Did you think that Trader Joe’s was never going to have a vegan wine in the review? Well, this time we have one, Cocobon 2013! Finally, a wine that is easy to find and definitely vegan-friendly.
This VERY drinkable red blend, which contains Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Merlot grapes, hails from California’s Sonoma County. It is smooth and almost sweet. It is as rich as its deep purple color. The label says that the when drinking this vegan wine you “unearth flavors of dark cherries and vanilla.” That is pretty on the nose though you may taste a few more berries in there. It does lack minerality and earthiness, though its weightiness gives it grounding. Be ready for a strong bouquet. Smoky and fruity, and then something that reminds me of the smell of NYC city streets—after a taxi slams on its breaks with tires slightly skidding and releasing that odor of burnt rubber. Admittedly, that is not unpleasant for me as it smells like home. On that note, this vegan wine pairs well with a slice of pizza from Screamer’s Pizzeria. You could even chill it a little bit.
In the end, there is something retro about the flavor of this wine. It has a late 90s to an early aughts vibe. This wine makes me want to sit back, open a book on Japanese street fashion, and imagine I write for Vogue, circa 1998. The Cab/Merlot mix is definitely sending that vibe. The world seemed to have turned on those grapes at the turn-of-the-century, largely in thanks to Sideways.
You can find this vegan wine for less than $10 in many liquor shops and wine shops.