The 10 Best Summer Wines from Trader Joe’s, According to a TikTok Sommelier

updated Jun 23, 2021
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Credit: The Kitchn

If you need a little motivation to get out of a work rut, here’s a pivot for you. In 2020, Nick Walters took a risk and left his corporate banking job to pursue his dream: a career in the wine industry. After a deep dive on, he landed a harvest internship at a Napa Valley winery where he learned the (not-so-easy) ins and outs of wine-making. From there, he began working in wine sales at Chappellet Winery, became a CMS Level 1 Sommelier, and started posting grocery store wine reviews on TikTok. (Nick recently started a new job as a server on the re-opening team at Eleven Madison Park in NYC. And his TikTok has 32K followers.)

“While working in wine sales in Napa, I realized that there was a huge audience of young adult wine drinkers that want to learn about wine without breaking the bank. They’re not exclusively drinking Two Buck Chuck, but they’re definitely seeking out bottles that are affordable and delicious,” says Nick. “Plus, the majority of people don’t want to go to the grocery store AND the wine shop.”

Budget-friendly, affordable, delicious wine at the grocery store? That’s where Trader Joe’s comes in.

“I came to learn that TikTok users were obsessed with all things Trader Joe’s, so I started trying some of their wines and filming my reactions,” says Nick. “Turns out, people love to hear which cheap wines are actually worth their money!”

Here are Nick’s top 10 wines to buy at Trader Joe’s this summer.

1. La Sonriente Garnacha (Spain), $6.99

Having trouble choosing a red wine to drink this summer? “This is overall the best red wine I’ve had from TJ’s,” says Nick. “It’s easy to love and perfect for charcuterie boards.” Nick wouldn’t necessarily pair this with steak, but it’s great by the glass and for enjoying with light bites.

2. Les Belles Vignes Sauvignon Blanc (France), $4.99

If you’re planning on drinking, ahem, a lot of wine in one sitting, Nick gives this bottle a strong endorsement. “It’s the best TJ’s wine I’ve tried so far, period. Light, crisp, and chuggable.” He also says that, according to his “Trader Joe’s wine guy,” this is “the best value white wine in the store.”

3. Gerard Bertrand Cote de Roses Rosé (France), $7.99

“This is my favorite rosé at Trader Joe’s,” says Nick. “You can also find this bottle at most other grocery stores, and Target (but it’s nearly half the price at TJ’s).”

4. Emma Reichart Riesling (Germany), $4.99  

“Few things make me happier than a solid, dry Riesling, and this is a good one. Pour it for your friend who thinks they hate Riesling and you’ll prove them wrong,” says Nick.

5. Espiral Vinho Verde (Portugal), $4.99  

“A summer classic. Light and dangerously drinkable, drink this instead of whatever hard seltzer comes out next,” says Nick. In his TikTok he also dubs this “the perfect poolside wine.”

6. Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon (California), $9.99

According to Nick, tons of his followers asked for him to review this red, which “has a very rich texture and is super fruit-forward.” At this price point, Nick recommends bringing this to a summer barbecue.

7. Casone Toscana (Italy), $9.99

If you like “dusty” Italian reds (that’s a good thing in the wine world!), pick up this bottle for a summer pasta night. “It’s perfect paired with light pasta on a warm night,” says Nick.

8. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), $9.99

“Oyster Bay is always a safe bet and one of the best price-to-value options out there,” Nick says of this classic white. “It tastes like grapefruit and fresh grass — it’s pretty good.”

9. Luna Pinot Grigio (Italy), $1.99

“Speaking of prices, this bottle is literally two dollars … two!” says Nick who was pleasantly surprised at how much he enjoyed this “suspiciously cheap bottle.” Another reason to buy it? “You can buy three bottles for the price of a Chipotle burrito bowl.”

10. Monterra Merlot (California), $6.99  

“A solid weeknight red wine, perfect for a wine night with friends or watching the Bachelorette alone. No judgement.”

Do you have a favorite summer wine from Trader Joe’s? Tell us about it in the comments below!