VARIETAL:  Red Blend


REGION: North Coast, California


PRICE: $9.99



When I scour the shelves of Trader Joe’s for my weekly TJ Tuesday feature, there are certain criteria I look for:

  • Bottles of wine less than $10.00

  • Intriguing flavor profiles

  • Appealing / Eye-catching labels

As I was wandering up and down the aisle looking at the red wine, Tribunal caught my eye. Not only does it have a delightful label with various animals holding court, but it was described as bold, full-bodied and a third of the coast of similar wines. Um, hello. You’ve got my attention.

Tribunal was quite a complex and intense red blend. This wine is composed of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Grenache, and Petite Verdot. Clearly the winemaker wasn’t messing around.

As I poured my first glass, I couldn’t help but notice the eye-catching garnet color and the bold aromatics that ensued. Notes of black pepper and dark fruit consumed my nose. Typically I don’t decant my TJ Tuesday wine, but given the composition and I decided I would let the glass open up before I started sipping. I did, however, take a small sip so I could do a before and after comparison.

After allowing the glass to open up 10-15 minutes, I made the following observations:

  • The wine really softened after it was opened up and swirled around the glass

  • Started off with sweet notes with a much more subdued finish

  • Great aromatics throughout; Notes of black cherry, currants, chocolate

  • Very rich, lush wine for the price point

Typically, I try these wines without any food pairings but as I had another glass, I began to think of all the dishes this would pair with. It would be perfect to have while you’re grilling, perhaps paired with your favorite hamburger or cheeseburger. This would also be a lovely accompaniment to a cheese or charcuterie board and to be quite honest, I enjoyed several glasses relaxing on the couch catching up with blog stuff. This wine is versatile and can pair with just about anything.

Verdict: Tribunal is a MUST. I’ve seen wines rotate pretty often at my local Trader Joe’s so if you are fond of this, I’d grab a couple of bottles. It’s rare that you find a bottle of wine of this caliber at such a reasonable price point. I know I’ll be stocking up!