Bottles and glasses of Taymor Chardonnay (left) and Tenebres GSM - both from Trader Joe's, and both $4.99

Wow. A Whole Lotta Vino Bang for $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Fast facts:

  • 2019 Tenebres GSM, Languedoc, France ($4.99 @Trader Joe’s,  California)
  • 2019 Taymor Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California ($4.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)

You long time readers of this blog (thank you!) know how much we love to find great wines that limbo in under the $10 price point. There are a surprising number of good, everyday-drinking wine finds that fall under $10. But when you wade into the sea of sub-$5 bottling, you need to taste a LOT more wines to find the gems.

So many wines at this price point are what we like to refer to as “industrial wines” that owe more to additives than good old fashioned winemaking. You’d be forgiven for calling out “fake wines!”  But this week we are featuring two “legit wines” from Trader Joe’s.  Both are incredible values given their $4.99 price.

These hit it out of the park when it comes to our coveted QPR (quality to price ratio) yardstick.  With apologies to the minds at Coca-Cola, both taste like “the real thing.”


Front label of 2019 Tenebres GSM red wine from Trader Joe's
Front label of 2019 Tenebres GSM red wine from Trader Joe’s. Delish!


Tasting Notes (Tenebres):

The color is an opaque cherry red. The nose is rich and jammy, with blackberry, cherry, oak spice, baking spices, black pepper, anise, and dark chocolate. Some notes are from oak barrel aging (which also provides some nice structure) which are surprises at this price. It has a smooth mouthfeel and a spectrum of red fruit flavors including red raspberry, blackberry, and black cherry.  There are also notes of Dr. Pepper and baking spices.  I paired this with grilled salmon and it was a nice, albeit unconventional, match.


Front label of 2019 Chardonnay from Taymor and Trader Joe's
Russian River Chardonnay for $4.99?! Yes, please.


Tasting Notes (Taymor):

Gracefully balanced between unoaked and buttery renditions, this wine possesses a very pale lemon yellow tint. The nose has elements of lemon meringue pie mixed with beautiful white rose. Lots of glycerin in the mouthfeel supporting a big sumptuous wine tasting of ripe white Babcock peaches with a finish tinged with subtle vanilla. While this wine can be enjoyed by itself, its lush body will support pairing with pasta dishes in white sauces. Heavier fish such as tuna steaks or halibut would also pair well.


So there you have it. Two incredible wine deals from Trader Joe’s.  If you find them at your local store, let us know what you think.  As always, if you find any wines you think we should know about, let us know about them here in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

And if your weekend preparations find you shopping at your local TJ’s, also keep an eye out for our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine. It’s a shopping list comprised of our most recent reviews.

If you’re headed to Costco soon, you can find our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list of Costco wine finds.





2 thoughts on “Wow. A Whole Lotta Vino Bang for $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

  1. For about ten minutes–actually it was about 3-4 weeks late this past winter–Trader Joe’s stocked under its own house label a Petit Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018. Fruity–strawberries–earthy, and for once properly aged when offered for sale. A truly good wine; about 85-86 points on the Parker scale; it sold for a mind-boggling $5.99. Sadly but inevitably it sold out quickly. I have 5 bottles of it remaining on my home shelves. Too late for you to review; but I’m just sayin’,, because it was so exactly within the scope of your objectives.
    I look forward to trying today’s recommendations. An inexpensive but good GSM with a bit of wood to it, for $5, is something I’ve been missing from the days of my youth, and craving!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.