Earlier this year, the news broke that Trader Joe's was releasing Simpler Wines canned wine, and wine lovers quickly drank them up. It was hard to get a hold of the cans that have either sparkling white or rosé in them, especially with the oh-so-appealing price tag of $3.99 a four pack.
It's particularly difficult for me to get any Trader Joe's wine because of New Jersey's whacky liquor laws. Grocery chains are permitted to have only two liquor licenses for the entire state, meaning only two Trader Joe's in NJ carry alcohol of any kind. The closest to me is in Princeton, about a 45-minute drive, and I haven't had a chance to get there this summer.
It took me driving down to Virginia - where I spent four fabulous days getting my Deadhead on at LOCK'N festival - to get my hands on a few 4-packs of Simpler Wines. While I may be a little late to the party on these popular canned wines, they're still worth a mention. The upcoming Labor Day Weekend is the type of holiday cans like these are made for, and I wouldn't be surprised if due to the popularity of Simpler Wines, Trader Joe's continues to carry them - perhaps adding some still wines to the lineup.
Keep in mind the price of these 187ml wines - one dollar a piece - when talking about the quality of the wine. These are not fine wines. They are meant to be simple. Enjoyable. Fun. I certainly expected them to be sweeter than they were, which was great for the white, not so great for the rosé - it could have used a more residual sugar to counteract some of its harshness.
Simpler Wines White Italian Sparkling Wine: Trader Joe's says it has "notes of juicy honeydew and fresh cut herbs provide sweet sippability." I say that's pretty accurate. It's aroma was of toast and honey. It's taste was clean, slightly sweet with some fruitiness - nothing particularly defined, though. It was pleasant and very drinkable. It was $1. And, I enjoyed it a little more than the Lila canned sparkling wine because the Lila was sweeter - and 4/$12.
SimplerWines Rosé Sparkling Wine: Trader Joe's says the "elegant, mineral notes and red fruit flavors of Simpler Wines Rosé are a natural fit for fresh pasta, seafood or sweets." I say, I dumped most of it down the sink. This was not pleasant enough to drink. It was acerbic and grapefruity at first and then strangely changed to watermelon/strawberry mixed with some sort of cleaning fluid. Nothing elegant about it, and while I didn't try it with food, it didn't make me want to try it with food.
I was pleased with the bubbles in both of these wines, though. The cans are labeled "Vino Frizzante." Frizzante is an Italian style of sparkling wine that is gently bubbly or semi-sparkling. These wines were gently bubbly, and as such went down more gently than a full-sparkling, or Spumante in Italian, wine.
If I can get my hands on more of the Simpler Wines White, I'll definitely buy it. It's a definite beach/picnic/party bubbly with a price can't be beat - 187 ml of frizzante fun. I will be staying far away from the rosé, though. I do encourage you to give them both a try yourself. I read a few very positive reviews of the rosé that made me wonder if we were drinking the same wine.
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