Best Trader Joe’s Wines

It’s time to ditch the Charles Shaw. Here’s a list of some potential new favorites (if you’re 21, of course)!

  1. Blue Fin Chardonnay & Pinot Noir, $3.99
    Chardonnay is a pale straw gold color with aromas of lime, melon and some faint oak. It tastes of pears, warm oak and a touch of cinnamon and is finished with a mellow oakey pear taste.
  2. Secco Mango Mangocini, $4.99
    It comes to us from Germany, where they begin with Trebbiano grapes. The supplier makes a slightly effervescent wine from those grapes and adds mango juice and mango flavor to create a fizzy, fruity beverage that’s ideal for the hot days and nights of August and early September.
  3. Green Fin Grenache Rosé, $4.99
    This selection has a Bright medium reddish amber color and features Lively, fruity, earthy aromas of cherry-berry, dried wild strawberries, dusty oak and lemon zest with a crisp, dry full body and a warming, complex, breezy finish with fruit tannins and no oak.

  4. Rebuttel Chardonnay, $7
    tastes like caramel apples and fresh air — basically an apple picking day trip in a bottle.
  5. Albada Viñas Viejas Garnacha, $6.99
    This choice features Raisiny, saucy aromas that are slightly volatile. A wide, saturated palate comes up short on focus and acidity, while a mix of raisin and green-herb flavors lands on a heavy finish.
  6. Incanto Prosecco, $12
    This Prosecco is the perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t want a sweet wine but likes bubbles.
  7. 19 Crimes Red Blend, $7
    if sweeter red wines aren’t your thing, this one probably isn’t your wine. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by the fantastic marketing, as each label harbors a photo of an actual convicted criminal and each cork is labeled with one of the 19 crimes that could get you sent to prison in Australia.
  8. 2010 Casone Toscana, $10.99 (13%alc)
    This one begins with a pleasant aroma of black cherry, strawberry, spice, some balsamic notes and a little mint.
  9. 2014 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, $9.99 (12.5%)
    This selection has pleasant aromas of grapefruit, melon, and pear, along with honeysuckle and other floral notes.



Real or Fake: Trader Joe’s Food

hd_3154df63b110dad9e02b2bbb4bd7d44cTrader Joe’s: the holy grail for college kids without meal plans, yo-pro couples and fun-loving elderly folks. Put on your thinking cap and Hawaiian lei and test your knowledge of America’s punniest grocery store. How familiar are you with original Trader Joe’s food? One of the answers for each question is the name of a real Trader Joe’s food item; the rest of the options are made up by a troll on Lau 2 who didn’t own a sports bra until junior year of high school when she had to buy one for a school play.

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Block People

All the ~*~homies~*~ out there who find themselves on a block plan, or without any meal plan at all (it’s been real, Leo’s) may feel a bit out of whack with the sudden disappearance of all-you-can-eat meals every week. Don’t be afraid! Cooking for yourself is fun. And if you make something without burning the apartment down, you get to pretend that you’re a functional adult! The problem though, in post-Leo’s life, is where to get food. You can only rely on Corp stores or your roommate’s side of the fridge for so long.

But you’re in luck! A Safeway exists about a mile off campus (address: 1855 Wisconsin Ave). It’s not the shortest walk, but on the bright side, if you do end up walking there you can claim your grocery trip as your exercise for the day (week?). However, if you don’t feel like walking (totally understandable), you can take the free GUTS bus! The Wisconsin Avenue shuttle is located, for now, across the street from Darnall. It’ll drop you off less than a quarter-mile from Safeway, a 3-minute walk according to Google Maps. The GUTS schedule for this particular shuttle can be found here.

If you’re not into Safeway, there’s a Trader Joe’s over in Foggy Bottom (1101 25th Street NW) which is accessible either by walking (more exercise!) or the $1 Circulator towards Union Station (get off at Pennsylvania and 26th).

Now what to buy?? Clearly, the details of what you want to buy when you’re grocery shopping are left to you. Some suggestions include: versatile vegetables like garlic, broccoli, onions and spinach; fruit of any kind (it makes an awesome snack); any type of protein/grain so you don’t feel hungry an hour after eating; and SPICES/HERBS. The last one cannot be over-emphasized – a simple piece of chicken becomes a work of genius if you season it right.

When you’re buying and preparing food, make sure you cook enough. This might sound obvious, but it’s pretty easy to prepare what looks to be a standard amount of food, only to find out that you’re still hungry when it’s done. This might be because all the steps of cooking (chopping vegetables, sauteing, etc.) make it feel like you’re making more than you actually are – or at least that’s how it feels to me. Anyway, it’s probably better to find yourself with too much food, because you can Tupperware leftovers for the next day’s meal! (Or for when you stumble home late at night. This is a judgment-free zone.)

If you’re stuck on what to make, check out sites like or With these recipes, you can impress your friends and live out your Food Network Star fantasies. Happy cooking, Hoyas!