Blackburn & James, Paso Robles, Red Blend – 2009

Ok this Paso Robles rocks, and I wish I had saved it for Turkey Day. Nonetheless, I am enjoying it right now. It is lighter and dare I say fruiter than I remember when they were passing out samples at our Trader Joe’s. Yet I like it, even though it is not the usually heavy wine I typically like this time of year.

The bottle doesn’t brag about what grapes that make up the blend. But I recall the Sampler saying Zinfandel was one of the grapes, probably how it made it in the cart.  The wine offers strong blackberry flavor through and though, there is a spice but it is more of a finisher than a distracter. There is a nice wood, maybe oak, scent that brightens the whole experience. The finish is dryer but the whole experience rest easy on the tongue.

The bottle boasts that it would pair nicely with a wide range of dishes from Asian spiced to pasta to chocolate mousse. I paired it with Pizza and it was great. More importantly, I feel this wine would also pair nicely with a turkey and some mashed potatoes.


Old Moon – Old Vine Zinfandel 2010

Hello Everyone;

As the weather starts to turn cold my taste buds long for complexity and I want something that will warm me to my toes. A Zinfandel is just the thing I need. Ok to be honest, I am a sucker for Zins and I can be caught drinking Zinfandels even in warm weather, but I love them the most when I am cold.

Yet Zinfandels tend to be out of my usual everyday budget. If you are like me, have no fear because Trader Joe’s has come to our rescue by offering the Old Moon (Old Vine) Zinfandel 2010 for 5.99.

This Zin is wonderful. It has all of boldness and complexity that a Zin, especially in this price range, has to offer. The deep tones of cherry and the dark notes of plum all balanced with more than a hint of vanilla, creates a great wine, I think you will agree. I enjoyed this wine with Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash & Creamed Spinach Gratin. But I believe it would complement any hardy dish. This Zin for only $5.99 (at our local) is a find, and as far as I am concerned, a new staple.

Thank you Trader Joes!

Thank you all for reading.


Bogle Phantom 2008

A Wine Moment with Delaina

Hello Trader Joe’s, Living Trader Joe’s & Red Wine Lovers;

We have a real treat for you this time.

Some events have come up in our lives and we chose to celebrate life and totally splurge on a wine. It did not help that while I was looking at the bottle an employee told me that Trader Joe’s only had this wine around once a year, and once it was gone it was gone. So just to let you know this wine was not in my usual price range, but it was also a gift so that also helped.


The wine is call Phantom produced by Bogle Vineyards in 2008. Phantom is a blend of my favorite – Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and an Old Vine Mourvedre. Bogle had a lot of fun with the label and the story of the phantom wine maker. The front of the label boasts “mysterious and hauntingly seductive,” I can second that.  I have never enjoyed a wine more. I dare confess that it was so good I teared up a little. (But hey I am an emotional wine drinker.)

The wine offers a complex dark berry flavor that includes boysenberry notes, spices like cloves, and balanced with vanilla. This wine paired nicely with our Trader Joe’s potato gnocchi in puttanesca sauce and butter lettuce salad. But I am not sure that this wine would be bad, paired anything.

Again, I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a wine more. If you want the splurge I would recommend not buying five $3.99 bottles to try this one $16.99. But if you are really interested in this wine I would buy now before you have to wait until next year. The holidays are coming around the corner so if you are looking for a unique gift this would get their attention.

If you decide to buy & try let us know what you thought of it.

Thank you for reading,

Dearly Beloved Forever Red 2009

A Wine Moment with Delaina

Hello Trader Joe’s  & Living Trader Joe’s fans;

We have a fantastic wine to share with you.

Dearly Beloved, Forever Red 2009 from Mendocino County, California is just the treat to trick out your Halloween celebrations. The label features a beautiful Day of the Dead mask but it is the wine inside that will have you convinced you had died and gone to wine heaven.

The label on the bottle sells itself well, with chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon hints; as well as oak spice and dark fruits, but it is the bold Bing cherry flavors that will rock your wine pallet. Although cherry is not a flavor that I pursue, this wine is truly balanced with the warmer flavors. This wine would pair nicely with any meat or pasta dish.

In fact I am enjoying a glass by itself as I write.


Now let’s rewind. The label is what attracted me to this wine in the first place. If you like the ornate beauty of the Day of the Dead “Death Mask” this wine bottle is worth the purchase on that alone. But seriously don’t waste the wine.

The wine was $6.99 at our Trader Joe’s and worth every cent. I would recommend buying a bottle to have as your own adult treat after all of the candy has been passed out on Halloween.