It wasn’t planned that way or was it? Cue mysterious music.
There are wines sitting my stash that have been cozy and snuggled in hiding for more than a year. And some for a couple of years. The 2011 Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Lot 27 Napa Valley Meritage is one of those I’ve had for a while.
If memory serves me correct I purchased this in mid-to-late 2014 and I sadly put it off to the side. Perhaps it was being set aside for a special occasion. Not all wines are created equal, even though many table wines should be. This I would put up just a notch higher as I purchased it for around $13.00. For a TJ’s wine that is a bit higher.
I have no idea what this Meritage included. Nothing on the bottle would tell you any different. But I will say it was surprisingly good and got better with each sip. It was breathing for a while and definitely improved as time went on.
I did detect some oak, spices (including cinnamon or vanilla?) and most likely some black cherries. A wide assortment of berries could be another component, and you could take your pick as to what they might be. I just thought it was a solid wine that exceeded my expectations.
Why exceed? Because sometimes cheap doesn’t always mean good. I love Trader Joe’s and my go to for wine is their store near Old Town Alexandria, VA. I’ve wrote about them before.
Maybe it was the first time, feeling like a kid at a new toy store or discovering something brand new. It felt fresh and inviting. And there were so many bottles between $5-$8, that you could get in trouble. Maybe the good kind of trouble. That feeling hasn’t been back as much. Is it because I have expectations? Well the last few bottles have been a bit disappointing, and those cheap prices have slowly gone up.
So I went with one just a little bit higher and we’ve been rewarded. If you see this in your local Trader Joe’s, I would give it a shot. It’s not going to be the best wine you’ve ever had but that isn’t the intention. It can go with anything you please. My hunch tells me a sweeter meal woks more effectively here.
This was the different kind of sweet treat than we’re used to having. But sweet nonetheless.
Hopefully more love to Trader Joe’s to come.