Trader Joes Overrated?

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Payne M I T C H E L L
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Trader Joes Overrated?

#1 Post by Payne M I T C H E L L » October 14th, 2020, 12:44 pm

Interested to get peoples thoughts on this topic, I have been buying a ton of wine from Trader Joes because recently moved close to one in my city. I've heard a lot of hype from people and their podcast that their wine is "fantastic" and cheap which made me skeptical. Some of their domestic $15+ bottles I've liked but a lot of their international wines (Barolo, Gigondes, Vapolicella) haven't been on par with others I've tried from the area. My inkling is that people like the wines just because they love TJ's but if you buy that bottle at any other grocer you don't have the same feeling. newhere

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Perhaps..

#2 Post by TomHill » October 14th, 2020, 12:53 pm

Perhaps TJ's is overrated if you like the kinds of wine we do here on WB.
I often will go bottom feeding at TJ's. But you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. But occasionally you'll find one that's a real bargain. Not so much in the import section, more in the Calif wines. They buy a lot from Fred Franzia. If the label say made in American Canyon, that's a tip-off that it's one of Fred's and you should avoid it.
That said, bottom feeding at TJ's is usually more rewarding than at Total Wine, which has some ethical issues with deceptive marketing.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#3 Post by Matthew Brown » October 14th, 2020, 12:54 pm

There is a bit of ‘cult of personality’ to their wine program. Always going to be a hit-or-miss aspect to wines that are always going to be sourced versus estate or contracted vineyards. There used to be a lot more hits as well when they weren’t in so many states, needing to make much larger batches. Also notorious for wildly varying batches of things like the Charles Shaw line, within vintage, coming from tanks of different regions under the same label. If the risk is worth the cheap price, you can definitely find some strong daily drinkers, just don’t expect it from year to year. For the nicer things like Barolo, you can do much better quality in a Langhe Nebbiolo from a good producer 19/20 times.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#4 Post by Rory K. » October 14th, 2020, 1:12 pm

It's all relative, I find there definitely is a cult surrounding Tjs and their cheap wine, but they tend to be consumers who think of a $15 wine as higher end, and so they love finding a < $10 bottle that they feel can compete, feels like a steal then. There is a cottage industry of bloggers thriving on this segment of the market. Not judging, it's just going to be a different attitude on a forum like this. I had a $6 Albarino from TJs that I though could compete with whites in the 10-15 category, but at the end of the day I'm just not looking for that kind of wine.

Compared this to Costco's wine selection; Costco has recognizable wines at nearly every price points that frequently are great deals compared to other retailers. I find bargain hunting at costco more rewarding.

Additionally, I find the stuff TJs carries at higher price points (20-30) to be outright bad values, their ~$24 Barolo in particular made me wretch.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#5 Post by Scott G r u n e r » October 14th, 2020, 1:15 pm

There is a lot of crappy wine out there. Go to safeway/kroger/albertons/etc and there is a world of plonk in the 5-15$ range. Most not good.
I think trader joes does a better job of triaging and selecting wines than a typical grocery store chain.
In terms of private label stuff- I don't touch it unless I hear from here that it is worth trying.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#6 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm

I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Last edited by Paul Jaouen on October 14th, 2020, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#7 Post by larry schaffer » October 14th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Interesting topic - and my guess is that there are more folks on this board who regularly get wines there than it appears - and, not saying anyone is doing this, but no one should be made to feel 'bad' about doing so.

The perception of quality in wines is truly subjective, and there i is bound to be a number of folks who find most of the wines at TJ's to offer them the 'quality' that they are happy with. Period. Are there wines sold there that are 'not as good' as what you can find elsewhere for the same $$$? Of course - but TJ's makes it easy to pick up wines along with your groceries without having to make a separate stop, and sometimes convenience is them most important factor.

Bottom line for the OP - compare for yourself. If you feel the international wines do not offer the value you are looking for, look elsewhere - it might involve purchasing online rather than in person, but there are some great places that offer great selections of international wines at all prices. Check out K and L, Wine Exchange, Kogod and many other online wine retailers.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#8 Post by NealW » October 14th, 2020, 1:34 pm

In NYC, broadly speaking I find trader joes wine (only 1 in Manhattan as far as I know) to be 20-40+% below most wine shops for most wines ranging for daily drinkers ranging from $10-$25. I don't expect to find something I don't know that will surprise or wow me but for some wines that I enjoy it is the best value around here
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#9 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 14th, 2020, 1:37 pm

For me, I really haven’t found a single bottle I would want to drink. My neighbor buys all his wine there so I have tried a lot of wines. Too many actually. I taste them and then end up drinking whatever I brought over.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#10 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » October 14th, 2020, 1:45 pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Me too!

