Chariot Gypsy California White Wine blend 2009

I've written about Chariot Gypsy Red as a robust California red blend and reliable table wine at a bargain price. Chariot Gypsy is one of those exclusive Trader Joe's labels. Now, Jim Neal Wines of Healdsburg, California, the wine maker behind the Chariot Gypsy wine, has branched out and is offering a California white wine blend, Chariot Gypsy White, for the same $4.99 a bottle.

In the glass, it's a very pale straw yellow, with pear and muscat/mead (something with a sweet honey note) on the nose. In flavor, it's definitely sweet enough to be a dessert wine, though I favor pairing it with spicy Thai food, something like a spicy lime-chili shrimp dish, or perhaps a coconut milk and curry dish. That said, while I do like the wine, and while it is startlingly reminiscent of the three or four times the cost California white wine blend Conundrum (a wine I first discovered on the shelves of a California Trader Joe's, thanks to the curiosity of a friend (hi Amber!), this particular Chariot Gypsy White is a mere $4.99 a bottle.

According to, this wine is a blend of 37% Chardonnay, 32% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Gewurtraminer, 11% Muscat, 5% Marsanne. The Muscat and the Sauvignon Blanc and the Gewurtz definitely make themselves known, despite the Chardonnay, which suggests someone was quite thoughtful about the blend. Would I buy this again? Not likely; it's a decent table white for sipping, and well worth the price, but it's not as distinctive a blend as the Chariot Red, and there are better options. I suspect Gypsy Chariot White will do quite well, but it likely won't have the cult following of its older sibling—but then, it's not often people get excited about any white wine, these days. Still, it'll be interesting to see what fellow wine blogger Jason has to say.