We Tried 12 Best-Selling Wines from Trader Joe’s—These Were Clearly the Best

When Trader Joe’s began expanding to Texas in 2012, we all (I speak for the entire state) collectively lost our minds over the unique grocer. My seasoned TJ friends from California were quick to point out a few must-haves. Speculoos Cookie Butter and frozen appetizers were big deals back in the day, but the most alluring of all was “Two Buck Chuck.” Of course, now that I’m an in-the-know TJ’s shopper myself, I understand that to focus solely on the notoriously priced Charles Shaw collection (to which inflation has messed with the moniker) is to miss some of the best wines at Trader Joe’s.

How We Determined the Best Trader Joe’s Wines

There are many stellar affordable options, but there are even more online articles attempting to parse them all out. To create one definitive ranking of the best wines at Trader Joe’s, I cross-referenced tons of online lists and narrowed down the top wines that were singled out most often. I brought my list to who I will call my new “Trader Joe’s sommelier,” and he helped me round it out with top sellers—and a few of his personal favorites. Then, I brought them to several gatherings with wine-loving friends for tastings. It may not be the most scientific way to research, but it’s deeply honest.

Ahead, you’ll find a collection of hot takes and authentic reviews, which we’ve compiled and considered to narrow down the very best of the best wines at Trader Joe’s.

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How We Ranked The Trader Joe’s Wines

In addition to getting their raw feedback, we asked each taster to share a personal ranking on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.

5: I would buy this bottle in a heartbeat.
4: I would order a glass at a restaurant or bar.
3: I would happily drink it for free.
2: I would regift a bottle.
1: Not even for free would I drink this again.

After gathering everyone’s scores (and off-the-cuff thoughts), I tallied the rankings to parse the most recommended bottles at Trader Joe’s, from cabernets to pinot noirs and many a blend. Several bottles were close, but a singular red and white reigned supreme.

The Best Red Wines at Trader Joe’s

most popular trader joes red wine

Best Overall: Conte Di Bregonzo Amarone della Valpolicella

Right away, a chorus of “this one’s good” echoed throughout the kitchen. Variations included “this one tastes expensive” and “very elegant.” A fight almost broke out over who would take home the bottle.

Technically a steal (it’s available for $18), the vintage was by far the most loved of all the sampled Trader Joe’s wines (red or white), with a zesty, full-bodied flavor that would pair beautifully with rich cheese or meats.

Note: the TJ’s employee recommended either letting this bottle air out for four hours or using a decanter.

Our ranking: 5

red wine to buy trader joes

Best Red Wine for Under $10: Ruggero di Bardo Susumaniello

This aromatic beauty was fruity and dry in all the right ways. It didn’t blow our socks off the way the Amarone did, but at just $9.99, we would have all been happy to “invest” in a bottle.

Our ranking: 4

Best Trader Joe’s Brand: Meritage Paso Robles (Trader Joe’s Reserve)

A slightly bitter aftertaste didn’t damper our enthusiasm for this $9.99 beauty (part of the Trader Joe’s Reserve collection). The jammy, medium-bodied wine wasn’t a unanimous favorite, but for a small few, it may have been number one.

Note: Trader Joe’s Reserve wines have limited availbility, so be willing to try variations depending on what’s available.

Our ranking: 3

porta 6 red wine trader joes

Best Boxed Wine Variation: Porta 6

The lightest of all the red wines we tried, this fruity favorite tastes far more elevated than the $5.99 price tag would lead you to believe. It has a lovely sweetness to it without having a sugary taste. It’s a great wine to buy by the box and keep on hand for parties.

Hot tip: It’s also available in box form.

Our ranking: 4

best red wine trader joes

Best Cabernet: Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon

This TJ’s exclusive is… a lot. The aroma is intense and it’s dry as a bone. (Almost salty?) It seems to have quite a few fans based on online reviews, but I couldn’t say we found an enthusiast in our group. We would still drink it for free, but we would regift it every time.

Our ranking: 2

Best Pinot: Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Pinot Noir

The earthy wine baffled us a bit. It was good, but we couldn’t quite pin it down. It was, at once, spicy, fruity, and cinnamon-y. “If this were the last bottle of wine at my house, I would drink it,” summed up the general feeling.

Our ranking: 3

The Best White Wines at Trader Joe’s

espiral white wine trader joes

Best Pool Wine: Espiral

This Portuguese white wine is an enthusiastic favorite. Dubbed “porch wine” or “pool wine,” it drinks more like an adult soda—with a tiny hint of bubbles. Absolutely everyone raved about this one. And at only 9% ABV, it’s perfect for an aperitif.

Our ranking: 5

budget friendly white wine trader joes

The Perfect Trader Joe’s Wine for Summer: Honey Moon Viognier

This one crushed at a pool party. The light, crisp, lemony Viognier (which is most similar to Sauvignon Blanc) was deemed both “perfect patio wine” and “perfect hot tub wine.” An instant summer classic.

Our ranking: 5

best white wine at trader joes

Best Wine to Bring to a Gathering: Belles Vignes

If you like a dry wine that doesn’t leave your tongue puckering and, well, dry, then you’ll love this sav blanc. My TJ sommalier friend described it as light and effervescent, and he’s right. The lady next to me said, “Sold” and grabbed two. Smart move, my friend.

Our ranking: 4

The Best Rosés at Trader Joe’s

best trader joes sparkling rose

Best Sparkling Rosé for a Celebration: La Burgondie Crémant de Bourgogne

This champagne-adjacent brut rosé would be perfect for mimosas, but tastes just as light and celebratory on its own. It went down easy with our crew, and all would buy again—or be happy to be on the recieving end of a hosting gift.

Our ranking: 4

Best Bubbly: Cecilia Beretta Prosecco Rosé

Part rosé, part prosecco, the light salmon stunner is one of Trader Joe’s best sellers. Never again will a charcuterie board be complete without this bright, bubbly confection.

Our ranking: 4

best trader joes rose

Best Italian Rosé: Freeda

“Everyone goes for the French rosés, but this Italian is the best.” Strong words from my Trader Joe’s sommelier and I’m partial to French myself, but Cecilia Beretta is renowned among Trader Joe’s enthusiasts for delicious rosés, so I had to try it.

Our ranking: 3

sparkling rose to buy at trader joes

Best Easy Drinking: Opaline Pinot Noir Brut Rosé

A pretty bottle and an even prettier tasting rosé, Opaline was dynamic and easy to sip. For a sparkling, however, it was a little lacking in the bubbly department.

Our ranking: 3

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