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#11 Post by Markus S » October 14th, 2020, 1:49 pm

Oh, the wines! Well, they don't sell wine in the TJ's near here, but the store, certainly. Many people rave about it, but it is still over-rated.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#12 Post by Victor Hong » October 14th, 2020, 2:17 pm

TJ is proof that you can overpay for a $12 bottle of wine.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#13 Post by aaronfullen » October 14th, 2020, 2:27 pm

For what's it's worth, I was rummaging through a bunch of bottles sitting on the basement bar top a few weeks ago. These are the bottles that friends bring us when they come over for a birthday party or whatever. Just kind of rando-bottles.

I didn't want to open anything "nice" but wanted a glass of wine. So, I opened a bottle of Grifone Primitivo from the rando stash. It was delicious. It tasted like it had some age on it (maybe ten years) and there was some complexity there. Plus, it was crazy tasty.

I went upstairs (with my glass) to get on the computer and buy a case of what I thought was surely a $30-$40 wine (given my friends' budgets) that punched way above its weight.

I was shocked (pretty literally) that the glass I was really, really digging was from a bottle that is a Trader Joe exclusive and can be yours for the price of $3.99.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#14 Post by Chris Seiber » October 14th, 2020, 2:29 pm

For whatever reason, the Trader Joe's in Costa Mesa on 17th street has a Bordeaux section with usually around 10 or so good bottles. Producers like Lagrange, Lafon Rochet, Sociando Mallet, Cantemerle, Latour Martillac, Rouget, Clos du Marquis, all (in the last year or so) from the 14-16 vintages, mostly the 15 and 16 vintages. And they've had that kind of selection consistently for at least the last year or more, not sure how much longer back than that.

The prices are good, kind of at the lowest end of internet retail. And . . . they show up on the CC statement as Trader Joe's, not Hi Time or Wine Exchange.

But aside from that anomaly, and I haven't seen another TJs with those kinds of wines, I think their wine selection is of essentially no interest to me. A lot of unknown bad wine that is not really a bargain despite being cheap, a few okay labels (e.g. Pine Ridge cab type of stuff) that are often not priced very attractively. I'd far rather buy wine, and even cheap wine, at Ralph's or Vons than TJ, other than the Bordeaux I mentioned.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#15 Post by Greg Gardner » October 14th, 2020, 2:30 pm

Back in the early 90s, when TJs basically only sold dry goods (no produce and had only a tiny refrigerated section), they seemed to specialize more in sourcing closeouts from known wineries. I remember vividly walking into one in maybe 1994 and they had a floor stack of Ridge Geyserville at a price that was low even then. You still see some closeouts of solid stuff from time to time, and over the past 18 months or so, they've started bringing in a range of classified growth Bordeaux at decent-but-not-bargain prices. That's the case for all of the Seattle-area TJs, anyway. Anything that has the Latitude Wines from Danville, CA import label is a TJs direct import and quality is all over the place. I agree that their 'premium' direct imports for Brunello, Barolo etc are usually very poor value for money.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#16 Post by jnbrown » October 14th, 2020, 2:53 pm

I am regular shopper at TJ but not for the wine.
Used to try the wine there on a regular basis but like others have said mostly its not worth the price or even drinkable.
I can't remember drinking a bottle and thinking I need to get more of that.
I think you are much better off at Costco.
I sort of envy people who can drink a $5 bottle from TJ and can't even tell a difference from a $30 bottle from a well known winery.
I have a few friends like that.
Have not stepped inside a TJ since March though and don't plan to until the pandemic is over. In the meantime my kids shop for us there.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#17 Post by John J » October 14th, 2020, 2:56 pm

You get what you pay for.

