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.
I’ll definitely check it out the next time I’m there. I’ve been picking up a lot of under $10 bottles to try to find a number that I’m willing to drink on a regular basis. I just can’t keep opening my $50+ bottle of cabs each night.
One that I really liked from TJ’s is the Alamos Torrantes. It’s heavy on the stone fruit so it goes well with spicier dishes and bbq.
Kate, 1 Billion thanks for your monumental post. We do our best to keep the value flux going and increase every filling the quality under the cork, or screwcap. Not easy, but an honorable fight. At least that is what we believe. Keep enjoying the La Granja 360 family of wines and spread the word!!! Thanks again.
We love this wine! Lovely taste, price and love the screw top. Also like the one with the zebra.