Posts Tagged ‘tj’

Amancay – Torrontés – Reserva 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

06/20/2017

Trader Joe's, white wine, review, price, amancay, torrontes, 2014June 20, 2017

This is the first item I’ve ever seen marked down at Trader Joe’s.  But that’s not why I picked it up.  I picked it up because an Amancay red I had a few weeks ago was an okay and interesting wine.  This purchase didn’t fare as well.

The wine has a clear pale yellow color.  There’s a brief fruity aroma on first opening which soon disappears.  In the mouth the wine is earthy and tart with something of the taste of concentrated unripe green grapes.  The wine worked surprisingly well with an anchovy pizza. The wine balanced the strong tastes from the pizza, especially the saltiness from the anchovy.  The pizza balanced out the acidity from the wine.

This is not a white wine for me.  It’s too harsh. The wine is better with food than by itself, especially stronger tasting foods. Chilling helps the wine some.  A few days in the refrigerator sealed after opening seemed to help the wine mellow some.  Balancing out the negatives is the very low price (marked down).   Price $3.99.

Trader Joe’s – Select Harvest Curated Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

06/03/2017

trader joe, review, price, select harvest curated coffee, whole beanJune 3, 2017
There are only three questions to ask of a curated coffee: how long has it been on the shelf, has anyone blown off the dust, and are there still overdue fines? It seems we’ve come a long way from curating book collections to curating bulk produce.

While claimed to be a 50/50 blend of light, Colombian Morales, and medium, Ethiopian Limu, roasted coffee beans, all the beans in the can looked the same.  Judging by the color and the amount of oil on the beans, I’d call them a medium roast.  When the beans were removed from the can, and compared side by side, there was a mix of small and medium size beans.

Aside from the marketing hype, this is a nice coffee.  In the can and ground, the beans had a nice aroma.  Brewed and in the cup, the coffee had a nice taste.  There was a little bitterness, but nothing exceptional.  Overall this is a smooth drinking medium roast coffee.  Price $8.99 (13 ounce can).

Trader Joe’s – Lys Kaffe – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

05/20/2017

trader joe, review, price, whole bean coffee, lys kaffe, light coffeeMay 20, 2017
The beans are light brown with no oil.  Lys means light in Norwegian and Kaffe means coffee. All  the pieces fit together to support the claim on the package of “light roast”. The advantage of a light roast is that the  more delicate flavors in the coffee are brought to the front. They are not hidden behind stronger flavors brought out by a dark roast.

Made in a press, the coffee is on the thin and watery side. After all it’s a light roast by design. Once the mouth adjusts to the fact that this is supposed to be a light roast, there’s a nice flavor to the coffee. When cooled some there’s a bit of sourness.  There’s little to no acid and no bad tastes, making this a very smooth coffee. It’s a different experience and an enjoyable one at that. The coffee reminds me of the Jacobs Kronung coffee reviewed a long time ago.

While the taste is different, for comparison purposes, the “strength” of the coffee is somewhere above a strong tea.  For people who don’t like coffee, this may be a gentle way to give coffee a try.  For an everyday dark roast drinker, this is a way to take a break and clear the taste buds – think of  it as sort of a colon cleanse for the mouth?  Price $7.99 (12 ounce can).

For another reviewer’s thoughts on this coffee, see Become Betty here.

Chateau Poyanne – Bordeaux 2015 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

05/12/2017

trader joe, review, price, wine, bordeaux, chateau poyanne, 2015May 12, 2017

There’s a very nice, strong aroma coming from the glass on first​ pour which portends a full-bodied wine.  The wine is fruity and dry at the same time in the mouth.  There are no real negatives.  Although for the very critical among us, there are hints of things to complain about.  This is a blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, according to the internet.

Generally this wine is a love or hate affair when reviewed on the web.  About 2/3 of reviewers like this and think it’s a great value wine.  The 1/3 of reviews which hate this may be due to some “bad” bottles. Although my guess is those bad reviews are prompted by personal preferences. Most of the reviews were for earlier vintages.  There were very few 2015 vintage reviews.

While this is not a great wine, and would anyone really expect a great wine at this price, if you’re not afraid to challenge yourself by adding some complexity to a wine, this is an inexpensive way to do that.  And you just might like it.  I did.  Price $5.99.

Trader Joe’s – Dutch Smoked Cheese – Food Review

05/08/2017

Trader Joe, Dutch smoked Gouda cheese, review, price, nutritionMay 8, 2017

The aroma and flavor are pleasantly smokey, reminiscent of a barbecue.  The cheese is semi-soft to cut and creamy in the mouth.  The smoke flavor is a nice contrast to the texture of the cheese.  For $4.99 a pound this is a nicely flavored smoked cheese from Holland. If you’re in need of a smoked cheese and in or nearby a Trader Joe’s, this is a good and surprisingly economical choice.

Price $4.99 per pound   Calories  90  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Monsooned Malabar Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

04/30/2017

review, coffee, whole bean, trader joe, monsooned malabar, priceApril 30, 2017
This is a new small can which I hope does not indicate another trend of getting less for more.

Once opened, the beans have a nice medium brown color with a satiny finish.  The beans seem a bit oily for a medium roast.  This is a very earthy full-bodied tasting coffee with a bitter taste.  The bitterness is different from that produced by some darker roasts and unfortunately not any better.  Because of this bitterness this is not a coffee I’d pick up again.  If you like dark roast coffee, this may be for you – with a big may?

The can is 10 ounces, but at a price more indicative of a coffee packaged in a 13 ounce can.  That’s about a 30% increase per ounce for a coffee which is not very special.  Now it could be there is a limited supply of this coffee and this is simply a way for Trader Joe to ration it out so more people can try it.

As is often the case, Trader Joe has some creative writers doing product descriptions.  If you come across this coffee, be sure to read the story on the back of the can.  But do that in the store.  And after you do, put the can back on the shelf and drop a can of your regular coffee in your cart.  Price $6.99 (10 ounce can).

Trader Joe’s X-TRA X-TRA Sharp New York Cheddar Cheese- Food Review

04/15/2017

Trader Joe, NY x=tra x-tra sharp cheddar cheese, review, price, nutritionApril 15, 2017

Of the cheddars reviewed here, this one is the best cheddar yet at Trader Joe’s, if you like an American-style cheddar.  Aged “over” 18 months, the cheese is just starting to get crumbly.  Over that time the flavor has matured into a nice tasting cheddar.  Compared to a Kraft sharp cheddar, this one is a bit tastier and definitely not as creamy.  Both those things are good if you’re looking for an aged cheese.  While tastier, the flavor is not overwhelming as the name might imply.  Calories – 110 per oz (28g).  Price $5.99 per pound.

Gestos – Malbec+Malbec – 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

04/09/2017

Trader Joe, Argentina, Gestos Malbec+Malbec, review, price, red wine, 2014April 9, 2017

The gimmick for this wine is the grapes grown at two different altitudes.  That’s how it gets its name and label.  The wine consists of 50% grapes grown at 1100 meters and 50% grapes grown at 700 meters.  The idea is that each altitude (and environment) adds different characteristics to the grapes and ultimately the wine.  And how does that work?

This wine is very similar to the Amancay Malbec reviewed last week.  Both come from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The aroma is strong and earthy in the glass.  The wine is dry and earthy in the mouth.  The color is deep purple.  There may be a bit more body and a bit less dryness than the Amancay.  This would be a more interesting wine than the Amancay if not for a somewhat harsh aftertaste.  Price $8.99.

Amancay – Malbec – Reserva 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

03/31/2017

March 31, 2017

This Malbec from the Uco Valley of Argentina has a deep purple color in the glass with a mild fruity aroma.  On the first glass there’s a bit of alcohol burn in the nose and the back of the throat.  In the mouth there’s a dry watery feel.  The dryness is not overpowering, but definitely there on the roof of the mouth.  For those who don’t mind a dry red wine, this is a reasonably good wine for the price.  The simple but elegant label is a bonus.  Price $6.99.

Trader Joe’s Wisconsin Extra Sharp Cheddar – Food Review

03/31/2017

trader joe, cheese, wisconsin, extra sharp cheddar, review, nutrition, priceMarch 31, 2017

This is a domestic (US) extra sharp cheddar from Wisconsin.  While it’s a nice cheese, especially considering the only $4.99 per pound price, it’s not what I’d call an extra sharp cheddar.  So just as a reality check, I went out and purchased an extra sharp cheddar from Kraft.  The Kraft cheese is “sharper” but not as sharp as I remember it.  Still however, the Kraft has more of the cheddar flavor I was expecting.  As would be expected, both have more flavor when allowed to warm to room temperature.  As a comparison, the Kraft came in at around $7 per pound slightly on sale at a regular super market.  The texture was similar for both cheeses, solid but soft.  For those wanting more flavor in their American-style cheeses, the TJ extra sharp cheddar will give you that at a reasonable price.  For those wanting a still more flavorful cheese, look elsewhere.

Calories – 120 per ounce.  Price $4.99 per pound.  Coming up next week is a TJ X-tra X-tra Sharp New York Cheddar. We’ll see.   As an aside, I nicely paired both of the cheeses above with some Amancay Malbec.


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