Really good, cheap wine

Now if that title doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will.

Unless of course you don’t like wine. Which really means that you just haven’t tried the right wine in the right setting because wine is ah-mazing.

The first time I attempted to drink wine was at a friends house one evening after work when I was cough, about 19, cough. Although I didn’t really like the taste, I didn’t want to be rude when she offered it to me. I slowly sipped my way through the glass of pink sweetness they call White Zinfandel and tried not to let the tremble down my spine show.

For the next few years I worked in the restaurant business and ended up at Carrabba’s Italian Grill where they take wine pretty seriously. As a server they really encourage you to gain your own personal knowledge and opinion of the wines so that you are able to sell your heart out recommend certain options to your customers.

I was lucky enough to have a manager who was truly passionate about his job and really took the time to teach me about the wonder that is wine. After pairing it with different foods and appreciating the flavors that can come through the undertones, it wasn’t long before I fell in love. So as you can imagine I was beyond thrilled when I discovered that we were moving to wine country!

R 067

While California has some of the most incredible wine I have ever had, French wine is also pretty high on my list. I am not very loyal when it comes to brands though. I love trying new wines and I change things up almost every time I buy a bottle. My favorite varietals are Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and Pinot Noir.

The wine I wanted to share with you all today is a really good Pinot Noir from Trader Joe’s. It is produced here in Northern California and retails for about $10. Now, I know you can find wine cheaper than $10, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with this particular wine.

jan 11th 030

If you enjoy red wine that is on the lighter side and you have a Trader Joe’s near you, then I recommend giving this one a taste. I was highly impressed.

Last night, on Valentine’s Day, I got a major craving for French Onion Soup after reading Becky’s post.

We decided to take a ride to Trader Joe’s to pick up a bottle of vino and figure out the French onion soup dinner situation. They were all out of the wine above so we opted for the more expensive version, the Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, which set me back about $13.

valentines 012

I think the cheaper one was just as good though!

As for dinner, I stumbled upon this in the frozen isle while at Trader Joe’s.

valentines 013

Frozen soup. Don’t hate!

valentines 018

Kind of scary, I know. But all you have to do is place it in a dish and bake for about 40 minutes.

valentines 026

Hot French Onion deliciousness.

I am normally all for making things from scratch but after getting back in town from a long trip, unpacking, and then getting my first completely unwarranted California traffic citation on the way to go get a Valentine cupcake, I was feeling desperate. Comfort food…even if it is frozen.

valentines 027

Brandon and I gave this soup a 4 out of 5 considering the convenience. I would buy it again for emergency cravings such as last night.

And the infamous cupcake that will forever be attached to the memory of me getting pulled over.

valentines 028

Luckily, my sweet tooth overcame any bad mental associations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Brandon was sweet enough to let me catch up on the Bachelor while we ate dinner, even though he rolled his eyes a million times and said “I hate this show” about fourteen times, but that’s okay because he sat through it for me. In love .

Back on the wine (and not whine) topic, here is a great website for finding wine events near you:

Wine tastings and events are a great way to try different wines and figure out which one is best for you. It will only be a matter of time before you fall in love!

If you are a wine drinker, what is your favorite kind of wine?