Trader Joe’s Picks: Pinot Noir Under $20

The Trader Joe’s wine aisle can be overwhelming and confusing. They have a lot of good finds, but also some duds, so it’s a matter of knowing which brands are reliable and which ones are a pretty label thirst trap.

If I’m buying wine at Trader Joe’s, these are the Pinot Noir wines I’m going to get, based on my knowledge of the brands and their reliability. I should add as a disclaimer that I have not actually had ALL these wines, and I don’t have my own tasting notes for them, however, based on what I know, these are just the picks I would bet on to deliver a solid wine.

Here are my picks at my local store, from top shelf to bottom shelf:

  1. 2018 Argyle Pinot Noir ($19.99): Good brand up in Oregon, and I’m a sucker for Oregon Pinot Noir, so this would be the highest price point wine I’d get here. Their website lists this wine for $27 for the TJ’s price is a good deal!
  2. 2019 Decoy California Pinot Noir ($16.99): This brand is owned by the Duckhorn Portfolio, which always puts out great wines, so I’d get this as a solid bet for a good glass of Pinot from Sonoma, CA. Their site lists it at $25, so another good deal.
  3. 2018 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir ($12.99): Another Oregon brand that makes some really good Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Not a bad price for them, either.
  4. Bogle Pinot Noir ($8.99): Bogle is a great budget brand — you won’t pay too much and it won’t taste too bad. I’ve never had their Pinot, so no promises here, but if you’re looking save some money and just want a good wine for Tuesday night (or to get drunk) (or to get drunk on Tuesday night), this might be a good choice.
  5. 2019 Castle Rock Mendocino Pinot Noir ($7.99): Good, reliable, and not too hard on the wallet. Probably a perfect crowd-pleasing wine for a group or a random dinner night.