I’ve been shopping at Trader Joe’s for quite some time and I always walk through the wine section to see what’s new. I saw a new bottle priced at $5.99 but never gave it any interest. More often than not, wines priced below 5 or 6 bucks are a bit of a crap shoot, the operative word being… Well, crap. Nevertheless, I decided to stop being such a procrastinating wine snob and I bought the “cheap” wine! Let me tell you, there’s nothing cheap about this wine. We all love a good wine sensation, especially when it’s a good deal. So we get downright giddy when we find a solid wine under $10.
Maison Barboulot is a great value wine and Trader Joe’s is the exclusive reseller. “Exclusive brand” or “private label” wines are where you will find great deals. This Trader Joe’s exclusive import comes from vineyards near the Black Mountains in the Languedoc region of the south of France. This area is located between Bordeaux and Provence.
Now here is your “Say What???” moment… Maison Barboulot is just a brand name; there is no Maison Barboulot estate or château, and the label is faux French. It is actual French writing, but none of it is anything that you would find on a typical French wine label. It says thing like “Give me your red wine and I will give you my white wine“ and “Get up on your scaffolding to see the weather forecast”. That makes me sad but we know better than to judge a book by its cover. The label does provide some atmosphere on the table, just hope nobody there can read French… Like me ;)
Now Let’s Talk About The Wine…
The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This isn’t your typical blend as it mixes varietals from two very different regions: Bordeaux and Rhône. Winemakers often resort to a little blending to improve their wines. Though this blend is clearly intentional, it conveniently generates a small explosion of senses. The wine is nice and smooth with a pretty intense purple/red hue. It has aromas of ripe cherries, cured meat and leather – Trust me, these are good things! The finish is long and rather tasty. Aside from the fact that it’s a great sipper, this is a good everyday wine that will pair well with food, especially grilled meats.
And Another Wine Sensation That will Leave You Wanting More…
Yes, there’s another wine sensation. Similar blending skills have been employed to make a Marsanne-Viognier blend which is a solid summer sipper (listen to Marsanne and Viognier pronunciation). Also tagged at $5.99, this wine is pretty magical! The color is clean, clear, pale, golden yellow. The nose is pretty, tropical fruit, peach and pear, lemon, melon, and grapefruit. This is a crisp white wine with a touch of sweetness that finishes dry. If you are stuck in a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio boring routine, this white blend will be an affordable and tasty change of pace. And since it only clocks in at 12.5% alcohol, you can enjoy 2-3 glasses without hitting the snooze button.
Time to travel to France without feeling jet-lagged. Get your own Maison Barboulot wine sensation from your nearby Trader Joe’s and make sure to share your experience, good or bad… But something tells me it will be good ;)