To make wine at that price point, the corners cut are many. When you mechanically harvest and sort on that scale, you are guaranteed all kinds of suspect vineyard material in the tank than if you spent a couple more bucks. Plus the degree of chemical manipulation on some of these can be pretty high.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#18 Post by Eric White » October 14th, 2020, 3:41 pm

there have been a few gems in the past, but they are few and far between. They do carry some better/higher end wines, but the price isn't particularly attractive.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#19 Post by Paul Miller » October 14th, 2020, 4:05 pm

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:45 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Me too!
We get the 4-packs of Sutter Home, or whatever else the grocery store has.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#20 Post by Dan Kravitz » October 14th, 2020, 4:46 pm

commercial post: My business has sold wine to Trader Joe's in the past and may do so again. That may affect this post:

I find that when they buy end-of-vintage closeouts and/or overstock from known producers, the values can be very good.

I find that for their own brands and exclusivities, the values are hit and miss. Like every other profit-seeking business, they want to buy low and sell high. Like every other profit-seeking business, the buyers sometimes err on the side of paying too little and selling for too much. Shop carefully, aka Caveat Emptor.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#21 Post by Marshall Manning » October 14th, 2020, 7:16 pm

Greg Gardner wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 2:30 pm
Back in the early 90s, when TJs basically only sold dry goods (no produce and had only a tiny refrigerated section), they seemed to specialize more in sourcing closeouts from known wineries. I remember vividly walking into one in maybe 1994 and they had a floor stack of Ridge Geyserville at a price that was low even then. You still see some closeouts of solid stuff from time to time, and over the past 18 months or so, they've started bringing in a range of classified growth Bordeaux at decent-but-not-bargain prices. That's the case for all of the Seattle-area TJs, anyway. Anything that has the Latitude Wines from Danville, CA import label is a TJs direct import and quality is all over the place. I agree that their 'premium' direct imports for Brunello, Barolo etc are usually very poor value for money.
This. When I lived in CA the old TJ's chain used to have some good bargains, but there might have been 20 stores in the state, so they could close out old vintages or small lots much easier than they can now with stores nationwide. Now it seems, like most large chains, that they have custom-labeled mediocre wines with names that sound like subdivisions. I haven't bought anything from them in 20+ years, but try them occasionally with friends who aren't as geeky who shop there. There's nothing I've tried that I would go back for. Even at $15 I can find much better wine from real, small producers at my local wine shop.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#22 Post by Cris Whetstone » October 14th, 2020, 7:17 pm

For people that are into wine enough to read a board like Berserkers there is going to be few interesting bottles at TJ's these days. For people that don't really do any tasting or pay attention to wine regions and a $20 bottle is a splurge, they probably do ok there.

TJ's used to have more interesting selections from time to time. I would buy Mayacamas Merlot at my local locations in the aughts for $30.

I'm sure some of their one off type of labels are pretty good from time to time. Just like any other place doing those liquidation barrel buys.

One thing we can get regularly at our local locations is the Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Port for $20. It's a solid deal if you like a solid Port from time to time.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#23 Post by Leonard Maran » October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#24 Post by Barry L i p t o n » October 14th, 2020, 7:56 pm

Great for dried peaches.
Great for Jumbo cashews.
Good for organic persian cucumbers.
Wine, no. Unless you are at a very low price point. Sure there are stories but usually can go better buy buying value wines from wine stores that know them

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#25 Post by Paul H Galli » October 14th, 2020, 8:00 pm

Sorry, the wine buyer for Trader Joe's needs to be tarred and feathered....
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#26 Post by larry schaffer » October 14th, 2020, 8:24 pm

Seriously, come on folks. I'm sure that there are many on this board who really do enjoy their TJ's wines and should not feel 'shamed' for doing so. To each their own, all . . .
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#27 Post by Sean_S » October 14th, 2020, 8:34 pm

Paul H Galli wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 8:00 pm
Sorry, the wine buyer for Trader Joe's needs to be tarred and feathered....
Sorry have to agree. Way better luck at Costco. Kirkland Cotes du Rhone and Chianti Classico are quite good for the sub $7 price point. But honestly I've stopped buying stuff like that. So much good wine out there at 15-20 to drink TJ's. That said I love TJ's and shop their weekly.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#28 Post by Michael Martin » October 14th, 2020, 8:38 pm

My understanding is many of the wines come from the same source: Bronco Wines https://broncowine.com/

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#29 Post by Craig G » October 14th, 2020, 8:51 pm

My take is that Trader Joe’s buys wine based on a definition of value that’s not very customer friendly. They are looking for wines that are a “good deal” in the sense that they can buy a large volume at a low price for that wine or that type of wine, but this judgment is independent of quality. So for example you may see a very low-priced Barolo, but it will likely be very poor quality. Or if two wines normally sell for $25 and TJ’s can get 1000 cases at a price that will allow them to sell wine A at $18 or wine B at $20, they will buy wine A even if wine B is a much better wine. This is the opinion I’ve formed based on my experience.

