What A Sommelier Really Thinks About Trader Joe's Wine

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Wine_GabsIllustrated by Gabriela Alford.
Trader Joe's "Two-Buck Chuck" (now a whopping $3) has saved us on many occasions when our bank accounts couldn't facilitate a pricey bottle of Duhart-Milon. So, basically, pretty much on a regular basis. But, truth be told, it really doesn't taste that bad — except for that candy-like white zin, that is. To really see if the average wine drinker's taste buds are out of whack, Ben Robinson of Thrillist asked sommelier Sam Lipp to taste test all eight varieties of Charles Shaw vino.

To keep things interesting, Robinson's main squeeze also tasted the wines, so that there could be an amateur comparison. For the most part, the pair had similar opinions, but Lipp only guessed half of the wines correctly — three for the girlfriend. Overall, the reds scored higher than the whites, and the white zinfandel was barely worth scoring. "Pure liquefied, alcoholic Jolly Rancher," says Lipp. "I’m sorry I can’t give you more on that. Yet — and this is serious — there’s a useful quality to this wine. I would use this in college punches, as a sweetening product, when I didn’t need more alcohol.” (Thrillist)