Summer in D.C. means it’s time to drink rosé. Drink it in bars, drink it in the ballpark (The Nats are celebrating National Rosé Day when they take on the Giants on Saturday, June 9 with their new event, Rosé All Gameday and when rosé comes to America’s past time, it’s definitely reached the mainstream), drink it on a blanket at an outdoor movie where you’re not supposed to drink it and, most importantly, drink it at home. But what kind of rosé should you drink? When everything is pink and you’re not sure why most every bottle is the name of a town in France, what should you buy?

We did this in 2016. We tried every rosé the Trader Joe’s on 14th and U sold. We tried 11 wines. This year we tried 29. Trader Joe’s sells more than three times the rosé it sold two years ago. We tried them all. All of them.

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Seven and a half people (one had to leave halfway through the tasting) blind taste tested every rosé Trader Joe’s is currently selling. Or at least was selling during May 2018. We asked each participant for their age, preferred wine, beer and cocktail. Hopefully one of their flavor profiles corresponds with yours. We tried to poll people you’d find buying this wine.

Anna

Age: 23
Favorite Wine: Sparkling pink shit
Favorite Beer: Nope
Favorite Cocktail: Gin and Tonic

Brandon

Age: 23
Favorite Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Favorite Beer: Amber Lager
Favorite Cocktail: Old Fashioned

Kaylee

Age: 25
Favorite Wine: ???
Favorite Beer: Oberon is a summer favorite.
Favorite Cocktail: Gin and tonic

Nick

Age: 32
Favorite Wine: The one with the kangaroo on it
Favorite Beer: Flying Dog Snake Dog
Favorite Cocktail: Old Fashioned

Allison

Age: 32
Favorite Wine: Grüner Vetlines
Favorite Beer: Right Proper Champagne Guse
Favorite Cocktail: Boulevardier

Chris

Age: 33
Favorite Wine: Montepulciano, Grüner, Lambrusco
Favorite Beer: Ballast Point Victory at Sea
Favorite Cocktail: Boulevardier

Diana

Age: 34
Favorite Wine: Prosecco
Favorite Beer: Fruity Sours
Favorite Cocktail: Bellini

Jenn

Age: 38
Favorite Wine: Chardonnay
Favorite Beer: Hefeweizen
Favorite Cocktail: Old Fashioned

We asked for a ranking of 0 to 5, 0 being not drinkable. We also asked for at least one sentence, or word, on each wine.

The drinkers did not know what they were drinking, at least specific bottles. They could see the bottle shape from a distance but brands were hidden.

Participants were offered food and water throughout the entire tasting. Pours were under 1 oz. unless otherwise requested. No one drove home.

If you’d rather skip to the bottom for our life altering conclusions, feel free. If you’d like to go on a 29 bottle journey through the pink world of Trader Joe’s rosé, let’s begin.

A. Albero Org Rosé Spain $5.00

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Kaylee: Smells like candy. I’m ready for this. Tastes like Peach Rings. I don’t hate it. 3/5

Jenn: Smells like acid (not LSD), tangy, uncomfortable, tastes like communion. 1/5

Anna: Stings, rubbing alcohol. 2/5

Brandon: Dry, boring. 2/5

Allison: Forgettable. 2/5

Nick: A little flat but it’s smooth? Is that a thing? 2.5/5

Diana: Tasty at the top but nasty, bitter finish. 2/5

Chris: Citrusy for some reason? 2/5

Average: 2.065

B. Block 67 Rosé $12.99

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Kaylee: Beautiful baby powder color. No smell. I don’t want to finish this. I wish I was cool enough to like boxed wine. 1/5

Diana: Super sour but nice smell. 1/5

Nick: Very bad, horrible taste like rotten grapes. 1/5

Brandon: Bitter. 1/5

Anna: Nice to smell, face cringing. 2/5

Allison: Fine. Tastes like discount butter. Not mad at it. 3/5

Chris: Balanced, flavor free, drinkable. 3/5

Jenn: Very peach tinted, fruity/tooty, smooth. 3/5

Average: 1.875

C. Carayon La Rosé Languedoc Rosé $5.99

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Kaylee: My sense of smell is gone? I kind of love this? Is this the Criss Angel wine? 4/5

