Not that long ago, the idea of respectable non-jug, non-box wines for under $10 -- the kind of wine you could bring to a foodie dinner party without feeling like a cheap asshole -- was pretty unthinkable. Enter Trader Joe's and BevMo and suddenly there's a lot of truly decent cheap wine out there, and we're not just talking about Two-Buck Chuck.
We're not huge wine snobs, but we do prefer our reds to be more than just "drinkable," and we like our whites to be layered and complex too (also we hate most California Chardonnay, particularly the buttery stuff). While we know wine is totally subjective and you can feel free to tell us how much you love Chardonnay and Merlot and the two-buck-chuck Sauvignon Blanc, we're offering here a selection of wines we think rise above bargain-bin status that are currently on shelves at Trader Joe's. Sure, by publishing this we're risking that some of these will disappear off SF TJ's shelves before we can stock up ourselves, but hey, it's almost the holidays, and we're feeling generous.