“The reds, however, were mostly the same old alcoholic, structureless Aussie swill.”
I was previously unaware of winejoe.com. Who is winejoe? The website explains – “My name is Joe Coulombe. "winejoe.com" is my web nom de vin. I founded Trader Joe's Company in 1958 and ran it until I quit in 1989. Trader Joe's built its name first on wines, then on foods. During my years as Trader Joe, I tasted at least 100,000 wines. Most of them were not terrific, but on the other hand most samples were submitted by vintners who were desperate for money. That's how Trader Joe's got those low prices. That's also how I learned that a lot of wines that are marginal can be very good--if served with the right food.”
winejoe travels to distant places and often tastes the wine. I think he looks more for value than great wine – maybe its all those years as Trader Joe! But his anecdotes and descriptions make for interesting, and often amusing, reading. He certainly does not go overboard in his tasting notes - brief would be an overstatement.
winejoe has visited Australia a number of times and has tasted the wines in several regions - Margaret River of Western Australia, Tasmania, South of Melbourne in Victoria, and Orange and Mudgee in New South Wales. From the notes I have seen he seems to limit the number of wines he tastes, and I don't see any real attempt to seek out quality wines. Unusual because as the founder of Trader Joe's I'm sure he can afford just about anything he wants.
I wonder when he will visit the Barossa Valley and taste some serious “swill”.