There is a lot of overpriced plonk floating around in wine-o-topia. Then there are the countless bins filled with low priced wines that are low priced for a reason. It can be a challenge to come up with a decent wine at a good price. Picking wine is a bit of gamble and like gamblers some winos have a system they work.
Here's One Hot Tip: Brian P suggests that scanning the bottom shelf at Bev-Mo is the hot ticket and has discovered a fair ratio of bargain priced drinkable wine by simply bending down.
Another Hot Tip: TWC stands around contemplating the shelves, wandering back and forth, muttering, occasionally pulling a bottle and examining the label as if it could reveal what's under the cork. Eventually the kids whine and beg. Can we puleeeze go home now dad?
Ty asked how I came to choose the RCTJWF, which means Really Cool Trader Joe's Wine Find. Yellow label, no foil, clear bottle, and all the charisma of plain wrap hot dogs. But the trappings of a bargain wine aren't any guarantee. As any survivor of a first date can attest to, disappointment looms large and so, I didn't throw darts, I played the odds, the probabilities, took a little chance, hedged my bet.
The wine is from Paso Robles, it is 62% Cabernet and the rest Syrah. I like both grapes, which is a fine place to begin. Paso puts out some astounding Syrah and is less well known than other wine growing areas. Thus, it is more likely that good wine and/or grapes are passed over by the market. Though not as consistently, Paso can also produce a good Cabernet. The hand lettered sign hinted at a one time deal*. At five or six bucks, you ain't out much if the wine is Grade A Lawn Pourin' swill. But, like calling for insurance when the dealer has an ace showing, TWC also picked up a second bottle (Robert Hall Zin). A known quantity.
Verdict: RCTJWF is a good red table wine. It's smooth, medium bodied, with no harsh acidity, no fumes, no back bite. It is an excellent and enjoyable every day wine.
In Ty's own words,
This is just the kind of wine I like. Smooth. Not harsh.
We served it with spicy shredded Mexican pork but it will enhance any hearty fare from grilled steak to beef stew.
*There seems to be plenty of this wine available right now. I suspect that they made a lot of it but when it is gone, that will be it. Trader Joe's website here.