So, you want to find the best grocery store wines? These days there are myriad options when it comes to buying wine. Especially if you’re near a city, you’re likely to find a plethora of wine shops, liquor stores, and specialty retailers. Or you can find a great wine club and never search for wine in a store again!
Shoppers are more and more used to finding quality artisanal wine. There are times, however, when it may not be convenient or possible to get to a boutique store.
Luckily, there are actually very good wines to be found in supermarkets; not just as a second choice, but which are outstanding in their own right. While you won't find cult wines in your local aisles, you can find some very enjoyable wines.
See below for five grocery-store brands which are worth a trip to the supermarket in and of themselves!
Our List Of The Best Grocery Store Wines
Hidden in a clearing far down a dirt road in the Russian River Valley lies the quaint, historic MacMurray Ranch. A working farm since the 1850s, the ranch was purchased by actor Fred MacMurray in 1941. A walk around the property will reveal a luxurious yet homey cottage preserved as it was when Fred lived there, as well as a barn dedicated to the history of the ranch.
Today the estate is planted to vine, and the MacMurray family remains intimately involved. The Estate vineyard is on the property and is planted to Pinot Noir, their signature varietal, as well as Pinot Gris.
While MacMurray Ranch functions as an Estate and produces high-quality wine, the label is managed by Jackson Family, allowing for widespread distribution and availability. Their signature Pinot Noir is rich and dark, full of black cherries and chocolate, with an ample body and mouth-coating texture.
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It isn’t often that one of the most important and well-respected labels in a region is widely available and at a fairly reasonable price. This is the case with Banfi.
While Banfi makes wine from throughout Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy (as well as being an importer representing a number of global brands), they are best known for their estate Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany, where they produce high-quality Brunello from the Sangiovese grape.
In fact, Banfi spent years on a massive project which flavor-mapped the different clones of Sangiovese, using this information to create the perfect blend for their Brunellos. They also shared this information freely, elevating the knowledge within the region as a whole.
Their Brunellos are a benchmark for the modern style, displaying concentrated fruit and liberal use of oak—creating a style that is plush, chocolatey, with just enough forest-floor earth. These wines are ready to drink on release while also suitable for aging.
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Maison Louis Jadot
The Louis Jadot label is ubiquitous in supermarkets as well as liquor stores; you’d almost certainly recognize the creamy label with the image of a stone-carved cherub.
Unfortunately, this ubiquity, coupled with the fact that the brand is a go-to for the ultra-affordable Beaujolais Nouveau style of wine, has created a reputation for Jadot as a low-quality wine. This could not be further from the truth.
Located in the heart of Beaune since the mid-19th century, the Jadot winery does produce wine all the way from Chablis to Beaujolais (read: throughout the entire region of Burgundy). Jadot, however, does this is a way which preserves the character of each region they produce. The Chablis is flinty and citrusy; the Meursault creamy and peachy. Delivering this varietal character makes Jadot one of the best grocery store wines.
Their range goes all the way from Bourgogne to Grand Cru, and the upper-tier wines are sought-after by collectors and fine restaurants alike. Their expertise in the region, fortunately, means you don’t have to spend a fortune on Grand Cru to enjoy quality wine. Pick up one of their bottles in the $10-20 range to see for yourself!
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Hold on, this is a list of GOOD grocery store wine. And I’m recommending BOX WINE!?! I’ll give you a minute to recoil in horror as you recall the sweet pink juice that likely gave you a wicked hangover at some point in the 90s, before I try to convince you this is a good idea. Ready? Good.
Bota Box is the next-generation of box wine. They make thoughtfully crafted and crowd-pleasing wines from Chile to California. With 16 different wines, they have something for everyone, and you can feel good that you are doing something positive for the environment (box wine allows for much lighter packaging and much larger quantities in one package). That all makes Bota Box a top grocery store wine option.
Available in most markets and wine stores, I have even seen the smallest size Bota Box available for sale at outdoor festivals. Just beware; the cute “juice box” is actually equivalent to two-thirds of a bottle of wine, so be careful and drink responsibly!
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Kung Fu Girl (Charles Smith)
This wine is part of the Charles Smith collection (you may recognize Charles Smith from such labels as Velvet Devil Merlot or Boom Boom! Syrah).
Formerly a band manager in Denmark, Charles Smith is known to be a bit, er, out there. He is a big personality with a huge mop of curly blonde hair and an unapologetic attitude. It makes sense then that he makes wines that don’t necessarily follow the rules.
That said, this dry Washington Riesling is actually somewhat classic. Juicy fruit cocktail leads to a zesty overtone of fresh lime. A hint of elderflower rounds out this easy-to-drink, yet pleasantly crisp white. Smith designed this wine as an alternative to the many heavy reds in his portfolio to accompany spicy Asian food, and boy does it do the trick.
If you head out to sushi and realize too late the restaurant is BYO only, not to worry, pop over to the nearest supermarket and you will likely find this bad boy on the shelf (or even better, in the fridge 😊).
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