The Wine Idiot Reviews: Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Albariño, 2014 ($5.99)
For this review, I knew I wanted to try a completely random (and cheap) white, as I've done a bunch of reds recently and most of the whites I've done are on the pricier side. I also wanted something I don't remember trying before, so I had no preconceived notions. That's how I found myself, crouching in front of the lowest shelf of the "other whites" section of my local TJ's. I found myself face-to-face with two Trader Joe's Petit Reserve whites I'd never heard of--Semillon and Albariño. I don't remember exactly why I went with the Albariño, so I'm going to guess that it was probably cheaper.
My first impression upon cracking open this sucker was that I distinctly smelled green apples. If you've read some of the other installments of this series, you'll know that I do not trust my sense of smell. For some reason (probably allergies), I just have a hard time smelling nuances in things. But even someone with a broken sniffer like me would have a hard time denying the smell of green apples here.
Maybe the scent put me in an "apple" mindset, but I think this tastes exactly like it smells. It's super crisp with an almost sour finish (is that a thing in wine?), exactly like green apples. I don't think it's sweet enough to say "pear," and it's not fruity enough to say "starfruit." Definitely apple-y.
And you know I am not the kind of person who would spit out wine like you do at a proper tasting (which is why I'm not a proper taster, I guess), but even I wouldn't drink this on its own. In fact, I wrote in my notes, "would be a great sangria wine!" And I think it would be, because the apple-y-ness would complement any other fruits you might through in a white sangria without making the whole thing too sweet.
It was much better when I started eating my dinner as I drank--a kale and goat cheese salad with a tart vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds. It's like the sour/tart flavors of the wine got distracted by the food. It was a nice complement, I think. If I had my preference, I would still opt for a grüner veltliner instead of this, but it definitely got better with the food.
What the bottle says: "Citrusy and crisp with notes of tangerine and Bosc pear. This is the perfect wine for seafood."
What the Wine Idiot says: Oh REALLY, bottle? I said NOT pear. And then you don't even say "apple" once? Whatever. I suppose that if you took the tangy-ness of a citrus fruit like tangerine and mushed it up with the sweetness of a pear, you'd get a flavor REMARKABLY SIMILAR TO APPLE. So maybe you just didn't want to write "tastes like a fermented apple" on your bottle. I'm right.
ABV: 14.5%, and maybe this is the first one where the high alcohol content makes me go "ew"?
Who's responsible for this? "Bottled by Central Coast Wine Warehouse, Santa Maria, CA"
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes, yes you do.
What do smarter people say about it? No official reviews, but over on CellarTracker, user DWAYNELM says, "Lime and tangerine. Good acidity with grapefruit and minerality on the finish. Amazing QPV. I think this would be a crowd pleaser for a wide range of people." Well, I don't know what QPV means, but I guess I agree with the rest of the words you used, DWAYNELM. Except for that last part--I don't think this would be a crowd-pleaser. Agree to disagree, I guess.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? I wouldn't, unless you've been tasked with picking up a super-cheap out-of-left-field white. Otherwise, I would bring the Floriana Grüner Veltliner or the Pacific Grove Chardonnay.