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A $7 Pinot Noir! And it was good! I always say how difficult it is to find a good Pinot Noir for under $20. Cheap Pinot Noir is tough! And to be clear, I just say this about Pinot Noir. Plenty of other good wines can be made for under $20 but Pinot seems to be a bit more difficult. Well, I was in Trader Joe’s getting Thing 2 some peanut butter filled pretzels. I’d bought them a few times in the past but now can’t seem to find them at my regular grocery store, so I succumbed to dragging myself through the line snaking the front of Trader Joe’s. That line just for four whole bags of pretzels! But while in line, as luck would have it, I was in reach of the lady pouring some Pinot Noir. It was a French wine called Le Pépin Pinot Noir and the sign said it retailed for $6.99. Seven bucks for a good Pinot?! No way!!

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Even though I was skeptical, I thought “why the heck not.” Well you learn something new everyday! It was actually good! Not a deeply complex, age-worthy Pinot for wine snobs, but rather a light, fruity, easy to drink wine and something I think would appeal to many. Now I’d heard references the whole “two buck chuck” thing at Trader Joe’s but had never really shopped there much or given it a lot of thought. Apparently these are various wines sold under the Charles Shaw label that initially retailed for $1.99 years ago when Trader Joe’s first introduced them. I’ve seen that now it may be $2.99 or something around that depending on the state in which it’s sold. I guess at some point I’ll have to try them (I’m often late to the party) but not right now.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by the Le Pépin Pinot Noir would certainly be an understatement. It is a dry red wine, but smooth and very fruit forward with lots of berry notes. Definitely quite different from other Pinot/Burgundy I’ve had from France. I think this would be prefect for someone transitioning to red wine from white or just for an everyday wine. And being in the midst of the holiday season, this would be a great addition to any of those meals. Pinot Noir is often hailed as the quintessential wine of Thanksgving given how easy it is to drink and its versatility of being able to be paired with many different foods. I may just have to open this on Thanksgiving. Or the Beuajolais. Or the Riesling. Or…

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