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I'm Shay Gibson: a full-time nurse, traveler and photographer living in California. Modern Gibson Girl is a travel and lifestyle journal for modern women that want to experience the joyful things in life, and are always on the hunt for that sweet spot between quality and style.

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Best Trader Joe's Wines Under $10

The whole world is basically on lock down. Looking for an affordable escape? Check out the best wines you can buy from your local Trader Joe's for less than $10.

Best Wines from Trader Joes


The world is pretty grim right now.

Social distancing, mandatory quarantine, global panic... it's not fun. But if there's one thing I've learned from adulthood (and nursing), it's that a glass of wine can cure a multitude of struggles. But not all wine is created equal. And not all our fancy wine shops are open right now. So for those of us that need a bit of adult grape juice, I have compiled a list of our top Trader Joe's favorites under $10 to guide you on your next ridiculous trip to the grocery store.

Also, tradition dictates that we start with white wine and progress to red. But it's still cold in California, and I like red wine more. So we're starting with reds.

Best Wines from Trader Joe's


1. Lazy Bones - $6.99

Lazy Bones

First, I want to appreciate this label, and acknowledge how appropriate it is for a mandatory lock down.

Second, this wine is delicious. It's grown in Paso Robles and made of cabernet franc. Cab franc is the mother grape of both merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes, meaning it's both full and slightly fruity. It's a crowd pleaser and goes with just about everything. This is our "fancy table wine" (because it's $2 more than our regular table wine below).


2. Porta 6 - $4.99

Porta 6

If you haven't discovered Portuguese wines, now is the time to do so.

Porta 6 is our go-to table wine. It's light to medium bodied with soft fruity notes and the cutest label ever. It's actually a little dangerous, I have definitely accidentally finished this bottle on my own. It is also a favorite of two of my nurse friends, so it's definitely crappy shift approved.


3. Dark Waves - $4.99

Dark Waves

Not every label can be pretty.

I definitely judged this bottle by its cover. Thankfully, Joe is less judgmental than me. This California red bled is less acidic than the other two, and a bit less complex, making it smooth and very easy to drink. Perfect for when you just want something easy. Consider this an old faithful, like your favorite rom-com: it's not winning any awards, but it's enjoyable and comforting, and sometimes that's all you need.


4. Phigment - $5.99


For a little bit of spice.

Phigment is a red blend made exclusively for Trader Joe's. It's dry but fruit forward, and bit darker and more tannic than the rest I've posted. It starts with some strong berry flavors and finishes with some earthy spice, giving it a nice complexity for when you want something a bit more unique.


5. Reggiano Lambrusco - $4.99

Lambrusco Best Wine from Trader Joe's

This is your Facetime dinner party wine.

Social distancing is in full swing. But you can't stay holed up for weeks with zero human interaction. So set up a Facetime dinner with your favorite friends and have both homes start with this Lambrusco. Lambrusco is a light, slightly sparkling red wine that is perfect for everyday celebrations and keeping things positive. Even non red wine drinkers are onboard with this one. I've literally never had a guest who wasn't a fan. So if you love red wine but want to ward off the emotions that the combination of isolation and a strong red wine might bring, try Lambrusco for a lighter option. Serve chilled.


6. Villa Borghetti Pinot Grigio Rose - $4.99

Pinot Grigio Rose

Now on to rose.

As the weather gets warmer, I move on to rose. The color of rose wines comes from the skin contact of red grapes, but we tend to think of pinot grigio only as a white wine. Apparently, the color of pinot grigio grapes varies widely, but it most often a blueish-purple, so the slight bit of skin contact produces this beautiful pale pink. I love this rose because it has bright fruity notes but isn't too acidic, meaning it's refreshing without causing your mouth to pucker. This is what I buy to sit on the porch during the summer. Just kidding. I don't have a porch. This is what I buy to drink in front of the air conditioner.


7. Trader Joe's Petite Reserve Chenin Blanc Viognier - $7.99

For something super light.

Don't be put off by Trader Joe's brand boring wine labels. Trader Joe's brand wines are often the best value, because the grapes are often sourced from well known vineyards and sold without their label, allowing Trader Joe's to pass the savings along to you. This white blend is a mix of chenin blanc and viognier grapes and is SUPER easy to drink. I love the tropical fruity notes and toned down acidity, and also may have finished this bottle in one night. Joe, however, prefers more acidity, and thought it was a bit too mild. Not bad, just not interesting enough to hold his attention. So if you want a light white wine that is super easy to drink, this is for you. If, you like something a little more engaging, try the next two.


8. Bogle Chardonay - $7.99

If Chardonnay is your drink, start with Bogle.

I will be honest, I don't generally reach for Chardonnay. Perhaps I've just had too many over-oaked varietals in the past, that I am sometimes a bit weary. But Bogle is a trusted winery, and this wine was suggested by my cousin Natalie Meyer, CEO of Pullquest, and sister of Madelyn Meyer of Edvin, a Swiss blogger and author revolutionizing how young people drink and think about wine. So I trusted her. And this chardonnay did not disappoint. It is dry yet fruity, with a rich buttery finish from the 9 months it spends in American oak barrels. If you are a chardonnay drinker, this wine is a terrific value for the price.

9. Espiral Vinho Verde - $4.99

Espiral Vinho Verdo

For when you want just a hint of bubbles.

This is what you buy when you want bubbles but aren't actually celebrating anything, and don't want people to think you're weird. Literally translated it means "green wine", but the actual translation is "young wine". Vinho Verde is another wonderful product of Portugal and is indeed a "young wine". It is made to be consumed 3 to 6 months after bottling and is light, fresh and delightful. The slight fizz is so minimal it is not considered a sparkling wine, which makes it the perfect summer evening aperitif.


10. Grapefruit Pompelini - $5.99

For when you feel like drinking at 10:00am

We've all been there. And we'll probably be there quite a lot in the days ahead. But keep it classy with this delicious Secco Grapefruit Pompelini. It's made from white wine mixed with grapefruit juice and a dash of bubbles, and it's a favorite of mine for girl's brunches. Now I'll just have to call up a friends to pretend we're drinking and brunching together. Sigh.


Honorable Mention: Charles Shaw Rose - $3.99

Why only honorable mention?

Only because I haven't tried it yet! This was recommended by The Bobbed Brunette, the effortlessly classy travel and lifestyle blogger. She also recommends the Pinot Grigio and Merlot, which sell for just $1.99. In these uncertain times, it's good to know there are quality wines at this very doable price point.


Have a favorite Trader Joe's wine I didn't mention? If you know more of the best wines from Trader Joe's, let me know! You can leave a comment on this post, email or message me on Instagram.

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