Ever been lost in Trader Joe’s vast wine collection? These wine experts are here to help.

Trader Joe's Big Churn Chardonnay California

Courtesy of Trader Joe's

bottles and glasses of Big Churn Chardonnay wine against a very bright background, with string decoration

No trip to Trader Joe’s is complete without a stop at the best aisle in the shop: the wine section. TJ’s wine selection is surprisingly vast and thoughtful, with a number of exclusive wines and bottles from every major wine-making region. And while they do have some higher-end listings, Trader Joe’s also offers a variety of quality wines for under $10. You could easily drink your way around the globe without breaking the bank. 

But the breadth of the selection can be overwhelming. You won’t have time to read every label on a quick grocery run in a crowded store. You could keep buying the same bottles each week, but you might just be missing out on the most delicious, affordable vino that TJ’s has to offer. To help you find the best bottles, we asked sommeliers based around the West to share their top picks. Keep reading to find out which bottles in TJ’s these wine experts reach for. 

Trader Joe's Belhara Estate Malbec Single Vineyard 2021

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Belhara Estate Malbec Single Vineyard 2021

Miguel Morales Romanos, general manager at La Boucherie at InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, named this $9 Malbec from Argentina as one of his top TJ’s picks. “On the nose, you might expect aromas of ripe black fruits such as plum, blackberry, and blueberry, along with floral notes and a hint of spice,” he says. “On the palate, the wine would likely be full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a rich, smooth texture.” Trader Joe’s adds that this dry red wine pairs well with cured meat and grilled steak.

Trader Joe's Big Churn Chardonnay California

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Big Churn Chardonnay California

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Trader Joe’s set out to make the “oakiest-butteriest” Chardonnay, and they ended up with this $7 fan-favorite. “The Big Churn Chardonnay is a deep golden color, indicating its ripeness and oak aging. It may offer aromas of ripe tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, and papaya, along with notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and toasted oak,” Morales Romanos says. “On the palate, this Chardonnay is full-bodied and creamy, with a buttery texture and moderate acidity.” TJ’s pairs this white wine with seafood and cruciferous veggies, like broccoli or brussels sprouts, and Morales Romanos says it’s perfect for poolside sipping.

Trader Joe's La Burgondie Crémant de Bourgogne

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

La Burgondie Crémant de Bourgogne

Morales Romanos’ last pick is an $11 sparkling wine from the Burgundy region in France, made using the traditional method similar to Champagne. “On the palate, Crémant de Bourgogne is crisp and refreshing, with lively acidity,” he says. “I have noticed a creamy texture and flavors of orchard fruits, such as apple and pear, as well as citrus and a touch of toastiness from the aging process.” Morales Romanos adds that this wine, with mild fruit flavors and fine bubbles, is a go-to for a peaceful Sunday afternoon.

Conte di Bregonzo Amarone della Valpolicella

The quality wines at Trader Joe’s, including this higher end Italian red, surprised Danny Picard, sommelier at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona. “Always one of my favorite wines to enjoy is the Amarone Della Valpolicella made by Conte Brigonzo,” he says. “It has a depth and complexity that goes great with charcuterie, whether you are hanging out by yourself or with friends.” You’ll have to check your local TJ’s to see if this wine is available, but definitely snag a bottle if you find it. 

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc

Picard was also surprised to find Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc—another French sparkling white similar to Champagne—at Trader Joe’s, but you’ll have to see if this bottle is available at your local shop too. “Schramsberg pairs with just about any occasion and many dishes,” Picard says. “Light, white peach, green apple, and balanced acidity carries with this bubbly. Summertime Schramsberg with a watermelon salad is pure heaven.”

2015 Pasqua Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore

Evan Hufford, sommelier at Maison Wine Bar in Healdsburg, California, says Trader Joe’s has some of the best “pizza wines,” like the 2015 Pasqua Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore. He describes these wines as affordable Italian reds with pizza herb flavors of oregano, thyme, and basil. “These are reds made in northern Italy, fermented on the leftover dried grape skins from Amarone production. Fermenting on these raisinated skins gives a fun combination of herb aromas and flavors but also a distinct figgy fruit power,” Hufford says. “These wines are the perfect accompaniment to a pizza or red sauce pasta night, especially if you like Zinfandel and were wondering what a Zin would taste like if you added dried herbs and spices to it.”

Trader Joes Espiral Vinho Verde

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Espiral Vinho Verde

If you’ve never had a Portuguese vinho verde, then you have to try the $5 Espiral Vinho Verde, exclusive to Trader Joe’s. This white wine is a top pick for Joe Baumgardner, regional wine sommelier and cellar master at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego. “Espiral is bright, brilliantly refreshing, and ever so slightly effervescent,” he says. Trader Joe’s adds that the wine has notes of green apple and fragrant melon, and it’s a natural pair with warm weather fare like fish tacos. 

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