The #1 Wine to Buy at Trader Joe's This Fall, According to Employees
This story originally appeared on EatingWell.com by Karla Walsh.
If we say "home to 19 cent bananas," and "where to score Charles Shaw for two (or maybe three bucks, depending on where you live)," chances are you know the answer to that Jeopardy question is "what is Trader Joe's?"
Allow us to add another red wine to that list, courtesy of a pro tip straight from Trader Joe's crew members.
On episode 39 of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast, co-hosts Matt Sloan, vice president of marketing, and Tara Miller, marketing director, revealed the top Trader Joe's wine they'll be adding to their carts ASAP this fall. We say "ASAP" because it's apparently so popular, each case goes fast.
"If you are a fan of big Napa Valley cabs, this is the ticket for you. It's really delicious. We have just about 10,000 cases, which sounds like a massive amount of wine, really. But it's not, it's going to go quickly when this comes out," Sloan says, of their 120,000 bottle allocation. (Related: The Best ALDI Wines, According to Superfans)
Since last year was a tough year for wine sales at restaurants, "a lot of wineries need to move product out so that they can bring in this year's harvest and make this year's wine. We pay them cash," Miller adds.
So that means the 2019 Trader Joe's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County they adore and recommend can be yours at a surprisingly affordable price: $9.99.
Although the co-hosts stay mum about which winery they're working with to bottle these grapes, Sloan admits, "the producer has a bunch of equity that they've built up in that brand identity, maybe marketing costs and maybe even a specific price point that they want associated with that brand," hence why they sell it under their private Trader Joe's Reserve label.
The vineyard is known for "extremely expensive bottles of wine, like in the hundreds of dollar range," Miller says. "We're so confident in the product that we're willing to take the risk to sell it without that famous name we cannot reveal," Sloan adds.
It's like one of a blind wine tasting party — just at a budget-friendly price, a clue about the varietals and with the Trader Joe's employees' stamp of approval.
According to the staff, "This 2019 vintage hails from the famous wine region just west of Napa. It's made from sauvignon grapes with petit verdot and syrah in the mix, collectively yielding a deep-purple hue and full, rich body. And the fruit concentration is just right, with blueberry, black currant and blackberry notes, plus a hint of vanilla."
They suggest pairing it with aged cheese (perhaps on the ultimate fall cheese board), pasta with red sauce (might we recommend Ina Garten's five-star tomato-basil pasta or Katie Couric's eggplant Parm?) or a steak. Or, you know, your glass and whatever you're making for a cozy fall dinner tonight.
As we mentioned, this is available while supplies last and only at Trader Joe's locations that sell wine. So if this sounds up your alley, add it to your next shopping list alongside these 7 employee-favorite fall products.