There are probably other shops that operate that way, but I think most of us would generally shop at places whose first priority is quality.

After trying quite a few wines there and having many disappointments, I resolved not to buy any more wine there unless I know exactly what it is.

I don’t feel the same way about all of their stuff. There are some clunkers but in general they seem to find some pretty decent products.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#30 Post by Alan Rath » October 14th, 2020, 8:58 pm

People who buy wine at TJs need to write an open letter of apology, and take a month hiatus from the board neener
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#31 Post by Cris Whetstone » October 14th, 2020, 10:32 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 8:24 pm
Seriously, come on folks. I'm sure that there are many on this board who really do enjoy their TJ's wines and should not feel 'shamed' for doing so. To each their own, all . . .
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#32 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 15th, 2020, 4:38 am

Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
I don’t believe that. It’s fine as long as the wine is not damaged.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#33 Post by Brian Tuite » October 15th, 2020, 6:05 am

Not as overrated as the New York Strip. [whistle.gif]
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#34 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 15th, 2020, 6:12 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 4:38 am
Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
I don’t believe that. It’s fine as long as the wine is not damaged.
Except for a few specific applications, like my capon with morels in vin jaune sauce, I agree with Paul. In fact, most of the wine we use for cooking comes from bottles that got a little over the hill in the cellar or from the occasional flyer we took that didn't work out. It's rare for me to buy something for cooking, or to use something I'd rather drink.

I've never bought wine at Trader Joes. Or anything else that I can think of, for that matter. It's never been in my shopping rotation.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#35 Post by TimF » October 15th, 2020, 6:14 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
I was going to post the exact same thing.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#36 Post by TimF » October 15th, 2020, 6:16 am

Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
I strongly disagree with this. You don’t need fine wine to enhance a dish. Most of the value is in releasing alcohol soluble flavors. Nuance gets lost in cooking.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#37 Post by Payne M I T C H E L L » October 15th, 2020, 6:35 am

Dan Kravitz wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 4:46 pm
commercial post: My business has sold wine to Trader Joe's in the past and may do so again. That may affect this post:

I find that when they buy end-of-vintage closeouts and/or overstock from known producers, the values can be very good.

I find that for their own brands and exclusivities, the values are hit and miss. Like every other profit-seeking business, they want to buy low and sell high. Like every other profit-seeking business, the buyers sometimes err on the side of paying too little and selling for too much. Shop carefully, aka Caveat Emptor.

Dan Kravitz
So in essence they are doing what Naked Wines does, they grab bulk wine from producers and put a label on it and call it their own. I think that makes it hard to sell good stuff because most producers aren't letting go of their good stuff...

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#38 Post by Michae1 P0wers » October 15th, 2020, 7:13 am

larry schaffer wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 8:24 pm
Seriously, come on folks. I'm sure that there are many on this board who really do enjoy their TJ's wines and should not feel 'shamed' for doing so. To each their own, all . . .
Larry, the OP asked and people have answered. I don't think anyone is being too harsh. If there are people who enjoy TJ wine that's fine, but there's nothing wrong with voicing opinions that the wine on the whole is not good. People come here to learn, not to be told that Bronco wine is as good as anything else. Personally I bought a few random wines several years ago which were not bad, but most of my attempts yielded very, very generic wines that often tasted chemical and heavily manipulated. Warning people off of that is a good idea IMO. Like anywhere else, if you see a reputable wine at a good price, by all means, buy, but random purchasing is risky.

Those saying TJs is generally overrated, I disagree. I would never do all of my shopping there but they have a few items that are very good and good value. Frozen Naan, harissa paste, Calabrian chili paste, and olives are things worth buying off the top of my head. Some good seasonal items as well. But for me the big draw, though I haven't been since the pandemic since the stores are packed even at normal times, is the cheese. They have a good selection and excellent pricing. Around the holidays they'll have things like Harbison for about $12 for the whole round, which is nuts. Many other good cheeses at silly prices too.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#39 Post by Chris Seiber » October 15th, 2020, 7:18 am

I agree with Michael that this thread doesn’t seem overly snobby or like it’s shaming anyone. And of course it’s viewing their wines from a WB perspective, rather than a civilian perspective, because this is WB.

