Trader Joe’s wine aisle continues to be an amusement park for me. I don’t cease to be jubilantly amazed when I walk out of the store with four or more bottles of what I know I will enjoy for less than $30. It’s miraculous.

We’ve recently discovered a few more winners. Albero Tempranillo and La Finca Cabernet Sauvignon. We like ALL of the La Finca wines—they also have a lovely malbec and a tempranillo. I’ll share more about those some day.

I first discovered the organic Albero via their Monastrell. I knew they had other varietals, including a Rosé, but the tempranillo was my priority. Not surprisingly, it was sold out every time I made a trip to Trader Joe’s. I finally snagged a bottle on a recent trip, and of course, it was great. I now grab a few each time I go to Trader Joe’s, as this has become our favorite go-to, everyday wine.

This tempranillo is very smooth and flavorful. It has a roundness in terms of vanilla, spice and fruit that is extremely satisfying and also makes it ideal for a variety of food pairings. So far, we’ve enjoyed it with fish, meatloaf and mostly, nothing at all. It’s most appealing characteristic? It’s less than $7 a bottle.

We were introduced to La Finca at the home of friends a few weeks back—friends who are also big time Trader Joe’s wine fans. They happened to have the malbec, cabernet and tempranillo on hand, and yes, I happened to drink all three in the course of the evening. FYI: All three are about $5 a bottle.

Our focus for now is the cabernet sauvignon. It is from Mendoza, Argentina, and is aged in oak for three months before bottling. It is deep red, full of dark berry flavor and, as its Argentine heritage requires, will stand up to any red meat you throw at it. We enjoyed it with steak and potatoes that first night, and since then have paired it with grilled salmon. 

Maybe I’m jaded, but in a world where you can’t really take somebody’s word for quality, wine selection is a gamble. Even if your budget allows for more expensive bottles, price isn’t a guarantee either. So, when I consistently find super affordable, high-quality and enjoyable wines, I am more than a little grateful. It’s refreshing to see honesty and authenticity most of all. 

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