Nick: Pretty good. Bright flavor. I can dig it. 3.5/5

Jenn: Cinge-worthy, like remembering the night before. 2/5

Allison: Slightly effervescent. Astringent, nut cut. 2/5

Chris: Balanced with some sharpness. 4/5

Diana: Zesty, light and refreshing. 3/5

Brandon: Light, refreshing, closer to white wine. 3/5

Anna: Not great, easier to drink. 3/5

Average: 2.6875

D. Cline Mourvedre Rosé $8.99

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Jenn: Honey-flavored? Sweet, untainted…sorry if it sounds like I’m describing a virgin. 4/5

Diana: Sweet, could drink the whole bottle STAT. 5/5

Chris: Everyone loves the D. Honey but not too sweet. 5/5

Kaylee: Love the D. 4/5

Brandon: Fruity, sweet. 4/5

Allison: Good with cheese. 3/5

Nick: Also bad. Starting to regret this. Same as B. 1/5

Anna: Pretty OK, no alarming taste, easiest to drink. 4/5

Average: 3.75

E. Cuvee St Helene Languedoc Rosé $12.99

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Kaylee: Tastes like powder, but I don’t hate it. I think I’m a wino. 3/5

Anna: It’s fine, tastes like what my my would drink. 3/5

Chris: Balanced, a little sharp, bitter. 3/5

Allison: Medicinal. I don’t love it but it’s weird. 3/5

Nick: Very bland and almost watery. Kinda like fruit juice. 2/5

Diana: Bitter but thin enough to struggle drinking through not too hard. 2/5

Brandon: Tastes cheap, slightly bitter. 2/5

Jenn: I do not care for this. Bad. 1/5

Average: 2.375

F. Emma Reichart Pinot Noir Rosé $4.99

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Allison: I haven’t drank in almost a month. 4/5

Brandon: Sweet, slightly carbonated, light. 4/5

Kaylee: Also good. I just like rosé. I mean, they all taste like perfume, but I like perfume. 3

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Diana: Don’t love it but kept drinking to figure out how I felt about it so there’s that. 2/5

Anna: Simply don’t like, just not light and fun. 2.5/5

Chris: Grapey. 2/5

Nick: A little bitter and darker. 1.5/5

Jenn: This is empty. Big Empty. Stone Temple Pilots empty. 0/5

Average: 2.375

G. Espiral Vinho Rosé $4.99

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Allison: Nope. Looks like Boone’s Farm. Too many bubbles. 1/5

Jenn: Looks like Boones. Drink if sneaking out of parents’ house! 2/5

Nick: First one I’ve had that actually tastes like something. Tastes like Ocean Spray. 3.5/5

Brandon: This one is for Becky. Sweet, fruity, bright pink. 3/5

Diana: Grapefruit juice, would make a killer frozé. 3/5

Anna: Niiice, fun, light, summery, fruity alcoholic juice. 4/5

Chris: Effervescent pink soda. 2/5

Kaylee: Looks like fruit punch, tastes like the Devil’s dick. 1/5

Average: 2.4375

H. Josefina Syrah Rosé $5.99

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Chris: Not going over. 0/5

Allison: No again. Tastes like watermelon Jolly Ranches but not in a good way. 1/5

Kaylee: Sour? Like it’s rotten? This tastes like trash runoff. 1/5

Jenn: Tart, like my Bumble profile 😉 1/5

Brandon: Bright in color but fairly mild. 4/5

Anna: It’s…fine. 3.5/5

Nick: A flatter version of G. Still would prefer this over D. 2.5/5

Diana: Light and airy and easy drinking. 3/5

Average: 2

I. La Burgondie Creman de Bourg $11.99

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Anna: Sparkly AF, could’ve been better if they tried just a lil harder. 2.8/5

