Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Adventure Series Chianti – 2016 – DOCG – Wine Review – ALDI

11/17/2017

ALDI, wine, review, price, Chianti, DOCG, 2016November 17, 2017

This is perhaps the best $5 wine you’ll ever have.  For about the last year or two the very good Tuscan wines ALDI used to stock have been missing from the shelves.  I was pretty happy to see this one on my last visit, even if it has the unlikely sounding generic name of Chianti with a further Adventure Series qualifier.  What gives, where are the nice Italian names on the bottle that I usually can’t pronounce?

The wine is: a medium-dark red color, mildly dry in the mouth with gentle tannins, medium bodied, has no bad tastes, and has little aroma in the glass. There’s nothing outstanding about this wine except that there’s also absolutely nothing bad about this wine. Because it’s a mild inoffensive wine, it should make a good sipping wine for anyone liking a red wine with these characteristics. It also makes a nice table wine, which should go well with just about any food red wines are generally associated with.  Paired on different occasions with some homemade pizza and lasagna, the wine was a perfect fit.

While most DOCG Chianti wines don’t appear on the shelves for around two years, this wine is a 2016 vintage making it a little young.  However  the wine is perfectly ready for drinking now.  I suppose that’s why it’s on the shelf.

For $4.99 a bottle this is a true bargain. It’s not a WOW! wine, but it’s also not a wine where you’ll find people leaving 3/4 full glasses on the table. Having a party? This should be a safe red wine where your investment in several bottles will not go to waste.

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Trader Joe’s – Unexpected Cheddar Cheese- Food Review

11/17/2017

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarNovember 17, 2017

Unexpected?  You bet it was unexpected. After months of searching for this on the top shelf where all the other Cheddars live, I found this in with the Bries, Camemberts and who knows what else.

TJ says there’s a touch of Parmesan in the taste which makes this Cheddar unexpected. By my taste buds, I didn’t detect any Parmesan. And also by my taste buds, this doesn’t really taste like other Cheddars. But the taste of this cheese is very nice, having a touch of tanginess mixed with a touch of sweetness. The texture is similar to other TJ cheese blends, firm but tends to crumble when cutting. That’s not a negative, just an observation. In the mouth, there are a few bits of what seem like cheese crystals characteristic of an aged cheese. Whatever the blend of cheeses here, or whatever the process that went into making this, this is a nice cheese, perfect for enjoying by itself or even better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarPrice $3.99 per 7 ounce package

Calories 120 per ounce

Landshut Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017

aldi, landshut riesling, 2016. white wine, sweet, review, price. moselNovember 7, 2017

This wine is a very clear pale yellow color with a few happy bubbles once the screw cap is taken off and the wine meets the glass.  There are slight notes of sweet fruit on the front of the tongue.  There is no burn on the tongue, roof of mouth or back of the throat.  I liked the 2013 version and have no complaints with this one either, other than it’s a touch too sweet for me.

Paired with a Trader Joe’s Balti Curry pie, it went well.  The sweetness helping to balance out the curry.  While an unusual pairing, the wine is probably better by itself as a sipping or party wine.  The wine is fine at room temperature, but a slight chill makes it a bit better.  This is advertised as an 88 point wine.  While some might argue rating points, no one can argue the price and the value that represents.  Price $4.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Crystal Creek Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of this wine helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick this over the Crystal Creek.

Crystal Creek Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017

aldi, review, wine, white wine, crystal creek, 2016, rieslingNovember 7, 2017

A fruit fly, probably making its way into the house via a bunch of bananas, immediately found the bottle once opened.  A good sign.  And he/she made repeated return trips to the glass. I don’t like sharing that much. The wine is very clear with a pale yellow, almost white, color. There’s a nice fruity aroma, reminding me of apples and apple cider.  The wine produced a warm feeling in the mouth and a slight burn in the throat, otherwise there wasn’t much flavor. By the end of the glass, I had a very tipsy fruit fly.

