Chariot Gypsy Red 2012

chariotgypsyred2012The 2012 Chariot Gypsy Red is a $4.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. Every year since 2000, Jim Neal has been selling his Chariot Gypsy wines through Trader Joe’s. When it first debuted, $10 buck wines were an iffy proposition, a $4.99 wine and a Red wine to boot, that was flat out delicious was truly  a revelation. 2 Buck Chuck appealed to wine drinkers who were concerned about price, Chariot Gypsy was a hit with wine drinkers who wanted great taste (and a cheap price). Over the years, the inexpensive wine market has vastly improved and the Chariot Gypsy Red no longer has the $5 wine segment to itself, there are many solid wines available for under ten bucks. The 2012 grape vintage in California is the best in years, so if ever a $4.99 Red blend was going to hit on all cylinders, this is the year. The alcohol content is 13.5%.

The color is a see-thru cherry red. The nose is maraschino cherries, a light floral edge, a hit of spice and fresh strawberry. This is a slightly sweet wine, not sugar sweet, but nectar sweet. It starts with ripe black cherry, raspberry, licorice and cranberry. It transitions in the mid palate to a soft splash of pepper, along with blueberry. The tannins are soft and the acidity is light. The finish is fairly full and lengthy.

The 2012 Chariot Gypsy Red is a tasty $4.99 wine, it has a touch of sweetness that should appeal to novice wine drinkers, while still having the flavor and structure more experienced wine drinkers look for. It is no longer the $4.99 beacon in a sea of lousy cheap wine, but it still a satisfying drink after a long hard day. As for food pairing, I had the Chariot Gypsy Red with a pumpkin spice muffin and it went surprisingly well.

See also  BV Coastal Estates Red Blend 2010


About the Author
Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.

1 comment on “Chariot Gypsy Red 2012

  1. SCFP says:

    Today I had some 2013 Chariot Gypsy Red, with home-made veggie chili, and it was a fine complement. Still at $4.99; a pretty good deal for an acceptable, ‘cheap”, California red blend.

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