Budget wine: Summer edition

By Amy Ledig

The nice weather is holding, a May 1 snowstorm like we’ve had in the past seems unlikely, and it’s time to enjoy being outside. Naturally, your outdoors frolicking might require some beverages. Tired of heavy reds and winter ales? Push that stuff to the back of the fridge and get ready for crisp, fruity whites, perfect for warm spring nights. This week we headed to the Trader Joe’s wine shop to see what $4 deals they had for spring. Mostly we got what we paid for, but then again, for $4 they could certainly have been worse.Santa Barbara Landing
Chardonnay (2009)
This was okay, but not the best of the bargain chardonnays. Scored points for design, which encapsulated the California summery vibe perfectly. It tasted cheap, and was a little bitter, but hey, it’s $3.99.

Grade: B

Gaetano D’Aquino
Pinot Grigio (2008)
Despite positive memories from trying it last summer, this pinot grigio tasted very, very watery with a tart aftertaste. Design is aiming for old world classy, winds up being pretentious. Probably better to save your $4.

Grade: C

J.W. Morris
California Riesling (2009)
We were split on this one. The riesling lovers in the group were really into it, noting the fruity taste and smooth finish, while there was some thought that it was a bit too sweet. The label is kind of cheesy but fit for summer.

Grade: B+