When Target announced its line of $5 wines, we were sold. But how do they actually taste—and how should you pair them? Our resident wine mom has answers.
Megan the Mommelier's $5 Target Wine Review
In case you haven't heard, Target, the go-to spot for the fancy set on a budget (that'd be us!), recently released what will be their newest mom-fan craze: A collection of five different $5 wines (no, that's not a typo) called California Roots. Like we need any more reason to drop coin there! But at five bucks a pop, these wines won't break the bank. So the next question is, are they any good?
I'm Megan, a New York City mom to Huck, age 3, and Griffin, age 1, by day; wine pusher at Dirty French in the Ludlow Hotel by night; and Parents' resident wine mom. I'm here to give you a rundown of these delicious wines along with some real-life mommy pairing options.
For starters let's do a quick self-survey. How many parents' meals consist of the leftovers on your kids' plate? It's a running joke in our house that when my husband asks what I had for lunch, I respond with, "What I eat every day for lunch honey, the leftover crust of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." I'm only half-joking, so really, let's pair these wines with foods actual moms eat.
California Roots — Pinot Grigio
ON THE NOSE: You know that blissful 30 minutes of the week when your kitchen is actually clean and the aroma of that beautiful lemon-fresh cleaner is subtly wafting through your home? That's what this smells like. Lemon zest, pineapples, summertime.
ON THE PALATE: Sweet with a crisp dry finish and huge pop of acid. This wine also is slightly effervescent. That's right ladies: little bubbles. It's practically champagne.
PAIRS WELL WITH: Slightly oxidized apple slices. You know when you cut up an apple and your kid only eats two slices? Drink this wine with the rest.
California Roots — Moscoto
ON THE NOSE: Like a floral perfume the fancy ladies in church wear.
ON THE PALATE: This wine is sweet. Really sweet. Creamy and delicious. But sweet.
PAIRS WELL WITH: Half-eaten chicken nuggets. The sweetness of the wine pairs beautifully with a deep-fried, breaded chicken nugget freshly reheated in the microwave.
California Roots — Chardonnay
ON THE NOSE: It's like a freshly opened box of vanilla wafers.
ON THE PALATE: This is a good Chardonnay; it's everything you think of when you think California Chardonnay. Vanilla notes, a little buttery, with a slight hint of caramel from the oak.
PAIRS WELL WITH: Goldfish crackers. The yeasty, bready golden cheese crackers pair perfectly with this low-acid, smooth, rich-bodied wine.
California Roots — Cabernet
ON THE NOSE: Cherry Lip Balm
ON THE PALATE: Juicy red fruit with a touch of pepper, which adds a little spice. This wine is jammy and alcohol-forward.
PAIRS WELL WITH: The leftover crust of a PB&J. The slight spiciness of the Cab cuts nicely with the sweet and buttery PB&J crust your kid refuses to eat.
California Roots — Red Blend
ON THE NOSE: It's reminiscent of the leather you smell walking into the handbag section at Bloomingdales.
ON THE PALATE: This is a dang good one. My favorite out of all of them. I did not see this wine coming. It's full-bodied, with cherry notes up front and a slight tannic finish.
PAIRS WELL WITH: Macaroni and Cheese. This wine can lift a lowly bowl of cold leftover Mac & Cheese to a respectable meal.