume Blanc proves once again that the winery excels at making simply delicious white wines. With flavors of juicy grapefruit and pineapple, and a round mouthfeel from partial oak-aging, this wine is an incredible value. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Sauvignon Blanc: Hanna Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley, 2017; $12.99:This is a fresh, crowd-pleasing wine with grapefruit, lemon, and lightly grassy aromas. On the palate, more citrus and tropical fruit flavors emerge, along with a hint of pleasing minerality. Aged in stainless steel, this wine is ready to drink right away. Its also under screw cap, so bring it on a picnic as soon as the sun comes out! Its great with goat cheese. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Chardonnay:Raeburn Chardonnay Russian River Valley, 2017; $15.99:This chardonnay achieves a really nice balance at an impressive price point. It has layers of ripe pear and golden apple, complemented by toasted oak and caramelized sugar. A blend of oak and stainless steel aging, plus only partial malolactic fermentation make for an elegant, medium-bodied chardonnay with a lot of character. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Chardonnay: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, 2016; $20.99:Chardonnay is the specialty at Sonoma-Cutrer, and the 2016 Sonoma Coast is drinking nicely now. Oak on the nose is softer on the palate, and flavors of apple and stone fruit stand out. This is a solid choice if youre looking for a classically Californian style of chardonnay, with a bit of residual sugar and characteristic butter. (Photo courtesy of Sonoma-Cutrer)
Pinot Noir: Decoy Pinot Noir Sonoma County, 2017; $16.99:Red fruits dominate the nose and palate of this wine. Its a pleasing example of a Sonoma County pinot — lots of berry flavors, subtle spice, and moderate tannins. Oak is present, but not overdone. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Cabernet Sauvignon: Benziger Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County, 2016; $13.99:Blackberry, currant and cocoa give you plenty to like about this wine up front. Theres also a bit of pepper and round tannins. The wine was aged for 16-months in oak. There is surprising weight to this wine for its value. A simply-dressed burger–beef or portabella–would be a nice pairing.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County, 2016; $14.99:Another medium-bodied cabernet at a killer price comes from Rodney Strong. Plum and black cherry on the nose leads to ripe, dark fruit flavors on the palate, accented by mocha and cracked pepper. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Strong Vineyards)
Bonus Night Cap: Sonoma County Distilling Co. Sonoma Rye Whiskey; $44.99:After you sip sustainable wine, you can enjoy this locally-made grain-to-glass spirit. With nicely developed flavors of dried fruit, vanilla, and pie spice, its exciting to see this distillery on the shelf at Trader Joes, and even nicer to have at home. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
Its no secret that Trader Joes isa favorite among foodies on a budget,but what about wine lovers in search of a steal? Sure, you can always count on finding a great deal at TJs (the grocery stores most popular wine brand Charles Shaw is aptly nicknamed Two-Buck Chuck) but discerning wine drinkers might worry about the quality. As it turns out, theres no reason to turn your oenophile nose up at Trader Joes wine selection if you know what youre looking for there are even local labels on the shelves! To aid my fellow wine lovers, I headed to the Cleveland Avenue storeto check out their current selection of Sonoma County wines. Click through the gallery for my spring 2019 favorites.
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