Kaylee: I love bubbles. This tastes like skin. 2/5

Jenn: Fizzy lifting drink! More bubbles than taste. 0/5

Brandon: Tastes like a hangover, very fizzy. 1/5

Nick: Dry but more bubbles. Has some good fruit notes. 3/5

Allison: It’s cute. Would drink again. 3/5

Chris: If you need sparkling, I guess. 2/5

Diana: Yuck yuck, love bubbles but gross. 1/5

Average: 1.85

J. La Coqueluch Rosé $5.99

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Chris: Chemicals. 0/5

Allison: OK. Do like. Doesn’t taste like chemicals. 3/5

Nick: Tastes like the smell of piss from something under the ocean. 1/5

Anna: Mouth chalky. Chemicals. 1/5

Brandon: Crisp. 3/5

Kaylee: Smells like Swedish Fish! I’m upset! But not that upset! 2/5

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Diana: FOUL – lighter fluid – I keep retasting it. 0/5

Jenn: College…if I had bothered to finish. 0/5

Average: 1.25

K. La Ferme Julien Rosé $5.99

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Kaylee: 5/5 Every K is a good K. This might honestly be my fav. 5/5

Diana: Drinkable – not shabby. 2/5

Chris: What is ‘wine’? 3/5

Allison: I don’t know. 2/5

Brandon: Starting to all taste the same. 2/5

Nick: Similar to J. 1.5/5

Anna: I don’t like this. Not easy to drink. 2.5/5

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Jenn: Starting to taste the same, oh no. 3/5

Average: 2.625

L. La Granja Garnacha Rosé 360 $4.99

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Diana: Trash water. 1/5

Jenn: No scent. Can’t trust something without a scent. 1/5

Brandon: Very pink, too sweet. 1/5

Kaylee: The worst kind of melon. I think I hate the color more than I hate the taste. 2/5

Anna: Pretty cool not pretty taste. 3/5

Chris: Better than the color suggests. 3/5

Allison: How many more letters are there? 3/5

Nick: Starting to think I just don’t like rosé. Tastes like watermelon if I try really hard. 2.5/5

Average: 2.0625

M. La Promenade Provence Rosé $10.99

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Kaylee: I heard somewhere that the lighter the rosé, the better, and I believe it. I’m a sucker for advertising. 4/5

Brandon: Could drink this until I pass out on the beach. 4/5

Allison: It’s pretty. That matters. 3/5

Chris: Fruity and pretentious. 2/5

Anna: Weird color. I wouldn’t drink this is any situation other than to not be rude. 2.5/5

Nick: Really bad after taste and before taste. These last three have been very similar. 1/5

Diana: Easy drinking, bland. 2/5

Jenn: Very nearly clear. Going clear. Almost threw up which is a decidedly bad sign. 0/5

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Average: 2.3125

N. Landonnet Rosé Bordeaux $6.99

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Kaylee: Look, it’s all fine. I would get day drunk off of all of this because I’m an alcoholic. 3/5

Anna: Could be worse! Not too shabby! 3.5/5

Allison: Still astringent. I may not love rosé. 2/5

Nick: Has a fishy flavor. Nothing roséy about it. 1.5/5

Brandon: Oh, no, no, no, bad. 1/5

Jenn: Feels like a college dorm (hey I visited friends) without a sock on the door. 1/5

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Diana: Watery with a little bite. 2/5

Chris: Middle of the road. 3/5

Average: 2.125

O. Les Portes De Bordeaux Rosé $6.99

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Anna: Fine! A little sharp! 3/5

Diana: Sour and naaasty. 0/5

Jenn: If a priest dipped wafers into this I wouldn’t be surprised. 0/5

Nick: Tastes like old raspberries. 2/5

Allison: Unsatisfying. 1/5

Chris: Fine, after taste? 2/5

Kaylee: I miss Cheez-Its. 4/5

Brandon: Easy to drink. Dangerous. 4/5

Average: 2

P. Miravel Rosé $20.99

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Kaylee: Good as fuck. This is the best taste test for me. I know nothing about wine. 4/5

