People always ask us: “Why do you review wines from only Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods?” Although it’s a little weird to just focus on two stores, if you think about the reasons below, our decision makes good sense:
- Standardized Selection Nationwide: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are nationwide. Trader Joe’s has 285 stores in 25 states and is aggressively expanding. Whole Foods has 375 stores in 35 states (after its merger with competitor Wild Oats) and a couple stores in Canada and the UK. No matter whether you are in NYC, DC, SF or Miami, the wine sections are pretty similar at TJs and WFs across the nation. Ted and I have found that the selections are about 70% identical between coasts. This means that you have easy access to the wines that we review no matter where you live.
- Creative Selections: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are not your usual supermarkets. They are always pushing the envelope, especially with their wine selections. Trader Joe’s has been a leader in bringing “no-name” wines to the market and making them best-sellers (see Charles Shaw). Whole Foods is willing to look beyond the big wine labels and take some chances on smaller producers or off-beat varietals (like AlbariÃÂ±o). When you buy wine at TJ’s or WFs, you get something new and exciting. I love that.
- One-Stop Shopping: Our lives are busy and time is a precious commodity. We all gotta eat, so we stop by Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to pick up groceries. Luckily, TJ’s and WFs have a great selection of tasty wines at affordable prices. So pick a bottle up while you are grocery shopping and forgo that extra trip to the liquor store. It saves you time and money. While the traditional supermarkets offer one-stop-shopping, their wine selections are outdated, boring and overpriced. TJ’s and WFs break this mold and stock their wine aisles with cutting edge wines at great prices.
- Attention to Quality: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods pay special attention to quality. They stock organic products, unique imported treats and cater to people who care about the word “gourmet”. When you buy an orange at WFs, you know it’s going to be good. Same thing with wine. Their wine-buys know their shit and do their best to pick the best.
- Youth: Next time you are at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, look around. Everyone is young. TJ’s and WFs have realized that they captured the young-adult market and they cater to us. They select products that are tailored to our specific tastes. This includes wine. WFs and TJ’s pick wines that young people enjoy.