I think a wine enthusiast who knows TJ but hasn’t tried the wines could easily wonder if they’re missing out on interesting wines and good bargains, and for me, I think the answer mostly is that they’re not.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#40 Post by rsmithjr » October 15th, 2020, 7:27 am

TJ's is overrated......
Roger Smith- Longtime wine drinker and bon vivant' and unofficial De Negoce' FANBOY.....

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#41 Post by Thomas Keim » October 15th, 2020, 7:32 am

It's a great place to find $15 Barolo or Amarone. The quality is usually reflected in the price. They've always been pretty good buyers of Petite Chateaux and always have a few surprising bargains.in that category.

I usually just go to TJ's for their oddball food items and cheese.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#42 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » October 15th, 2020, 8:09 am

Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
Sorry, but I really disagree with you. Like Paul, I have picked up cheap, decent wines for cooking at TJ that I would not want to drink (although they are "drinkable"), mostly because I have a cellar of much better, aged wines. The idea that you need to cook with a good bottle is silly.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#43 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » October 15th, 2020, 8:33 am

TimF wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 6:16 am
Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
I strongly disagree with this. You don’t need fine wine to enhance a dish. Most of the value is in releasing alcohol soluble flavors. Nuance gets lost in cooking.
Yeah, always puzzles me that people will freak out about a wine experiencing 80 degree temps in bottle for an hour or two in the back of a UPS truck but then claim that the nuances of a wine will survive the cooking process.

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#44 Post by Arv R » October 15th, 2020, 9:07 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 2:29 pm
For whatever reason, the Trader Joe's in Costa Mesa on 17th street has a Bordeaux section with usually around 10 or so good bottles. Producers like Lagrange, Lafon Rochet, Sociando Mallet, Cantemerle, Latour Martillac, Rouget, Clos du Marquis, all (in the last year or so) from the 14-16 vintages, mostly the 15 and 16 vintages. And they've had that kind of selection consistently for at least the last year or more, not sure how much longer back than that.

The prices are good, kind of at the lowest end of internet retail. And . . . they show up on the CC statement as Trader Joe's, not Hi Time or Wine Exchange.

But aside from that anomaly, and I haven't seen another TJs with those kinds of wines, I think their wine selection is of essentially no interest to me. A lot of unknown bad wine that is not really a bargain despite being cheap, a few okay labels (e.g. Pine Ridge cab type of stuff) that are often not priced very attractively. I'd far rather buy wine, and even cheap wine, at Ralph's or Vons than TJ, other than the Bordeaux I mentioned.
I have only been in TJ's once or twice since the National Emergency was declared (lines were painful) and one location up here (suburbs of SMF) had a similar BDX as you describe. I think I picked up an 2015 or 2016 Cantemerle for $30ish.

In general I think the wine selection at ours seems large, but not any better than the aforementioned grocery stores. I buy vermouth, and sometimes splits of champers there which can be low priced, and probably from those closeouts. Its inconsistent what's around. I think Costco is a much better place to spend the hour+ it takes to visit these in my area (given parking/lines etc.)
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#45 Post by larry schaffer » October 15th, 2020, 9:54 am

Payne M I T C H E L L wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 6:35 am
Dan Kravitz wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 4:46 pm
commercial post: My business has sold wine to Trader Joe's in the past and may do so again. That may affect this post:

I find that when they buy end-of-vintage closeouts and/or overstock from known producers, the values can be very good.

I find that for their own brands and exclusivities, the values are hit and miss. Like every other profit-seeking business, they want to buy low and sell high. Like every other profit-seeking business, the buyers sometimes err on the side of paying too little and selling for too much. Shop carefully, aka Caveat Emptor.

Dan Kravitz
So in essence they are doing what Naked Wines does, they grab bulk wine from producers and put a label on it and call it their own. I think that makes it hard to sell good stuff because most producers aren't letting go of their good stuff...
Payne,

Not true at all - venture over to the DeNegoce thread and you'll see tons of wines that fall into this category. And 'good' is a relative term - sometimes wineries simply make more than they can sell themselves; sometimes their vineyard produces more grapes than they can sell so they make the wine and bulk it out. Lots of reasons, but not necessarily because the wine isn't good'.