Paired with some tasty cheddar cheese, the fat from the cheese helped balance the wine, reducing some of that harshness at the back of the throat.  The wine also picks up some sweetness and fruit flavors when cooled.  The cooling also helped with the throat burn. Price $5.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Landshut Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of the Landshut helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick the Landshut over this.

Trader Joe’s – BBQ Chicken Teriyaki – Food Review

11/05/2017

trader joe, bbq chicken teriyaki, nutrition, price, calories, reviewNovember 5, 2017

There’s plenty of chicken meat.  But read carefully, this is dark leg meat.  While perfectly tender, the dark chicken meat has a stronger flavor than chicken breast.

At only 150 calories per serving, this is surprisingly filling.  At 3.5 servings per bag or 525 calories per bag, if you split the entire bag with another person that’s only 265 calories.  For those few calories there are 31 grams of protein, which is a big chunk of the daily requirement for protein.  Combine this with some steamed frozen vegetables and even a little butter or olive oil on the veggies and we’re looking at a filling meal at around 400 calories total.  That’s not bad.

trader joe, bbq chicken teriyaki, nutrition, price, calories, reviewThe teriyaki sauce is thin, sweetish, and soy sauce based. The sauce is hardly what is commonly called a BBQ sauce here. But the sauce imparts enough flavor to the chicken.  The sauce will not cover the flavor of the leg meat.  I didn’t find that to be a problem, so the preceding sentence was just a note for you.  There are two packets of frozen sauce in the bag.  I suppose you could only cook half the chicken in the bag using just one of the sauce packets, leaving the rest of the frozen chicken and the other sauce packet for another day.  Cooking is no more than heating in the microwave.  Coming out of the bag, the chicken looks like various shaped dark rocks.  Some of those rocks are so big you may wonder if they came from turkey legs instead of chicken legs.  These must be some big chickens.

Price $4.99     Calories  150 per serving (3.5 servings per bag)

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ALDI – Deutsche Küche – Herring Fillets in Curry Pineapple – Food Review

10/29/2017

aldi, herring, pineapple curry, deutsche kuche food, review, price, calories, nutritionOctober 29, 2017

Herring, the adolescent sardine, what’s not to like?  If you’ve ever avoided herring because, well it’s herring, this may change your mind.  This herring comes packed in a not spicy curry sauce.  The curry is a little sweet, and a little pineappley. The curry disguises very well whatever preconceived notion of taste you may have of herring. The herring itself comes as fillets with a nice firm texture. And no, the herring does not taste fishy.  The herring also does not taste or look like any of that pickled stuff people bring out for New Year’s.  If you were worrying about that, forget about it.  On top of that it’s nutritious with: low carbs, relatively high protein and a more fun way to get some omega-3 than one of those gelatin oil filled capsules.  This is an ALDI Oktoberfest perennial offering, so you won’t be seeing it on the shelves until either next September for Oktoberfest or possibly next May for Maifest.

Calories  100 per serving (4 servings per can)
Price $1.69 per can

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ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

aldi, herring, pineapple curry, deutsche kuche food, review, price, calories, nutrition

Trader Joe’s – Cento Flat Fillet Anchovies – Food Review

10/29/2017

October 29, 2017
This is more of a note than a review.  I use anchovies on homemade pizza. I should expand that to include anchovies in other things.  Now that cooler weather is here, at least north of the equator, it’s oven season in our house.

I don’t believe Cento is unique to Trader Joe’s.  So you’ll possibly find these elsewhere.  But at Trader Joe’s they cost $1.49.  That’s not bad since a larger supermarket usually prices anchovies around $2 per can.  And they seem to be a staple at Trader Joe’s.  You’ll most likely have to look for them on the bottom shelf where other canned fish are kept.  That’s where I find them at my Trader Joe’s.

The anchovies themselves seem to be a little less salty than other brands I’ve tried.  But that doesn’t hold them back from adding that anchovy pop to a pizza.  Good stuff at a good price.

