Top three red wines at TJ's
To save myself trips to different stores, I'm looking to put together a gift basket from TJ, with red wine (and TJ chocolates, nuts, fruit) included. If you had to choose your top three at Trader Joe's, what would it be?
TJ's is slowly amassing the selection of your ordinary supermarket. It'd be tough to recommend 3 wines from TJ's in that price range that are exclusive or near-exclusive to TJ.
The only one I can think of the Rosenblum Syrah (2003)... which should be priced at $27 if the particular store carries it.
Besides that, everything else that's decent may be a wine you could find at your local Vons for a similar price.
I would recommend Conn Creek's Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. Available at my local TJ's for about $20. It does well with a little breathing time in the glass. The others that I am about to recommend are not outstanding, but for the price, I like them very much:
Twin Fin Pinot Noir for about $6
Bear's Lair Merlot for about $4 (this might be exclusive to TJs as I've never seen it elsewhere and there seems to be no winery by that name - or at least none with a website.)
Santa Ema (Chilean) Cabernet Sauvignon for about $4
Clos Du Bois Zinfandel - dunno if TJ carries it, but likely, since I know they carry Clos Du Bois Chardonnay.
I haven't looked for this one in Trader Joe's but you could ask if they carry it - Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. I've had that vintage and it was delicious. I've seen the 2003 vintage in Ralphs for about $9. If this is available in TJ's, it would be my second choice after Conn Creek.
3 top TJ's Wines
Zonin Prosecco (Light and fun a great way to start a meal)
Coppala Claret (Just a Mellow all around good red)
Castoro Viognier (Full Bodied Paso Robles White)