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May 29, 2011 06:03 PM

Inexpensive Pinot Noir, Merlot, or off-dry red wine recs?

I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told . .

Trader Joe's recommendations especially appreciated

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  1. First, what style do you like?

    What attributes do you like?

    What food are you likely to be serving these wines with?

    What is the price-point?

    Good luck, and please let us know more.


    1. *I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told . .*

      then.... don't squander your resistance
      For a pocketful of mumbles,
      Such are promises......... :)

      There are several T.J. wine threads here. I really like the Chariot Gypsy Red, it is very "soft" and that seems to be what you are looking for? It is a popular TJ wine, so you might have to ask for it and wait for it to come in.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sedimental

        "Soft" is a good term describing what I like, such as Merlot.
        Up to $7 a bottle.

        I just tried Blue Fin Pinot Noir at TJ's and it was OK, but would like to try something better

        1. re: terlin

          Columbia Crest Two Vines is a "soft" merlot that Trader Joe's often carries--usually at your price point. If you can go to $12 their Grand Estates is a great bargain for the quality.

          1. re: penthouse pup

            I got some Columbia Crest Two Vines today on sale for $5.99 at Von's (Safeway)
            Will let you know how it was.

      2. For a long time Mark West pinot noir sucked but the 2007 vintage was pretty nice. I haven't tried one since but that's a good place to start.
        Also, look for Pinot noir from Chile.
        Columbia Crest has a reputation for making affordable red wines that taste good.

        1. I like the 2007 Sola ($6.99), but Goodnight's 2007 ($5.99) is better. TJ doesn't have it, but some Grocery Outlets do.

          1. Try some pinot noirs from Castle Rock, Jelu (Chile), Mark West, Parducci and the cheapest, Mirassou.

            5 Replies
            1. re: mcf

              I just opened my first bottle of Underwood Cellars Pinot Noir last night, and it was excellent. Wine searcher has it as low as $9.99

              1. re: mcf

                A "drinkable" sub-$10 PN? That is amazing. Maybe I have to rethink my feeling, that finding a sub-$23 PN was nearly impossible. I'll see if I can find this locally (PHX, AZ), just to sample.


                Note: those prices are US$.

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I guess it depends upon what you consider "drinkable." This wine, I and other reviewers have noted, really benefits from an hour or two in the open air. You may not recall that the number one wine in in the Wine Spectator top 100 a couple of years ago was an $18 pinot noir from Cambria.

                  1. re: mcf

                    I have not read WS for many years, but would assume that the Cambria was Julia's Vineyard. Is that correct?

                    In that general price-point, I like the Acacia PN (a few $ more), better, but that is me. I pick up the Acacia for ~ US$ 23 at Costco, so it's a tad above some listed here.