We Did a Blind Taste Test With Target Wine—Here's Our Honest Review

Updated 09/09/19

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Those who don't have a thorough knowledge of wine often associate price with quality—but does great wine have to be expensive? According to Target, the answer is no. While you might associate the retail giant with home décor and household basics, it has been quietly growing its alcohol offerings. In fact, alcohol was one of Target's fastest-growing categories in 2017.

Target's in-house wine label California Roots is one of its bestselling alcohol brands. California Roots' aim is to make quality wine that's affordable, too—music to our ears. The wines are priced at just $5 and are crafted from "premium grapes grown under the warm California sun." The collection includes rosé, pinot grigio, chardonnay, moscato, and more, and is available in stores only. But, the real question: Can $5 wine actually taste good? We did a blind taste test of some of the California Roots wines to find out and let you know.

Rosé

California Roots Rosé Wine $5
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Flavor: Light and surprisingly not as sweet as the white wines in Target's California Roots line, this rosé is a standout. When our team tested it against a $22 wine from Provence, seven out of eight people chose Target's $5 blend. The rosé, that's cold-fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, has berry and citrus flavors. It contains 13.6 percent alcohol and can pair well with spicy grilled shrimp, a spinach salad, or margherita pizza.

Aftertaste: There is a slightly sour aftertaste, but overall it's smooth. 

Overall Rating: 4/5

Pinot Grigio

California Roots Pinot Grigio $5
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Flavor: This is quite a sweet wine with a buttery finish. Taste testers were divided: Some said it is too sweet for a pinot grigio, and others said it is their favorite of the bunch. If you love chardonnay but are looking for a lighter wine, this is certainly one to try. You'll taste pear, peach, citrus, and tropical fruit aromas. It pairs well with green salads or fish and contains 13 percent alcohol.

Aftertaste: This wine has a good finish and clean aftertaste.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Moscato

California Roots Moscato $5
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Flavor: Sweet but not too syrupy, this Moscato is the dark horse of the bunch. "It's really easy to drink and tastes like a good dessert wine," one reviewer said. "It doesn't taste cheap at all." If you like to end your meal with a sweet wine, this a solid, affordable option. It has peach and melon flavors, and you can pair this 10 percent alcohol wine with berries to round out your dessert.

Aftertaste: Soft and not too saccharine. 

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Chardonnay

California Roots Chardonnay $5
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Flavor: Despite the strong aroma, this wine is light and only slightly buttery, with peach flavors. Many taste testers said the pinot grigio tastes more like a classic chardonnay compared to this drop. Pair this 13 percent alcohol wine with cheeses and fresh bread, if you'd like.

Aftertaste: A pleasant dry finish. 

Overall Rating: 3/5

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