Written by: Jamie

Updated: December 5, 2023

21 Best Wines to Try at Safeway in 2023

Safeway has a solid reputation for American-produced wines, offering many choices across popular varietals like Zinfandel and Merlot. 

While the supermarket has a less-than-stellar reputation for imported wines, they do have Riesling, Grenache, and other lesser-known varietals to offer, letting you enjoy new flavors and food pairings that put a smile on your face. 

These are my favorite wines available at Safeway stores across the country.

I've included popular and less-known varietals from the imported and domestic shelves, with bottles starting at only $8. 

Reds

21. La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir - $16

A full-bodied red fruit hit, La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir, is produced in Monterey County, California. It's earthy and woody, with notes of crushed rock and cedar underlining red fruit leaning towards jam on the palate. 

On the nose, Monterey Pinot Noir has strawberry, plum, cranberry, and raspberry aromas, with spice, cedar, and jam notes on the palate. The 2017 vintage is my favorite, exhibiting a juicy, fresh profile with a long, decadent finish. 

This wine goes great with Comté, stinky cheeses, mushroom risotto, black olives, butterflied lamb, venison, and duck. The earthy profile also complements beef bourguignon and hearty stews served with mashed potatoes. 


20. Decoy Merlot - $18

Decoy Merlot is a smooth, dry red wine with bold flavors and moderate tannins. Plum and blackberry dominate the palate with a nose of oak and vanilla. If you love bright dark fruit in your wines, this is the one for you. 

This Merlot is a lush, approachable red wine with abundant black fruit. Plum, blackberry and blueberry flavors are balanced with a hint of balsamic. Sweet tobacco, leather, vanilla, and a touch of minerals give it excellent depth. 

Duck confit, beef casserole, borsch, lentil/bean dishes, butternut squash, roasted vegetables, and lamb chops pair well with this wine. The moderate tannins also bring out the best in tomato sauces.


19. Justin Wine Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon - $31

This Cabernet Sauvignon is so good you'll wonder where it's been all your life. Bold, tannic, and dry with balanced acidity, Justin Wine Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is brimming with cinnamon, baking spices, dark fruit, and oak. 

Highly aromatic with attractive black cherry, oak, baking spices, and blackcurrant, this wine evokes a sense of lushness. The deep purple ruby draws you in, with clear notes of black cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, and oak on the palate.

A full body and a long finish make this Cabernet Sauvignon a perfect pairing for meaty dishes like prime rib, beef short ribs, roasted lamb, and venison. Roast mushroom gnocchi, portobello mushrooms, and aged cheeses also pair well. 


18. Campo Viejo Reserva - $14

The first entry from Spain, Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva, is a delicious, approachable Tempranillo with smooth smoke, ripe fruit, and round tannins. It's easy to drink with dominant dark red fruit flavors and a hint of oak/cedar. 

It has a bouquet of black cherry, plum, and ripe blackberries, which translate to the palate with a smattering of oak and pepper. The juicy profile is enriched with an undertone of wet rock and tobacco.

This full-bodied red goes beautifully with beef tenderloin, sausages, and veal. Still, the biggest treat comes in pairing it with lasagna, gnocchi, and pasta in red sauce, where the round tannins bring out the best in tomato, onion, and garlic sauces. 


17. Meiomi Pinot Noir - $17

This Californian Meiomi Pinot Noir divides opinion and it's not a wine I enjoy that much. However, it's one of the most popular wines in the US and I thought I'd include it. Let me explain!

This is sweeter than your average wine, especially your average Pinot Noir. It's the reason I didn't take to this wine. However, I get that some people like this and if you like your wine a little sweet then you might really enjoy this.

It's a crowd pleaser of a wine with jammy fruit notes of plum and black cherry, with some light strawberry candy, and some spicy oak. It's quite full bodied for a Pinot and has a rich, dense texture. 

At the price of $17, it's better value than you'll find it in most other places. I paid $20 when I bought it and I felt a little hard done by.

Don't miss our guide to Costco Pinot Noir for more great value recommendations.


16. Saldo Zinfandel - $30

Saldo Zinfandel is a bold, lush red with soft acidity and mild tannins. It's full-bodied with a silky-smooth mouthfeel, coating the palate with jammy goodness. Dark fruit, chocolate, and baking spices are rounded with notes of strawberry. 

Aromas of cherry, licorice, black pepper, and baking spices lead to flavors of blackberry, cinnamon, chocolate, and black cherry. Smooth tannins balance the bold flavors.