Calories 25 per 16 gram (about 2 servings per can)     price $1.49 per can

Trader Joe’s – Soy Cheese Alternative – Mozzarella Style – Food Review

10/29/2017

trader joe's, food, review, nutrition, price, calories, soy cheese alternativeOctober 29, 2017

For a not-cheese, this is not bad. It has a neutral taste and a thicker texture than a real mozzarella.  While the product name stresses the soy content, it also contains milk protein and milk as parmesan cheese according to the label.  The label does not specify what kind of enzymes were used for the parmesan.  While mozzarella is a mild cheese, it still has a better taste and texture than this alternative.

On heating in the microwave, the aroma of parmesan is liberally released.  It smells good.  However the melted “cheese” does not retain the taste of parmesan.  This cheese also does not melt as nicely as mozzarella in the microwave.  It becomes somewhat puffy and hardens.  There’s none of that stringy mozzarella texture.  The cheese was not tested in stove top or oven recipes.  When diced up for some salad, it added some texture to the salad, but not much in the way of flavor.

With milk as one of the ingredients and an unknown source for the parmesan enzymes (some enzymes are animal based), what’s the purpose of the cheese?  For people who might be allergic to milk, it contains some milk components. For those looking for a vegetarian cheese, it’s not labeled as vegetarian.  The cheese is labeled as 99% lactose free.  So I guess for people who are extremely lactose intolerant, this may be an alternative.  However many milk-based cheeses are naturally relatively low in lactose.  So for those who can tolerate some lactose, a milk-based cheese may work for you also.  Regardless, only you know what kinds of food you need to avoid or what foods work well for you.  And of course, only you know what foods you like!

Calories 70 per ounce, price $1.99 (8 ounce package)

ALDI – Belmont Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake – Food Review

10/25/2017

aldi, Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake, Belmont, food, review, price, calories, nutritionOctober 25, 2017

Well this is somewhat misleading.  But it will be eaten nonetheless.

I’m a sucker for cheesecake.  The picture on the box looked really good.  The title was enticing.  How could anyone resist the words chocolate truffle and cheesecake combined in one place?  The price was more than right.  And the everyday cheesecake at ALDI is pretty wonderful.  So this would be one step beyond wonderful.  Right?  Not exactly.  But, like the mushrooms that share the same name, this sort of grows on you.

Rather than a cheesecake this is more like a chocolate mousse (with horns) sitting on a thickish chocolate graham cracker “crust”.  “With horns” in this context means thick and beefy mousse.  If I didn’t have the box to read, I wouldn’t know this was a cheesecake, even one of those light fluffy cheesecakes.  The chocolate flavor is neither sweet milk chocolate nor dark semi-sweet chocolate.  It’s somewhere in the middle with an earthy tinge to it (like a real truffle?).  The graham cracker crust is crunchy in the mouth.  That provides an interesting textural contrast with the soft “cheesecake” topping it.  Even though it doesn’t taste exceptionally sweet, I’m sure there’s a bunch of sugar in it.

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ALDI – Deutsche Küche – Museli Bars – Black Forest Cake – Food Review

10/25/2017

aldi, Black Forest Cake Muesli Bars, food, review, price, calories, nutritionaldi, Black Forest Cake Muesli Bars, food, review, price, calories, nutritionOctober 25, 2017

This is not a very sweet tasting bar, but that’s part of the appeal.  There’s a nice undercurrent of sour cherries and dark chocolate.  Oats are oats.  The oats in this bar are a little tough and tasteless, as they are in most of these types of bars. But the cherry and chocolate let this bar stand out above the rest.  If you’re ever in the Black Forest or even the Eifel Forest take a few of these alone.

I suspect these were part of ALDI’s Oktoberfest.  So they may not be around again until next Oktoberfest or next spring for Maifest.

 

 

Calories  130 per bar
Price $2.69 per box (8 bars in a box)

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ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/


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