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Let me first start out by apologizing for the lack of review last week. With the holiday falling mid-week and a generally busy week at work with my supervisor being on vacation, I was unable to carve out some time to get wine drunk and share my findings with you all. I am back this week and will be reviewing another solid wine from Trader Joe’s. Last night the Mrs. and I had pasta for dinner, so with our pasta, we broke out a fine bottle of Shaw 2016 Pinot Noir.
Type: Pinot Noir
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
This particular brand takes pride in their container sealing, sporting a nifty “helix cork”. We have already established that I am all about alternative methods for bottling and sealing wine containers so this method was pleasantly surprising to me. I hate uncorking a bottle mainly because it is not energy I want to exert and I end up breaking the cork half the time. This cork is simply twist and pop. Similar to a bottle of champagne but MUCH easier to remove. Huge.
I am always blown away by the prices which is why I started these reviews. We penny pinchers need to share our bargain findings with one another. This purchase is the best yet. We’ve logged a couple of $2.99 cans and a $5.99 bottle so far with this column, but this bad boy clocked in at an unbelievable $3.99! A full bottle of wine for $3.99 is not something you come across all that often, if ever, other than at Trader Joe’s. If I could give this a better rating I would. Need to stock up on this shit for the next murder mystery dinner or game night we host because this deal is SWEET.
Going in, I was very skeptical, because how good can a bottle of wine be for less than four bucks? You will be happy to know that it can be pretty good. Obviously, the first thing you do when trying a new wine is give it a sniff to take in the aroma like you know what you are doing, so let’s start there. I must have sniffed too hard because it kind of smelled like rubbing alcohol after a healthy inhale. The Mrs. disagreed and simply said, “it smells like communion.” So there’s that.
Despite my opinion of a less-than-stellar scent, I went ahead with the tasting. With red wines I always worry about them being too dry, regardless of the style. This wine was pleasant to drink and paired well with the pasta and red sauce. It is pretty acidic, but not overwhelmingly so, and has a medium body to it. It isn’t necessarily fruity, but close to a plum or blackberry spectrum of pinot and well-balanced. This is not a wine I would consider chugging like some others we have talked about, but if it is a night where you just really want a glass with a meal or while watching TV, I would highly recommend this one!
I’ll be honest, this label sucks. Just look at how boring it is! We have seen some lack-luster labels in this review thus far, but they were at least passable. Absolutely zero effort on the branding for this wine other than they make it known, in very small lettering, that they use organic grapes. You aren’t picking this bottle out of a crowd unless you are only searching by price tag. Gotta step the label game up, Charles Shaw.
The best way to describe this wine is it is the perfect wine to bring to a dinner party. It tastes great and no one has to know it costs only slightly more than a gallon of gas. We may be on to something here. If Trader Joe’s keeps these price points and gas keeps rising, I may have to look into wine-powered cars. For now I will just enjoy my cheap buzz. See y’all next week..