Trader Joe Wines

Now that they’ve opened a shop at Gillette Stadium, I’ll be swinging by occasionally. I’ve tasted the Charles Shaw Cabernet a few years back, and it wasn’t that bad. Of course, there’s going to be tons of variation since there’s no vintage and it’s obviously mass produced.

Anyone have any luck with any of the other lesser known (to me anyway) labels they sell? I picked up a Muscadet last night for $6, I can’t recall the producer for the life of me, but it was from Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine and was Sur Lie. Curious to try it.

Any winners out there?

Yup…any of the CharlesShaw wins are “not bad”. Their only problem is that they’re boring as hell. Simple & fruity and not much else. I once tried to write a TN on a couple
and I couldn’t come up w/ any descriptors other than “fruity” and “grapey”. But they do show a bit of the SanJoaquin earthy/mushroom terroir…so those who worship at the altar of terroir should
love these wines. Even though they’re not vintage dated, they seem remarkably consistent(ly …boring).
The rest of the TJ’s wines are a bit hit or miss. Some of the TraderJoe Reserves can be very good…and a real bargain. Others…worth the $6.99 or $8.99 you pay…but just that.
If they have the ComiqueRevolution, a CentralCoast Rhone white blend…it’s a steal at about $6.99. They also have an Ipsis Italian Muscat Passito at $9.99/500ml
that is a stupid/good deal in a dessert wine.
I typically go in there every weekend and when I see something that looks promising (like a solid producer or a certain region) and a good deal, I’ll buy
a btl to try. Sometimes I’ll find something really good…sometimes just shrug my shoulder…OK…just that. I seldom go back & buy anything more of those
I like unless my girlfriend is needing a bargain wine. But I’ll often recommend a wine (like Comique) to friends I run into there and they’ll load up.

I have a neighbor who buys all their wines at Trader Joe’s so I get to taste quite a lot of their wines. They range from “swill” to “it’s drinkable but why bother”. There is so much good wine out there that it is a shame to waste calories and liver function on these wines.

Having said that, I do buy Charles Shaw wines for cooking.

Charles Shaw wines are not as good as they once were.

The Trader Joe’s VINTJS are good, and the Reserve label stuff can be good.

Click this once in that link: TJ’s Wines - for their brand listings.

The charles shaw wines scare me. I cant even fathom how many pesticides and other chemicals they must have from those industrial vineyards and winemaking facilities.

at a buck a case profit margin you have to make millions of cases to make millions of dollars.

That doesnt make it any less nasty. Im not poisoning myself with that chemical coctail by either drinking or cooking with it.

Well…my guess is that you’re at much more risk from some of the bagged greens on the TJ’s shelves than the CharlesShaw.
But if you’re looking for the “romance” in the winemaking CharlesShaw ain’t for you, Berry. :slight_smile:

Your guess is incorrect. The California “organic” designation is not a perfect law, but from a scientific perspective there are measurably less pesticides on organic produce and wine grapes are one of the worst crops from a pesticide persective.

There’s a rumor floating around that Israel may take this facility out before the election.

No affiliation with this blog or blogger, but this is the wine, I recognize the label:

I’ll post a note when I get around to opening it.

Berry - do you smoke (cigarettes or otherwise?) Do you drink tap water (lots of fluoride could cause cancer)? Do you ever breathe air alongside a road with cars going by?

Can’t live life in a bubble my friend. I’m sure you have some habit that is much worse than drinking a mass-produced bottle of wine.

Hell, didn’t you say you like Korbel? neener


I actually think the opposite might be true. I don’t have it too often, but every bottle seems to be pretty much the same as the last one. I’d imagine that if you’re making that many gallons of the stuff, you’re going to follow a pretty standard process.

Nah, they’ll just send Stuxnet to mess up those wine cascades!

I wasn’t referring to pesticides but such things as salmonella and listeria…something to which organic bagged greens are not immune. It’s been a long time since
I’ve read in the newspapers about consumers getting sick from a CharlesShaw Merlot.
To be sure, CharlesShaw is nothing but industrial-grade plonk. But as to it being poisonous because of pesticides…I find that a bit suspect. If you have
information to the contrary, you should direct it to the Calif State Health authorities. Though I’m not a big fan of FredFranzia, I don’t regard him as an evil
person that is trying to poison us. Maybe sort of a scumbag and a very shrewd businessman…but not evil…anymore to an extent than anybody else
trying to make a profit from a business.

