Bird and Belle's Adventures in Marriage

The Five (or less) Tasting 2010


Faced with the daunting task of selecting budget wine to serve at our wedding, Jay and I enlisted the help of six willing wineos to taste seven bottles of wine from Trader Joe’s. Each wine was scored 0 to 5 points in five categories – Aroma, Flavor, Aftertaste, Appearance and Drinkability. The results were surprising. Despite the low price point, everyone agreed they were pleased with the drinkability of most wines.

Even more interesting is the most expensive bottle, Trader Joe’s Coastal Chardonnay, broke our pricing rule of $5 or less (it was $5.39) but was rated lowest of all the selections. All hands reached for a cookie or cracker after tasting this wine, and several folks had to toss the remainder of their glass (or pass it to their date).

What we all learned was that good wedding wine does not have to cost a fortune, and that one should not knock a cheap bottle until they have tried it. In addition, such fun was had that there was much talk of holding more tastings in the future! And now, the results!

Selected for the Wedding!

Wine No. 1 – Charles Shaw International 2008 Chardonnay
Price: $3.79
Average score of 16 points out of 25
Taster notes:

  • fruity & sweet
  • darker in color than other whites
  • Erin: Probably would not order a second glass

Wine No. 2 – Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay
Price: $3.79
Average score 15 points out of 25
Taster notes:

  • Aroma: faint fruit
  • Drier than No. 1
  • Better aftertaste than No. 1
  • Very young
  • Erin: would totally have a second glass

Wine No. 3 – Trader Joe’s Coastal Chardonnay
Price: $5.39
Average score: 12 points out of 25
Taster Notes:

  • Aroma: very light
  • No aftertaste
  • Light flavor, crisp
  • Ryan: Ewwww! Smells like smelly gym sock soaked in vinegar

Wine No. 4 – Two Buck Chuck Shiraz
Price: $3.79
Average score: 16 points out of 25
Taster Notes:

  • Aroma: sweet
  • Flavor: tart
  • Aftertaste: “meh”
  • Color: good
  • Ryan gave this wine a 🙂 AND he was able to ID it as the Two Buck Chuck

Selected for the Wedding!

Wine No. 5 – Blue Fin Petite Sirah
Price: $4.99
Average score: 18 points out of 25
Taster Notes:

  • Aroma: Light, not bad!
  • Flavor: Surprisingly full for a $5 bottle, light and refreshing
  • Aftertaste: juicy
  • Color: looks like beet juice
  • Sarah: delicious

Wine No. 6 – La Finca Malbec
Price: $4.99
Average score: 15 points out of 25
Taster Notes:

  • Aroma: strong sweet
  • Flavor: good
  • Aftertaste: good
  • Color: more red than the others
  • Erin: nice red vino!
  • Ryan: drew hearts and stars around this wine. Obviously this was his favorite
  • Dan: on the other hand, Dan noted the need to “reach for a cookie” post sip

Wine No. 7 – Vino Verde “Sparkling” white
Price $4.99
Average score: 17 out of 25
Taster Notes:

  • Aroma: pear-like
  • Flavor: dry, but good
  • Aftertaste: nice!
  • Erin: Consider a sweeter sparkling
  • Ryan: “I’m not a sparkling guy.”

3 thoughts on “The Five (or less) Tasting 2010

  1. Hey, i just discovered a really cheap and good wine. it was so cheap i almost didn’t buy it; figured it must be awful since it was $3.99 in an expensive grocery store. Forest Ville Malbec. you won’t think you’re a drinking a gold medal winner $60 bottle, but it’s better than lots of $20-30 bottles i’ve tried. they also make a merlot and a cab but i haven’t tried those yet. The Sangiovese/chianti blend is also very good. This is Italian style red, not overly heavy but excellent body and great to my taste buds. might be hard to find there. maybe i’ll have to ship you a sample case. love, m.a.

    • Oh la la! We will have to look for this! Thanks for the tip and I can’t wait to see you and Paul! (Will you be able to come out early, perhaps? Jay and I would just love to show you around Lexington!)

  2. Well…..if it looks like beet juice it’s gotta be good! Thanks for giving us a blog and WINE fix! Oh, you are just too good*


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