If you’ll be stopping by your favorite store to pick up some wine for the weekend, here are some quick picks to help you increase the odds of finding good quality at a good price. Read on for picks from Trader Joe’s, Costco and Safeway.

A quick side note. I’ve mentioned several times in the past how much I enjoy Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings. As a result I’m increasing the score of their wine from 86 to 89 points which seems more in-line with the quality this wine delivers at a phenomenal price. This is based on months of tastings, especially paired with Loni’s spicy chicken curry. Note that I almost solely drink these Rieslings with spicy food, and find them a tad too sweet alone.

Trader Joe’s

  1. 2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (89 pts, $5.99) – crisp, a tad sweet, ideal for spicy foods
  2. 2005/2006 Bogle Petite Syrah (87 pts, $9.99) – smooth fruit, with nice finish
  3. 2006 Clos du Bois Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay 2006 (87 pts, $13.49) – classic Chard, creamy, nice spring pick


  1. 2006 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon (87 pts, $15) – not classic bold, more smooth, relaxed Cab
  2. 2007 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (87 pts, $11.99) – a favorite Sauvignon Blanc, herbaceous, zingy
  3. 2005 Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon (89 pts, $17.99) – big Cab at not so big price


  1. 2006 Benziger Chardonnay, (88 pts, $8.08) – traditional Chard
  2. 2006 Kenwood Merlot, (86 pts, $8.08) – enjoyable, price is great
  3. 2006 Kunde Cabernet Sauvignon, (87 pts, $11.68) – premium brand, Napa style, low price
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear