Google Tag

Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Trader Joe's Sparkling Apple Cider

I've always been a fan of Martinelli's sparkling cider. That stuff just feels like a special occasion. Everything from the elegant bottle and packaging to the carbonation to the taste of the apple cider is absolutely top-notch. Plus, it's not a lot of money. I think I paid in the ballpark of three or four bucks for the last bottle I purchased. Before age 21 and when celebrating with my non-alcoholic friends, Martinelli's was always the gold standard and my personal go-to for dry New Year's type events.

So how does Trader Joe's Sparkling Apple Cider compare? Well, the price is right at $2.99. The presentation isn't quite as opulent as its name brand counterpart, but it's not an unattractive bottle, either.

Martinelli's certifies that all its cider is made from 100% USA-grown apples while Trader Joe's does not make such a claim. It's surprising how many of TJ's products are sourced abroad, but I guess that's just part of Mr. Joe's international mystique and allure. In both cases, the product is 100% juice with nothing added except vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and carbonation.

The taste? It's appley sweet with just a whisper of sour. The carbonation level is comparable to Martinelli's and other sparkling juices and ciders we've seen from Trader Joe's. It's an excellent replacement for champagne for the big ball drop or to pair alongside salty and savory appetizers.

If Martinelli's received a perfect score from Sonia and me, this Trader Joe's Sparkling Apple Cider would get just a shade less than that. I can't quite put my finger on why I like Martinelli's a bit more. We'll go with four stars from the beautiful wifey and three and a half from me. There's nothing wrong with this beverage, but in the end, I'd prefer a sparkling white grape juice from Trader Joe's instead.

This will probably be our last post for 2022, so happy New Year, friends! Buckle up for 2023. It's gonna be a wild ride.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Ratified & Repealed California Red Wine

There was a big handmade sign reading "Trader Joe's Exclusive!" right next to this Ratified & Repealed wine. Why they can't just slap that TJ's brand logo on the label and make it their own officially, I don't have the foggiest clue. I'm sure there's legal and logistical stuff I don't understand. I think we've averaged one non-Trader Joe's brand product review per year or so anyway. And since this is definitely a Trader Joe's exclusive, it's fair game.

At this point, I think I can safely declare cabernet sauvignon my favorite type of red wine. After cab, I generally gravitate toward "red blends." I mean, as far as I know, red blends are just random types of red grapes all thrown together, so it could be 80% cab in there, or it could be 0% cab. 

Apparently, cabernet and red blends are the two best-selling types of red wines on the market today, so my tastes are somewhat in line with the average American consumer, for whatever that's worth.
This Ratified & Repealed California Red Wine? There might be some cabernet sauvignon in there, but it's oh so much better than your average cab. It's moderately fruity and sweet, lightly acidic, and very smooth. There are subtle hints of earthiness and a nice clean finish with little to no aftertaste.

I'm not even a steak guy, but there's something about this stuff that makes me want to have it with a well-done slab of steak and maybe some roasted veggies on the side. It's such a flavorful wine it needs to be paired with something bold.

Sonia was at least as big a fan as I was, and she's usually a white wine type of gal. $9.99 for the bottle. Would definitely buy again. Four and a half stars from the beautiful wifey. Four stars from me for Ratified & Repealed California Red Wine.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

You Might Like: