Trader Joe's is the pinnacle of trendy, cult-favorite groceries — and its wine shop boasts an equally as legendary following. From in-house to big name bottles, and a slew of unique finds all sold at steeply discounted prices, affordably stocking your own personal cellar (more like cabinet) is easy. So when we caught wind of the buzz around the latest vintage spotted on the chain's shelves, our interest was piqued: Behold, a $10 bottle of blood orange rosé. Could it be as lovely as it sounds and looks? Is it the answer to our in-between summer and fall, seasonal wine-sipping prayers?!
According to the mysterious label, this Grand Reserve is a product of France and described simply as a, "rosé wine with natural orange flavors." Whether this vague info insinuates that the rosé was infused with orange "flavors" before or after fermentation remains unclear. We're also still in the dark on what exactly these orange "flavors" entail: Is it oil, essence, or juice?
The TJ's wine shelf signage indicated that it boasts a, "smooth and refreshing palate with lingering notes of blood orange." We bought a bottle, eager to answer all of our burning questions about the mystery beverage.
As it turns out, it doesn't really taste like rosé at all — or blood orange for that matter. One sip of this wine tasted like a mouthful of very sugary Moscato. It was syrupy-sweet. It was less of a smooth refreshment, than a sweet assault on our tastebuds complete with an overpowering fruit-juice sangria fragrance that wafted out of the cup.
We attempted to improve upon the sugary substance by turning it into a spritzer — but diluting the wine with seltzer water still only mildly subdued its heavily saccharine flavor. The best bet for turning this "blood orange rosé" into an enjoyable alcoholic beverage? A three to one ratio of seltzer water to wine plus a heavy addition of crushed ice and fresh fruit.
Trader Joe's promising bottle of blood orange rosé did not turn out to be the seasonal transition to fall rosé that we so hoped it would. But instead of giving up on that dreamy flavor profile altogether, we're going to DIY it with a bottle of regular rosé, fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, and blood orange slices for garnish.