Review: Trader Joe’s Picton Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir


Most travelers to the South Island in New Zealand opt to fly in from the North Island. It makes sense. The flight is faster and often gets you where you are going in a more direct fashion. For those of us that like to take life a little slower or who enjoy a tad more adventure in our lives, there is the ferry. The ferry departs from Wellington for the South Island. As you arrive, you cut through gorgeous water with hills rising on either side. When you step off the ferry, you have arrived in the calming atmosphere of Picton Bay.

Every time I open a bottle of the Picton Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir, I have that image of serenity in my mind. Contrasting with the calm, this wine is bright red, like a marshiano cherry. The flavors really develop if you give it a moment to breathe. Then, upon tasting, you’ll find the Picton Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir rich, with strong berry flavors and just a faint sensation of something you can’t put your finger on.

Picton Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir is available only at Trader Joe’s for around $8. While I enjoy this pinot, I have found it to be one of the more polarizing of the cheap Trader Joe’s pinots. People either love it or hate it. For that reason, I tend to shy away from buying this for dinner parties and instead enjoy it when I’m on my own.