I have a confession: I’ve been holding out on you. This wine is probably the reason I started the Trader Joe’s Cheap Wine Pick series in the first place. This is the best cheap red wine I’ve found, and I almost always have a bottle or two hanging around the house. I only regret that it’s only now that I’m getting around to telling you about it.
Wine: La Granja 360 Tempranillo
Style: Medium-bodied, Ripe Berries
Price: $3.99 a bottle
I will be honest – I don’t bring this wine to people’s houses (because it’s $4 and it seems like an insult) and I don’t serve it at dinner parties (again the $4) but this is my #1 favorite Tuesday night wine, my “invite a bunch of neighbors over for a glass of wine” wine, my “Thank God my children are finally asleep” wine. It’s drinkable, but not so smooth it feels flabby. It has a good acidity that plays well with most foods (especially grilled meats) and nice berry flavors. It has a pig on the label, and a screw top so that you don’t have to worry about putting the opened bottle back in your fridge on its side. And it’s $4. Did I mention it’s $4? And if I served it blind, I would totally serve it at a dinner party. Especially after everyone has kicked the first bottle and has lost their inhibitions about labels. This wine is like your dog – reliably happy to see you, likes most foods, easy to love.
I’ve found that generally European wines are more affordable than US wines – less branding and marketing involved, maybe? And the La Granja range (which includes several wines) is a great example of that. This is my favorite – the Tempranill0, with the pig. Not the Garnacha with the Zebra, or the other one with the … rooster? It’s a great backup wine, a great go-to wine, the best cheap red wine I’ve found. And now you know about it. Please don’t buy up all my bottles.