Jenn: Don’t be fooled by its dirty water appearance, this is GOOD. 4/5

Nick: Much better than K through O. More flavor, less fish. 3/5

Anna: Is this not funky water? 3/5

Allison: Cute. 2/5

Diana: Looks like water, tastes like garbage. 1/5

Chris: Sharp. Tannins? 2/5

Brandon: Not gonna lie, peeked at the bottle, looks fancy. Dry, smooth. 4/5

Average: 2.875

Q. Moonlight and Roses Coteaux Da Provence $9.99

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Anna: I don’t hate it. Easy. 4/5

Nick: Already smells bad. Tastes better than it smells. 3/5

Kaylee: I wish this was cognac. I love cognac. 3/5

Diana: Zesty and refreshing. Tastes cheap. 3/5

Brandon: Nah, dry, bitter, boring. 2/5

Jenn: More dirty water, same better taste! 4/5

Chris: Sharp. Not pleasant. 1/5

Allison: I seriously think I don’t like rosé. 2/5

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Average: 2.75

R. Mumm Napa Brut Rosé $19.99

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Nick: I really like this so it’s probably cheap. Very bubbly and bright with strong fruit flavors. 4/5

Kaylee: Wine for 9-year-olds. I feel at home. 3/5

Allison: I would drink this after work with whiskey. 2/5

Chris: Fine sparkling. 3.5/5

Anna: Like, really sparkling, overly fizzy, sits nice. 4/5

Brandon: Oh god, sparkling AF, another hangover. 1/5

Diana: Fine for when you’re already drunk but first taste is overpowerfully fizzy. 2/5

Average: 2.7857

S. Quinson Cotes De Provence Rosé $7.99

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Kaylee: Delicate, floral, powdery, bullshit. 4/5

Diana: Think but icky, aftertaste is meh. 2/5

Nick: Not bad. Smooth and starts off good. Nothing exciting. 2/5

Anna: Started fine, didn’t sit well. 2/5

Brandon: Very sweet. 3/5

Allison: A little harsh. Rubbing alcohol. 2/5

Chris: Stockholm Syndrome. This is fine. 3/5

Average: 2.5714

T. Reserve Des Chastelles Tavel Rosé $8.99

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Kaylee: Tastes like butterfly wings. 4/5

Anna: I don’t like it. Gross. 2/5

Nick: I can dig this. Reminds me of not wanting to throw up. 1.5/5

Chris: That happened! 3/5

Diana: Sweet, easy to drink but has weird hints. 2/5

Brandon: Meh. 2/5

Allison: Not good. 2/5

Average: 2.3571

U. Schloss Biebrich Rosé Sekt $6.99

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Kaylee: Sparkly. Like the inside of a Claire’s. 3/5

Nick: I like this one. Similar to R. Tastes like Fanta. 3.5/5

Allison: Would drink with whiskey. 4/5

Brandon: First sparkling one I like. 4/5

Diana: Boozy tasting but kind of fun tasting. 4/5

Anna: Soda but that’s not bad? 4.2/5

Chris: Pink soda. 2/5

Average: 3.5286

V. Simpler Wines Rosé $2.99

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Kaylee: Rosé flavored water. Meet the new La Croix flavor. 3/5

Brandon: Tastes like high school. Bad. 1/5

Anna: Not easy to drink. 2.8/5

Nick: Suntan lotion. 1/5

Allison: Second taste tasted like acetone. LMAO. Is it? 2/5

Diana: Easy to drink because it’s basically booze water. 2/5

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Chris: Spit take. 0/5

Average: 1.6857

W. Trader Joe’s Reserve Sparkling Rosé Brut $9.99

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Chris: Remember Dubya? This is fine. 2/5

Allison: I don’t remember. 2/5

Nick: Smells like a Hallmark store. Tastes like the first time I had beer. I want to like it but don’t. 2.5/5

Kaylee: Tastes like suds. Tastes like a bathtub. 2

Diana: This is great bubbly. Yummy. 4/5

Brandon: Crisp, fruity, refreshing, doesn’t linger. 4/5

Anna: Nice! Fruity! 4.4/5

Average: 2.9857

X. Typic Cinsault Syrah Rosé $5.99

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Kaylee: I can’t tell any of these apart. I’m so sorry. 3/5

