I like to have a stock of fairly inexpensive table wines on hand*, so I was interested when Seattle Bon Vivant posted this tip about Hyatt Vineyards Merlot at Trader Joe’s. I was a little skeptical, I mean, it’s $3, and I have not bought You-Know-How-Many Buck Chuck in years. But that week I found myself near a Trader Joe’s so I went in to look for it thinking about picking up one bottle and maybe some mac and cheese.
I was expecting to spot it in a towering display, what I found was a well dressed young woman on her hands and knees in the wine aisle reaching way back into the bottom shelf to get the very last of the Hyatt Vineyards bottles so she could make a whole case. I remarked that that was the wine I’d come to find, and I’d heard good things about it. “It’s great,” she said brushing the dust off of the knees of her extrememly expensive jeans, “you can serve it to your guests and they’ll never know it’s a $3.00 wine.” She didn’t offer to let me take one of her bottles. I was simultaneous gripped with a desire to buy more than just one bottle, and deep mourning at my near miss of having some In The Know wine. I went up to the front desk to ask if they were planning on getting more in, and as I was saying “it’s from Hya….” their wine guy was next to me, holding out a case. So I bought it, a bit gleefully.
And it was good. There was none of that obvious sweetness I’ve come to expect in cheap wines. Recently I found that we’d drunk the last bottle without realizing it, and I was sad. A trip to Trader Joe’s turned up no more. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Thanks to Viv for the tip.
* Though lately my tastes have run more towards the less expensive Cline offerings.