Trader Joe's is known for its smartly chosen wine selections, including the Charles Shaw wines. So what happens when Trader Joe's wines are subjected to a blind tasting? Richard Fadeley's tasting panel found the results . . . interesting. Read the reviews.
Michele Chiarlo 2011 "Le Orme" Barbera d'Asti Superiore ($16.99)
Dark reddish-purple shading to garnet, then clear at the edge. Good tart-cherry aromas and a hint of dried cherries on the nose. Mouth-watering flavors, dry and tart red fruit that follows the nose, cherries and a touch of tart cranberry, shaped with zippy, cleansing acidity. Good balance and food-friendly acidity with appropriate 13.5% alcohol make for a first-rate table wine. Iconic pairings remain beef or tomato-based pasta dishes; as a (somewhat) lighter red, it's also good with grilled chicken. cheese-based dishes, or our choice, a savory wild-mushroom pasta with plenty of Grana Padano.
"Northern California's Mendocino County, a wine region rich with redwoods, coastal climate and definitely Pinot Noir, has birthed three disparate yet dedicated wineries, proudly wearing their Pinot passion like a badge of honor," writes Taylor. Read their profiles.