Kitchn Love Letters

This $6 Bottle at Trader Joe’s Is the Only Wine I Ever Buy

updated Nov 29, 2021
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Has your wine stash felt a little more necessary these days (or is that just a me thing)? Pouring a happy hour glass or two helps me distinguish the work time from the not-work time. When it comes time to pour myself a glass, there’s only one bottle of wine I reach for, though: Epicuro Primitivo, an Italian red blend from Trader Joe’s that costs just $5.99.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Trader Joe’s might be known for their “Two-Buck Chuck,” but their dedicated wine shop (or aisle, if you’re lucky enough to have it in the same store as the groceries) boasts a huge selection of wine at an equally wide range of price points. Shoppers can fill their carts with bottles like this that cost less than $10, or seriously splurge — all in one trip. Let’s be real, though: If you’re shopping for wine at Trader Joe’s, you’re probably looking to get a good deal.

I first tried this wine, like any professional would, at a virtually blind tasting at the Trader Joe’s wine shop sample station (back when that was a thing, pre-COVID). My friend and I both took a sip, immediately turned to one another, and lifted our eyebrows in approval.

“What is this wine and where can we buy every bottle?” we asked. It was then that we learned it was less than $6 … which made us like it even more.

This wine has a tartness that perfectly balances notes of ripe dark fruit. It also isn’t syrupy (like some other cheap wines), and has a subtle spiciness. Based on my expert-level experience with this wine, I suggest pairing this with an assortment of Trader Joe’s dips (i.e., Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt or the Jalapeño Artichoke dips), boxed white cheddar mac and cheese, or rotisserie chicken and roasted potatoes. Heck, I’d even bring a bottle or two of this to a holiday party this year. Trust me, no one would ever guess the price tag. So yes, this is the bottle I buy over and over again. I figure, there’s no point in taking a risk on another cheap bottle that might not be nearly as good!

Disclaimer: I am by no means a sommelier, but I did take a Pass/Fail class in college called Introduction to Wines (I passed!), which I’d argue makes me qualified to recommend this budget-friendly blend.

Have you tried this budget-friendly bottle? Tell us about it in the comments below!