When you are on a Charles Shaw budget but want your friends to think you spent more than a couple dollars, Trader Joe’s offers the Grifone Primitivo. Trader Joe’s always has a number of affordable, good wines available in their selection, but once you enter the sub $5 category, the pickings get slimmer. Typically, there is Charles Shaw, and there is Charles Shaw. However, over the past year Trader Joe’s has been expanding their offerings in the critical price category (a.k.a. really cheap wines).
For those of you not familiar with Primitivo, it is Zinfandel. They are the exact same grape. Basically, what we are tasting here is a cheap Italian version of Zinfandel. This particular one is from the far south of Italy, where the grapes spend plenty of time in the Mediterranean heat and sun. All that gives the Grifone Primitivo a rich, deep red color and strong flavors of red fruit and licorice.
If you approach the Grifone Primitivo in the right frame of mind, you will definitely enjoy it. Compare it to a Charles Shaw and not a Silver Oak. If you think of it that way, you will be pleased with your choice of Grifone Primitivo.