Sauvignon Blanc

Review: 2014 Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc

I find myself saying this more often than not to my friends who buy two-buck chuck, which is actually three-buck chuck, spend the extra $1.49 and just get a Trader Joe’s Coastal wine instead.

The Coastal brand never seems to disappoint for $4.49. The Sauvignon Blanc smells and tastes like a traditional Sauvignon Blanc: You’ve got your grassy, tropical fruit scent and your crisp, citrus taste. This wine will leave a bubbly feeling on your tongue as you taste the subtle lime and pear and green apples. It’s just a fresh wine, perfect for a lazy summer night.

Looking for a cheap find? TJ's Coastal brand is always solid

A photo posted by Wine For The Win (@wineforthewin) on

Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a winery, really. The Coastal brand is bottled and vinted by Castoro Cellars, a well-liked winery in Paso Robles (I say that based on their Yelp review; I haven’t visited myself). Trader Joe’s puts its name on the bottle, but Castoro does the work, getting the grapes from throughout the Central Coast.

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Trader Joe’s Coastal
Type: Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Central Coast
Vintage: 2014
Price: $4.49
Alcohol content: 13%
When to drink: No need to drink this with dinner! Pop open a bottle on a hot, summer night (but then keep it in a cooler to stay chilled!) and enjoy a moment on the porch, or in your yard, or wherever you can see some nature. Alternatively, pop this baby open while watching the latest Bridget Jones movie or whatever so-bad-it’s-good movie you are craving.

Review: 2013 Kenwood Vineyards Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

The first thing I thought of when taking a sip of the 2013 Kenwood Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc was: Spritzy! I felt a surprise party in my mouth! No, really.

This very bright wine, that has a little oily nature, was unexpectedly acidic. It was stored in stainless steel tanks, so that could have been the reason for the extra bubble. It’s fruit-forward and tangy, the lemony/sour notes were honestly a bit overwhelming.

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What did my other half have to say about this Sauvignon Blanc? Our exchange below:

Me: “So love, what do you think? It’s lemony right?”
My boy: “It reminds me of cough syrup.”
Me: “So it’s bad then.”
My boy: “No, cough syrup is delicious.”

I’m still not sure if he was being sarcastic…

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Kenwood Vineyards
Type: Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Sonoma
Vintage: 2013
Price: $19.99. Purchased during BevMo 5 cent wine sale, so got two for one!
Alcohol content: 13.5%
When to drink: This Sauvignon is a good everyday drinker, if you like Lemon Drops! Actually, that’s a good idea, pair this wine with some sour patch kids and watch a funny movie on Netflix.

Review: New Age Torrontes/Sauvignon Blanc

Sweet and spritzy, this wine is a good alternative for Muscat lovers. From Mendoza, Argentina, this white is a blend of Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc (10%), so it’s easy to understand the floral and peachy flavors emanating from this syrupy drink.

The artsy bottle suggests pouring the wine over ice and adding a bit of lime. That made me do a double take. Wine over ice? Reminds me too much of my aunt, who I would never ask for a wine recommendation, but those who’ve done this are giving it rave reviews.

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Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this sweet blend, although it did remind me of lazy summer days by the pool in Palm Springs. I’ve got about half a bottle left after drinking it at dinner with the boyf and I’m thinking of mixing the rest with Orange Juice, giving a twist to the traditional Mimosa.

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We got this bottle for free, so no harm done since we didn’t like it. Although my other half described it (half-jokingly) as an appropriate torture tool, I took a more balanced approach. While it didn’t do well with our spaghetti squash and pesto dinner, I could see how some sweet wine lovers would enjoy it on its own.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: New Age
  • Type: Torrontes (90%) and Sauvignon Blanc (10%)
  • Origin: Mendoza
  • Vintage: Not listed on bottle.
  • Price: Gifted
  • Alcohol content: 9%
  • When to drink: Drink this on a hot day, lounging by the pool, or pour a bit into some orange juice for a twist on the traditional Mimosa.

Wine in a can? Wine in paper bottles? What’s up with that?

For those of us who went to college in the past 10 years, we’ve had our fair share of wine in a box. Who can forget slap the bag? 

But wine in paper bottles and wine in cans? These are new and intriguing entries to the U.S. wine market.

First, the paper bottle:

It’s made by a U.K company called GreenBottle and the eco-friendly company’s first U.S. partner is California-based Truett-Hurst. Inside this interesting container will be Paperboy, a 2012 red blend from Paso Robles. What’s in the blend doesn’t seem to be portrayed on the bottle, but it does clock in at 14.5% alcohol and it’s coming to a Safeway stores soon. The paper bottle has already been used by Kingsland Wines on the other side of the pond. That winery used the label Thirsty Earth for its paper bottle wines, which included a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and an Australian Shiraz.

Photo: thedieline.com

Photo: thedieline.com

Much like boxed wines, paper bottles are lined with a plastic bladder to hold the liquid. According to Fox News, you can put it in ice for up to three hours without the paper disintegrating. I feel like I need to test this out myself before believing that one. I don’t know how much it will cost, but once I figure that out, I’ll update.

Now, the can:

An Oregon winery has canned Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in 8 ounce containers! Union Wine Co., which cans the wine under the label Underwood, wanted to reverse the craft beer trend, where beer has been elevated out of Miller and Bud territory and into the world of tastings and fancy glasses, much like wine.

Photo: Union Wine Co.

Photo: Union Wine Co.

“We wanted to come up with a product that embodied our company’s philosophy of making great craft wine minus all the fuss,” Ryan Harms, owner of Union Wine Co., told Fast Company.“There is a ‘winification’ of beer trend going on and Union Wine Co. is at the forefront of a new trend, the ‘beerification’ of wine.”

It’s about taking the snobbery out of wine and making it more accessible, which seems to be the trend du jour. The cans even feature the Twitter hashtag #pinkiesdown.

They’ll be available next year; $5 for an 8-ounce can.