In the latest episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, which came out earlier this week, hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan pop bottles, swirl glasses, and sip wines. And they don’t do that alone! The duo invited two of TJ’s associates — Dale and Michael (who follow Cooney) — to chat about Chablis, Chardonnay, rosé, and more.
Between the fun facts (rosé is named after its color) and the hard stats (the grocer sells about 40 million bottles of wine each year), the group shared a few details about three new bottles hitting shelves “very soon.” And while exact dates aren’t known yet, “very soon” can’t come soon enough after listening to their on-air tasting.
1. Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, 2021
This wine comes from the Carneros region of California, which spans both Napa and Sonoma. (That area is good for Pinot, Tara explains, because the weather is a bit cooler.) This Pinot Noir, bottled by Carneros Cellars in Napa, is 14.5 percent alcohol — “so it’s a little above that,” says Cooney – and light in color. Both hosts like it and know exactly how they would serve it. For Tara, it’s an ideal pairing with Thanksgiving dinner “because it’s not that heavy,” while Matt referred to it as potentially being a “cocktail-type wine.” I think we should just wait and sip for ourselves.
2. Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Malbec, 2019
This Malbec comes from a single vineyard in the Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina and according to our hosts, it is the country’s first grocer’s Grand Reserve. Compared to the Pinot, Matt found it more opaque and darker in color with heavier pigmentation. “It’s even a little more viscous on the side of the glass,” adds Tara. It’s a “good, full-bodied” wine, Dale says. It has “nice acidity,” Cooney adds, and “a little heavier, fatter mouthfeel.”
3. Trader Joe’s Diamond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2020
Diamond Reserves are “the top echelon of Trader Joe’s Reserves,” says Cooney, and this Cabernet Sauvignon is the one he looks forward to most every year. He even threw some open last Christmas (maybe you too!). The flavorful wine comes from Oakville, a renowned Napa Valley sub-region, and at $19.99 it’s in the upper echelon of TJ’s bottles. Pro tip from both Cooney and Dale: Open it early to let it breathe (30 minutes before serving should do the trick). That extra step will help improve the taste of the wine.
Which TJ wine are you buying this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.