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My name is Catherine Courtney and I am a Nashville Native with a penchant for culinary creativity and epic travel adventures.  I'll admit... I also have a slight obsession with handbags. 

Cheers to Pour Decisions: TJ Tuesdays

Cheers to Pour Decisions: TJ Tuesdays

There's nothing that I love more than a glass of wine after a long day at work. Let's just be completely real, there's nothing I love more than a glass of wine...period. I've been fortunate to acquire some exceptional bottles of wine during my trips to Napa, but those aren't the bottles that I want to pop open on a random Monday evening while I am eating takeout. 

Without a doubt, I am a wine enthusiast, but I have always been reluctant to purchase wine that's inexpensive (meaning 8.99 or less) in fear that it will either taste like complete garbage or give me a headache for days. As I said hello to 2018, I decided to become more adventurous with my wine purchases. Even though I am a firm believer that you pay for what you get, I wanted to approach this experiment with an open mind because there are always exceptions.

During one of my many trips to Trader Joe's, I decided that I would peruse the wine aisle and see what all the fuss was about. While there were several bottles that I recognized (Veuve Cliquot, Meiomi, Prisoner), there were just as many "no-name" bottles that had incredible labels and admittedly caught my eye. I thought, what the hell. It wouldn't be the first time I bought something because it was pretty! Just like that, I purchased three bottles of wine at Trader Joe's, all under 11.00/bottle. 

Knowing that I am not the only one who may have a bottle or three of wine during the week, I wanted to share my findings. Disclaimer for all my readers: I am a wine enthusiast/consumer. I don't have a supernatural palate and have not received any formal training (although it's on my list).

Let the pouring begin! 


Wish Flower

2015 California Red Wine

Price: $6.99 + Tax

2015 Wish Flower California Red Wine

Aside from the Ruggero Di Bardo (featured below), this was my second favorite of the trio that I tasted. I selected this bottle based on the label and the story behind the name of the wine. Anytime I turn on the news or read a magazine article, I am overwhelmed by the hopelessness in the world. Imagine my delight when I picked up this bottle and saw the most heartwarming story behind the name of the wine. Wish Flower you most certainly have put a smile on this girl's face.  

Isn't this story heartwarming?

Are you ready for the tasting deets? 

  • Garnet Color
  • Fruit forward with a smooth finish
  • Easy to drink 
  • Notes of cherries and cinnamon spice

When I first opened this wine, I noticed it was on the sweeter side. By no means was it anything like a dessert wine, simply sweeter than I expected. Since I didn't finish the bottle, I poured myself a glass the following evening and noticed how the sweetness subsided and the spiciness was more prevalent. To be honest, I enjoyed the wine in both stages but for those of you who love red wine, you may find it to be a bit too sweet to start. 

While Trader Joe's didn't have the other varieties in stock, Wish Flower is also available in a white and rosé.


Soraie

2015 Italian Red

Price:$8.99+ Tax

Soraie 2015 Italian Red

For those of you who have watched my Instastories, you may remember that I wasn't the biggest fan of Soraie. However, I still wanted to share the varietal composition and a little about the wine making process as it is quite unique. 

This wine is composed of 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina, 20% Cabernet, 10% Croatina grapes. This what the first time that I was exposed to the Corvina and Croatina grapes, both of which are indigenous to Italy.  This wine was produced using the appasimento method, which again was something I was terribly unfamiliar with. This wine method is one unique to Italy where they dry harvested grapes for many weeks concentrating the sugars and flavors before crushing.  This ancient technique dates back to the Greeks but is the signature style of the Valpolicella region. 

Now let's talk tasting!

  • Intense bouquet of red berries
  • Spiciness
  • Lingers on your palate but has a velvety finish
  • Notes of cherry, blackberry, coffee, and cinnamon
  • Pairs well with beef, lamb, and grilled meats

Even though this was my least favorite of the trio, I do have an appreciation because I was exposed to two new grape varietals and learned about an ancient winemaking process. 

If you give this bottle a whirl, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Ruggero Di Bardo

2016 Susamaniello

Price: $10.99+ tax

Ruggerio Di Bardo Susamaniello

I bought this wine for two reasons: it was from Puglia and made with my favorite new grapes, Susamaniello (last seen here). I was a little suspicious on how this would taste, but it was the closest that I had come to finding anything remotely like VersoSud in Nashville, so why not! O.M.G. I immediately fell head over heels in love with this wine. So much so, I went back to Trader Joe's the next day and bought four bottles. I mean, when you find something you like, you've got to scoop it up! Ordinarily, I am a Cabernet girl through and through, but since I had a chance to explore Puglia, the Susamaniello grape has won my heart. While the Ruggerio Di Bardo is full-bodied, it reminds me more of a Pinot Noir with hints of blackberry, chocolate, and cherry. Not only is the wine delicious, but let's talk about that bottle! The shape unique compared to other wines on the market, but the label is just stunning. I love the Italian saying " va dove ti porta il vento" which translates loosely to go where the wind takes you. In my case, this wine immediately sends me back to Puglia wandering the cobblestone walkways, admiring the trulli and indulging in some amazing pasta. 

 

Coming Up Next....

Who needs Winedown Wednesday when you have TJ Tuesdays!  Each Tuesday, I will be featuring a different wine purchased at Trader Joe's on my Instastories. Not only will you get a breakdown of the price, region and varietal composition, but I'll give you my unofficial tasting notes and ranking. So, if you don't follow me on Instagram, click here and follow along! If any of you have bottles that you adore, send them my way because there's nothing better than sharing and comparing wine notes with friends! 

Until Next Time! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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