Cheers.
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larry schaffer
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#46 Post by larry schaffer » October 15th, 2020, 9:59 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 7:13 am
larry schaffer wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 8:24 pm
Seriously, come on folks. I'm sure that there are many on this board who really do enjoy their TJ's wines and should not feel 'shamed' for doing so. To each their own, all . . .
Larry, the OP asked and people have answered. I don't think anyone is being too harsh. If there are people who enjoy TJ wine that's fine, but there's nothing wrong with voicing opinions that the wine on the whole is not good. People come here to learn, not to be told that Bronco wine is as good as anything else. Personally I bought a few random wines several years ago which were not bad, but most of my attempts yielded very, very generic wines that often tasted chemical and heavily manipulated. Warning people off of that is a good idea IMO. Like anywhere else, if you see a reputable wine at a good price, by all means, buy, but random purchasing is risky.

Those saying TJs is generally overrated, I disagree. I would never do all of my shopping there but they have a few items that are very good and good value. Frozen Naan, harissa paste, Calabrian chili paste, and olives are things worth buying off the top of my head. Some good seasonal items as well. But for me the big draw, though I haven't been since the pandemic since the stores are packed even at normal times, is the cheese. They have a good selection and excellent pricing. Around the holidays they'll have things like Harbison for about $12 for the whole round, which is nuts. Many other good cheeses at silly prices too.
Thanks for your reply and I agree that my wording may have come across incorrectly. I know how many 'lurkers' there are on this board at any time, and many are hesitant to post because they 'fear' that they may be 'judged' harshly by some of the more direct and vocal folks here. As others have said, you 'get what you pay for', but I believe that there are more folks who regularly drink sub $20 wines on this board than those who drink $20+ wines on a daily basis - but I could be wrong. It'd be interesting to see what a poll might say on this . . . Now back to harvest [snort.gif]

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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#47 Post by Jeff_M. » October 15th, 2020, 10:15 am

I am not out seeking to buy wine from TJs to drink for myself but I would certainly have a few bottles of this sort in my cellar for when we have guests over and don't want to pour them higher end bottles since they won't appreciate the quality of fine wine we normally drink. We had been buying Cline Ancient Vine at Costco for around $12 and its a pretty good house wine for when guests are over.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#48 Post by Victor Hong » October 15th, 2020, 10:22 am

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 8:09 am
Leonard Maran wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:20 pm
Paul Jaouen wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 1:19 pm
I buy my cooking wine at Trader Joe’s. It is satisfactory and cheap.
Never cook with a wine you would not drink.
Sorry, but I really disagree with you. Like Paul, I have picked up cheap, decent wines for cooking at TJ that I would not want to drink (although they are "drinkable"), mostly because I have a cellar of much better, aged wines. The idea that you need to cook with a good bottle is silly.
A good bottle goes into the cook, not the cooking.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#49 Post by bretrooks » October 15th, 2020, 11:37 am

I'm one of those inexpensive-bottle drinkers Larry mentioned above, and although we've purchased little wine from TJ's in the last 2-3 years, we've picked up daily drinkers there now and then over the preceding years.

At price points above $10 or so, we've been disappointed more often than not. In lower price ranges, we could occasionally find cheap and cheerful bottles for parties or Tuesday nights. In certain vintages, we've enjoyed Espiral Vinho Verde for $4 (later $5), Pontificis GSM (from Languedoc) for $7, Cecilia Beretta Trevenezie {FREEDA} rose for $9 (I think), and Symington Douro Tuella for $6. Our local store has carried some better Bordeaux selections for the last year or so (Cantemerle, Lagrange, etc.), but I haven't bit on anything...not a category I tend to "splurge" on.

TJ's has good store-branded versions of a variety of products at fair prices (cheese, organic milk, condiments, frozen orange chicken, my favorite toothpaste, the only non-homemade mac 'n cheese my daughters will eat, etc.), but there are other categories which have never impressed...for example, we almost never buy meat there.
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Re: Trader Joes Overrated?

#50 Post by NED VALOIS » October 15th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 8:58 pm
People who buy wine at TJs need to write an open letter of apology, and take a month hiatus from the board neener
+! !!! [snort.gif]

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