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Aug 29, 2006 12:27 PM

Trader Joe's wine excursion

I'm thinking of borrowing a car tomorrow to make a trip to the Trader Joe's on Memorial Drive. Having moved apartments, we need to stock up on wine! I had been sceptical about TJ's wine in the past -- never liked the acrid Charles Shaw red, in particular. But last week we tried the Ferrande Sauvignon Blanc on an old recommendation from this board and it was great! Would anyone be able to recommend other everyday wines that you like ($5-10 range), both white and red? I'd particularly like to find a light, low tannin red, like a good Valpolicella.
Any other ideas for cheap wine vendors in the Cambridge/ central Boston area would also be really useful. Thanks.

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  1. I've had most of the rieslings -- and havent had a bad one yet...the Hogue wines are priced amazingly well

    1. I love TJ's wine selection, my Mom discovered the TJ wine selection maybe 10 years ago (back in L.A. where I grew up). So many great "up and coming" wines for cheap. I live by the $5 rule, buy any wine under $5 to try, I've had a few mediocre wines, but some truly great ones, which I then stock up on before they raise the price!

      1. I also think TJs has some great wine deals, if you know what you are getting. I would suggest that you also explore the wine departments of Marty's in Allston, and Blanchards (I like the JP Blanchards). They have very knowledgeable and approachable wine staff, and if you give them your price range and what you like you will be amazed at the selections they will have for you. Plus they have weekly wine tastings, and it is a good way to learn more about the wines and what you would like.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JudyHP

          I like the West Roxbury Blanchard's, but wouldn't bother with the Allston one---their staff caters to 22-year-olds buying 30-packs of Bud Light. Marty's is great if someone is in their wine department when you are there, which is not always the case. Brookline Liquor Mart and Martignetti's win awards, but I find their selection, prices, and service pretty horrid.

          For great wine deals (with hit-or-miss service) I really like Mall Discount Liquors near Alewife. They have a large selection and often have great bottles on sale.

          For passionate and friendly service I go to the Wine Bottega on Hanover in the North End. The selection is pretty small, but many of the bottles are hard to find, and the staff loves to show you what they have.

          1. re: DoubleMan

            DoubleMan, I am so with you on Mall Liquors. There are some GREAT deals to be had and I find that their champagne is always priced quite well, too.

            1. re: DoubleMan

              I haven't been to the wine department at Blanchards in a few years but my experience there has been the opposite of yours- their wine guy has been extraordinarily helpful and informed. He always seemed thrilled to have a chance to talk about wine rather than kegs for a change.

          2. The Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville (on Cambridge border, across the street from both
            Dali and EVOO) is having its quarterly sale; I think it's 10% off 6 bottles, and 20% off a case.
            As for everyday wines, my wife and I love the Grao Vasco, a very drinkable Portugese table wine that sells for $4.99 at the Cask.

            1. Based on a recommendation on the Wine board, I just tried Nero D'Avola - $4.99 at TJ's -- and would certainly echo the recommendation. I made my husband try it before I told him how much it cost, and he was quite impressed. We also liked Four Vines Zinfandel - I'm not 100% sure of its price, but I think it was $8 or $9.

              3 Replies
              1. re: phoebek

                What brand of Nero D'Avola? I drank a ton of it in Sicily, and it was usually al spina for like 3 euro a liter at restaurants. That was living!

                1. re: tamerlanenj

                  Ruggiero di Tasso, I think (the bottle went out with the recycling this morning. . . )

                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                    Very decent drinkable red wine. $5 per bottle. Ruggero di Tasso ...Nero D'Avola.

                    Tastes even better once opened (aerated) and chilled.