Hi! I'm Carrie Wiita. I'm a grad student, an actor, a blogger, and a dog-owner. A wine connoisseur, I am not. I just like drinking wine. A lot. My bank account does not enjoy this habit as much as I do. To compromise, I promised it I would try to purchase more cost-effective wine.
I frequently found myself loading up on groceries at Trader Joe's and meandering aimlessly through the beer-and-wine aisles. The bottles I recognized, however, were generally in the $10-20 range, and they weren't even that good--I knew that if I went over the hill to K&L Wine Merchants, I could find an even better bottle for the same price.
But sometimes...you don't wanna go over the hill. You just wanna go home, nuke a Reduced Guilt Mac 'n Cheese, and watch some Rachel Maddow while you snuggle your puppy. And look at ALL THOSE CHEAP WINES lining the Trader Joe's wine aisle! They can't ALL be terrible...can they??
Standing there in the aisle, I started Googling for reviews of the cheaper offerings--and kept coming up empty. Apparently, Wine Spectator has never spectated Trader Joe's.
And thus this project was born.
What are the rules?
- I buy whatever looks interesting. I make a valiant effort to try new and different things.
- I can read the label description while I'm in the store, but once it's purchased, I can't look at it again until I've tasted it.
- I try to describe the wine as best I can, using only the vocabulary currently at my disposal. If I don't know what honeysuckle tastes like, I can't describe a wine as having "notes of honeysuckle."
- Once my part of the review is written, I transcribe what's on the label and I Google other reviews. I'll use the most official reviews I can find, but honestly more than once I've had to settle for user comments on CellarTracker or even the Fearless Flyer advertising copy.
IMPORTANT: This blog is for wines that can be purchased at Trader Joe's. Occasionally, we all get a treat and I'll review one that's NOT from Trader Joe's. If that is the case, I'll make it quite clear.
What qualifies you to be reviewing wine?
Absolutely nothing. And if you're scouring the internet for reviews of $5 wine, you're probably in the same boat. Cheers!