The $7 Italian Rosé Our Wine Expert Is Buying at Trader Joe’s All Summer Long

published Jun 20, 2022
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Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is going to Italy this summer? Everyone, that is, but me. If you’re also suffering from vacation FOMO, Trader Joe’s is a great place to shop. The grocer’s entire business model is built on affordable novelty — perfect for a frugal staycation.

Whether I’m traveling across the ocean or across town, there’s usually wine involved. And in the summer, it’s often a bottle of rosé. TJ’s selection of inexpensive wines has yet to let me down, and this recent trip was no different. I sampled as many rosés from TJ’s as would fit in my reusable totes (have tote, will travel!), and my absolute favorite this year is the Villa Borghetti Pinot Grigio Rosé. You might be thinking, hold up — isn’t pinot grigio a white grape? How the heck is it made into rosé? Allow me to explain.

Credit: Diane McMartin

Villa Borghetti Pinot Grigio Rosé, $6.99 for 750 ml

We tend to think of pinot grigio as a white wine, but the grapes themselves are actually a pinky purple grayish color (the name translates to ‘gray pinot’) — and, as with most grapes, the color is all in the the skins, not the flesh or juice of the grape. So when you let the juice sit with the skins for a little longer, you end up with this charming, pale pink color.

This super-refreshing rosé comes from the Veneto region of Italy, the area near Verona, but the winery is owned by Bronco, the same company that owns all the Charles Shaw wines that have made Trader Joe’s an absolute mint. The flavor reminds me of pink grapefruit and a tangy early season strawberry, with maybe a little peach in there. If you like that super pale, almost white wine-like style of rosé, you’ll love this. The alcohol is also relatively low at around 12%. 

The rosé is crisp and classy, and it makes me want to prepare something you’d find at an old-school Italian restaurant, like chicken piccata or a crispy chicken cutlet with a salad with tart dressing. I’ll admit there’s something a little weird about recommending an Italian wine owned by an American wine conglomerate as a substitute for actually going to Italy. But hey, the wine’s delicious, and at home there are no crowds or anyone to yell at you for ordering a cappuccino after 11 a.m. Salute!

Have you tried this rosé wine from Trader Joe’s? Tell us about it in the comments!