How to Pair Your Favorite Trader Joe's Foods With Wine

by Justina Huddleston
Sep 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET

It's impossible for me to leave Trader Joe's without an armful of random snacks, frozen foods and fresh flowers, all at prices and in a variety I never find at my usual grocery store. But what's taking up the space in my cart? The wine, of course! Only at Trader Joe's can I find the same amazing deals on gourmet treats and vino. It makes dealing with the inevitably cramped TJ's parking lot totally worth it if it means I can house a block of Unexpected Cheddar for dinner. #NoRegrets

But figuring out which types of wine to pair with my grocery haul can be tricky. That's why we've compiled this handy cheat sheet, which has pairing recommendations for some of the most common Trader Joe's food items. Since TJ's has a rotating selection and offers their own brands, these suggestions are more like guidelines. Find out which varietal pairs with your favorite food, then see what bottles Trader Joe's has on offer. Either way, you'll wind up with some tasty food and a glass full of wine — no complaints here!

1 /10: Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar

1/10 :Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar

This aged cheddar, with flecks of crystallized, Parmesan-like flavor, pairs well with a dry cabernet sauvignon or a bold malbec. 

2 /10: Trader Joe's Parmesan Pastry Pups

2/10 :Trader Joe's Parmesan Pastry Pups

Pair these savory Parmesan puffs with a full-bodied shiraz or pinot noir, which can stand up to the robust flavors of the meat and cheese. 

3 /10: Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

3/10 :Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

This pairing is tricky, but who doesn't have a bag of this Trader Joe's go-to in their freezer? Try balancing the sweet, tangy and savory flavors in this meal with an off-dry riesling or a bottle of sauvignon blanc that has tropical fruit, not grassy or peppery, notes.

4 /10: Trader Joe's Four Cheese Jumbo Ravioli

4/10 :Trader Joe's Four Cheese Jumbo Ravioli

Pairing a fairly mild four-cheese ravioli with wine has more to do with the sauce it's served in than the pasta itself. If it's a mild butter or cream sauce, opt for an oak-aged chardonnay. For a tomato sauce, try a Chianti or Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. And for pesto, pair with a grassy sauvignon blanc.

5 /10: Trader Joe's Frozen Seafood Paella

5/10 :Trader Joe's Frozen Seafood Paella

For this saffron-spiced paella, choose a light-bodied wine that's low on tannins. For reds, a young tempranillo or dry rose; for whites, consider an albariño or a sparkling cava.

6 /10: Trader Joe's Spanakopita

6/10 :Trader Joe's Spanakopita

For this party-perfect app, you need something that can stand up to the salty feta and grassy spinach. Try a dry sauvignon blanc, Sancerre or an un-oaked chardonnay.

7 /10: Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter

7/10 :Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter

Match the sweetness and spice of Speculoos cookie butter with a sweet oloroso or dark cream sherry. 

8 /10: Trader Joe's Diner Mac 'n Cheese

8/10 :Trader Joe's Diner Mac 'n Cheese

Nothing says me-time like creamy microwaved mac and cheese and a bottle of wine. Pair this delicacy with a lighter pinot noir, an off-dry riesling or even a fruity sparkling Lambrusco.

9 /10: Trader Joe's Mushroom & Truffle Flatbread

9/10 :Trader Joe's Mushroom & Truffle Flatbread

Mushrooms actually pair well with many wines. Chardonnay, a dry rosé from Tavel, a blanc de noirs Champagne or a bold shiraz would all do well against this flatbread. 

10 /10: Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken

10/10 :Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken

You can't go wrong with a classic pairing of roast chicken and chardonnay (or white Burgundy if you're feeling fancy). Craving red? Go with a light pinot noir.