Allison: He’s trash. JK. It’s actually pretty cute. 4/5

Diana: Light and easy drinking. 3/5

Chris: Oops. -/5

Brandon: Good. 4/5

Anna: Nah. 3.3/5

Nick: Starting to feel like throwing up. This made that worse. 2.5/5

Average: 3.4667

Y. Underwood Sparkling Rosé $5.99

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Chris: I ‘can’ drink this. 3/5

Kaylee: Effervescent as hell. I love bubbles. 4/5

Brandon: OK, this is Becky’s Tuesday night drink. 2/5

Allison: He’s cute. Yay. I fuck with this. 3/5

Nick: Smells like a urinal. 2/5

Diana: Fun, bubbly, basically booze seltzer. 4/5

Anna: Pretty color! Really easy to drink. 4.4/5

Average: 3.2

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Z. Vinas Chilenas Rosario Rosé $3.99

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Kaylee: Tastes like the sad fruit candy grandparents have at their house. 2/5

Allison: Tastes like candy. Do not love. 2/5

Diana: Fruity and I’m really in it. 4/5

Nick: Smells like vodka cranberry. 2/5

Brandon: This is for a child. Juice. 2/5

Anna: Really nice. 4.4/5

Chris: #TooSweet 2/5

Average: 2.6286

AA. Vintjs Rosé Monterey County 20 $6.99

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Kaylee: I wish I was in a music video. Please put me in yr music video. 3/5

Chris: Drinkable-ish. 3/5

Anna: Dry. 2.5/5

Diana: Sour and yucky. 1/5

Brandon: Bitter, watery. 2/5

Allison: Still astringent. What is this? 2/5

Nick: Can’t even bring it to my lips. Glad I did. 3.5/5

Average: 2.4286

BB. Whispering Angel Rosé $16.99

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Anna: Fine but no. 2.5/5

Chris: Whatever. 3/5

Brandon: It’s K. 3/5

Allison: I don’t like rosé. 2/5

Nick: Easy does it. What? This should have been first. 4/5

Kaylee: Yr my bb <3 Tastes like a whisper in the wind. 3/5

Diana: Coating my mouth. Just fine. 2/5

Average: 2.7857

CC. Wish Flower Sparkling Rosé $6.99

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Chris: Candy soda. 1/5

Brandon: No, too fizzy, I’m good. 1/5

Allison: Jolly Ranchers. Will not buy. Sorry. 2/5

Kaylee: This burns my lips. 1/5

Nick: Tastes like Juicy Fruit. 3/5

Diana: Smells nice but bitter candy taste. 2/5

Anna: Ehh OK! I can’t taste shit anymore. 4/5

Average: 2

Highest Rated: D, U

Our highest rated rosés are the Cline Mourvedre Rosé and Schloss Biebrich Rosé. At $8.99 and $6.99 a bottle, they’re both very good deals for wine. They’re representative of the deals you’ll find at the grocery chain. One is a regular rosé and one is a sparkling.

Through both averaged highest, neither was beloved across the board. In fact, none of the wines were. In each selection, one of the participants did not enjoy the wine.

Lowest Rated: V, J

Trader Joe’s is a great reminder that it’s not always about money. The Simper Wines can at $2.99 is a deal when it comes to cans of wine but not taste. If it were expanded into a full size bottle, it wouldn’t come in right in the middle of the price range.

The lowest rated of all, the La Coqueluch Rosé, is a good reminder that the shape of a bottle does not determine its quality. It has a similar bottle to the most expensive wine on the list, the Miravel Rosé. The Miravel ranked very high.

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Conclusion

Money matters. Somewhat. If you’re unfamiliar with rosé, sticking with a $8.99 bottle of Cline Mourvedre Rosé is your best bet. If you’re entertaining people with more discernible tastes, you may want to shell out a $20. But if you’re willing to spend $20 on a bottle, maybe you should be going to an actual liquor store.

Sparking matters. The biggest growth in the TJ rosé market is of the sparkling variety. And the sparking variety rated higher than the non-bubbly stuff. Whether it came in a can or bottle, whether it popped or fizzed, people like bubbles.

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