Obviously I cant avoid breathing polution but I dont agree with your logic that since we cant avoid all toxins we should not try and minimize our exposure to them when we can. The effects of these types of toxins are cumulative and the wisdom of reducing exposure rates has a scientific basis.

I would never presume to tell anyone else what they should or not put in their body, Im simply sharing my personal opinion since you asked us about TJ wines and 2bc was brought up. I never cared about agricultural toxins until I had kids but now Im fairly cognizant of the risks. The more industrial the winemaking the more chemicals that are needed and 2bc is about industrial as it gets.

To answer your question about Korbel, I think its actually surprisingly good for the price as a quaffer but for the same reasons I dont drink 2bc, I try to avoid big mass produced brands like that these days. (though I have seen that Korbel makes an organic bottling. Ive been meaning to try it).

Ive actually worked at the Ca health department on a few projects, Im pretty sure that monitoring pesticide use in viticulture is not part of their mandate.

From my own experence gardening and what many grape growers have told me, it is very clear that it requires more money, time and attention to engage in any agricultural endevor in a way that minimizes the use of agrichemicals. It would logically follow that a large industrialized operation would require more chemicals than something closer to the artesianal side of the spectrum. Would you disagree with this? Im open to the idea Im not viewing this with the bennifits of all the possible facts but it seems pretty cut and dry to me.

As for wether Franzia is “evil”, I dont think moral intent has anything to do with it. Its a question of what large industrial wineries do or don’t do. I am not interested in the motivation of the actions, just the actions themselves.

EDIT: My entire thoery here is based on the assumption that the chemicals used in viticulcture are bad for you. I dont know what specific pesticides and herbacides are used in non organic wine growing but Im assuming they are likely not great for us. I’ll try and do some research (or maybe a grower who reads this could chime in) and see what is actually being used. Who knows, maybe I can use charles shaw for cooking after all?

Seems fair enough, Berry. I’ve little doubt that the industrial-grade grape-growing that is used in CharlesShaw wine would undoubtedly require greater reliance on pesticides and fungicides, probably even
gibberellic acid. And I have little doubt that the residual level of those things in a CharlesShaw wine is greater than, say, a TonyCotturri wine. So…if your intent is to lower your consumption of pesticide
residues…then, of course, you should go w/ the Cotturri before the CharlesShaw. But my point is that there are other things that pose a far more health risk on the TJ’s or WholeFoods shelves than a CharlesShaw.

I guess I’m rather surprised that the Calif Health officials are not monitoring foods, including wine, for harmful chemicals. But, given the state of the Calif State government, maybe they don’t anymore
until people start dropping like flies. So sad. Somebody should be.

There are a lot of reasons for not consuming CharlesShaw wines. That they are boring is my reason. That FredFranzia is a scumbag and has nothing but contempt/disdain for us high-falutin
wine connisseurs is another. That they are so cheap is another. That they come from the lowly-regarded SanJoaquinVlly is another. That they’re produced in industrial quantities and only our
low-brow friends drink them is another. But they being a health-risk is not one of the reasons in my book. But, then, I could be wrong and studies down the road will show a strong
correlation between CharlesShaw consumption and pre-mature deaths.

A friend of mine liked the N.V. Blason de Bourgogne Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noirs. I found it very simple, but not bad. At $10, what do you expect.

I actually liked the N.V. Blason de Bourgogne Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Réserve enough to give it an 87. My note : As others have said, a basic cremant. Nice fruit, good acid, a touch of yeast. It held up well on day 2. Overall, this is enjoyable at $10.

The risk to the consumer of the pesticide residues in the amount of Two Buck Chuck they drink is, in any substantive sense, zero. You might have a concern for the farmworkers who have a million times greater exposure to agricultural pesticides, or for how it affects the environment near the vineyard, but the health issue for the consumer is nothing.

Having said that, there are good reasons not to drink that stuff (i.e. it isn’t very good and holds no interest at all for the wine enthusiast), so it’s not really worth arguing about.

In general, I have not found Trader Joes to be worth going to for wine. There are far better wines at Costco and the supermarket than Trader Joes.