Despite being a bona fide wine geek, I'm not above a five dollar bottle of wine, assuming that the wine is actually good. And thanks to the internet, and the friendly folks at Traders Joe's, finding affordable and tasty wines is totally possible.
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Drink up, my money-saving friends, and enjoy this season's best and cheapest selection.
Honey Moon Viognier / Trader Joe’s / $6
Unique to the great Trader Joe, the "Moon Series" is a collection of affordable wines that range in a variety of types and flavors. They're all pretty good, but the Honey Moon Viognier is especially delectable. With tropical flavors and stone fruit on the palette, and the lingering taste of honey-and-biscuits, this wine is ideal with cold nights and spicy food, specifically Indian take-out. Plus the name (and label!) totally set the vibe for those long, romantic evenings.
Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon / Most grocery stores / $10
Gnarly Head's Cab Sav is the wine equivalent of your favorite thrift store sweater; it's bold, inviting, and attacks you with comfort. It starts off smokey and charred, reminiscent of bonfires and fleece blankets, and then starts to express some nuanced flavors of jammy currants, black pepper, and cloves. Pair it with bold cheeses for your next party.
Bogle Chardonnay / Most grocery stores / $7
This Bogle wine is fermented in stainless steel, meaning it doesn't have that oaky quality of some Chardonnays, but instead possesses an elegant, apple-pie smoothless. There are hints of the classic Chardonnay butter flavors, but there's also nutmeg and pear, so it doesn't taste like you're sucking on a stick of Land O' Lakes. Pair with popcorn and Nancy Meyers movies.
Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir / Trader Joe’s / $4
While most of the wines I've mentioned up to this point have been evening wines, I haven't forgotten about you day-drinkers. Meet the Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir. Whether you're tailgating or spending the day with a binder full of recipes, the smooth flavors of oak and chocolate-covered cherries make this wine an easy choice for laid-back afternoons
2013 Rabbit Ridge Allure De Robles / $7 / Trader Joe’s
You may often find yourself swapping nights out for evenings in, saving money and strengthening friendships as you bond over a bottle of wine. The 2013 Rabbit Ridge is a blend, and at $6.99, a great wine to have sitting on the kitchen table should you have a spur-of-the-moment drunken game night. The wine starts with aromas of berries, violets, and freshly-cut pine trees, followed by earthy flavors of fallen leaves. There's a long finish, with a sudden tartness of pepper finishing off the sip. Great all on its own or with mild cheeses.