Friends, Trader Joe’s has solved all your end of year gift-giving dilemmas.
I was in my local TJ’s the other day and was looking around the wine aisle for something fun to drink “with” my bff during my birthday* Zoom call this week. And lo! There it was.
Half bottles of Ernest Rapeaneau Champagne for just $10.99!
And this is real by-God Champagne! As you’ve heard me rabbit on before, French Champagne can only, by regulation, be made from fruit entirely grown in the Champagne region. And Ernest Rapeneau hails from Epernay, the capital of that region. They’ve been making Champagne for 120 years, so they seem to know what they’re doing!
The wine is blanc de noir, meaning it’s made from “black” or dark-skinned grapes including pinot noir and pinot meunier. While the skins are removed quickly to limit contact with the juice, they can lend a bit more color, as opposed to blanc de blancs made from only light-skinned grapes such as chardonnay.
It’s not a super creamy or toasty wine, but the color is light gold with lots of tiny energetic tightly-packed bubbles. It leans a little citrusy but not overwhelmingly so, extremely light citrus.
Also did I mention, $10.99?!
At 375ml (a half bottle), that’s just a little over 13 ounces. That’s about two generous glasses. I can confirm this is the perfect amount to enjoy and make merry while Zooming with a pal.
It’s terrific wine for the price, and there’s a ton of situations where it’ll come in handy:
When you’re on your own (hello!) and don’t want to worry about having a bottle open till the next day
A little something special for your babysitter, dog walker, etc. Throw in a pair of nice glasses to make it a little basket
Shoot, at this price, it’s an ideal Secret Santa gift
When you and your friend want to pregame in a festive manner
I went back and bought three more! One is for someone to open on Christmas Day because I renewed their magazine subscription and I like to have something for them to actually open. One is a hostess gift for my cousin. And the last is for your obed’t correspondent, to enjoy on New Year’s.
At this price though, it won’t be the last bottle I ever buy.
*Yep, burying that lede. My birthday was Dec. 7, the day that will live in infamy. There was a 0 in it. I’ll take your greetings and warm wishes as read.
Awww happy belated, Lara!