Roasted turkey, beef braises and stews, meaty pasta sauces, and meat-topped pizzas are perfect pairings for Saldo Zinfandel. We also like it with mild chili con carne and other dishes with a bit of spice, like Daal Baati Churma. 


15. Stags' Leap Wine Cellar Wine Petite Sirah - $32

The Stags' Leap Petite Sirah has a full body and a chewy, intense mouthfeel. Blackberry, black cherry, leather, and a hint of pepper and oak give this red a classical profile, while high tannins and acidity give it a dry, grippy taste. 

Stags' Leap Winery is in Napa Valley, California, with 240 acres of vineyards planted over a hundred years ago. It produces wines with traditional winemaking techniques, with their Petite Sirah aged 15 months in 25% new French oak barrels. 

Smoky, spicy, and intense, this full-bodied red has notes of blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, herbs, and pepper on the nose, with earthy flavors and jammy qualities on the palate. A finish of fresh fruit and vanilla keeps things lively. 

Barbequed steak, braised beef, grilled lamb, and spicy dishes go well with this wine. Our favorite pairing is stinky cheeses and crackers/biscuits, where the dry, smoky profile brings out the best in savory, creamy snacks. 

For more Petite Sirah food pairing ideas, don't miss our awesome guide.


14. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon - $8

At just $8 this is amazingly good value and the cheapest you'll find it anywhere. Aged in a mix of new oak and used bourbon barrels this Cabernet Sauvignon has distinctive notes of caramel and smoke from the bourbon barrel.

It's a really interesting wine that manages the intense character of bourbon well, without overpowering the fruit.

If you're eager to learn more about this Robert Mondavi cab, don't miss my recent review.

It's also available to watch below.


Whites 

13. Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay - $14

A tropical explosion with dry, citrus notes, Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay, is our go-to for light seafood fishes. Delightful notes of pineapple, mango, and papaya give rise to fresh pear and green apple with a touch of butter. 

You can expect citrus notes fresh from the bottle with pineapple, papaya, and passion fruit aromas. The palate has rich tropical fruits, lots of zest, and toasty butter on the finish – perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day. 

Fish and seafood are the best food pairings for this white, with seared scallops, shrimp scampi, calamari, and oysters our favorites. The tropical flavors also pair well with fresh cheeses like ricotta and feta. 


12. Saint Clair Family Estate Wine Sauvignon Blanc - $22

Saint Clair Family Estate Wine Sauvignon Blanc goes well with pretty much anything if you're after versatility. This white wine of New Zealand has a floral nose, lots of citrus, and bold passion fruit and apple flavors. 

We adore this wine's high acidity and dry profile. Aromas of grapefruit, lemongrass, passionfruit, and lychee give it a fruity-forward profile, with gooseberry, wildflowers, and melon on the palate. It has a crisp, medium finish. 

Pair this Sauvignon Blanc with green leaf salads, shellfish, asparagus, focaccia, bruschetta, soft cheeses, and caviar. The crisp, floral notes also pair well with chicken and lean fish like flounder, sole, cod, and swordfish. 


11. Trimbach Riesling - $15

Trimbach Riesling wine is one of the most impressive surprises at Safeway. This French Riesling offers a compelling blend of dry fruits, orange zest, butter, and lime, with an off-dry profile and firm acidity for a crisp finish. 

Riesling is the darling of Alsace, and Trimbach's interpretation stays true to character with balanced sweetness, no oak, and appealing minerality. Notes of lemon, lime, stone fruit and grapefruit give rise to minerals and honey. 

Very fruity and fresh, we love pairing this Riesling with sushi, sashimi, white meats cooked with white wine sauces, butternut squash, and pumpkin soup. The off-dry profile also lends itself to savory desserts with salted caramel. 


10. Terlato Pinot Grigio Friuli 2016 - $22

Coming from Northern Italy, Terlato Pinot Grigio Friuli 2016 is one of the juiciest whites at Safeway. Pear, peach, and apple flavors with a tart, citrusy finish makes this wine a crowd pleaser, perfect for beginners and connoisseurs. 

Aromas of white peach, conference pear, spring flowers, and lemon are joined by light toast, crushed sandstone, and blossom on the palate. High acidity and a medium body make it easy to drink and perfect with creamy dishes. 

Carbonara, Pasta Alla Norcina, creamy garlic pesto chicken, chicken cordon bleu bake, boneless pork chips in white sauce, and spinach and pancetta pancakes are just a few great food pairings for Terlato Pinot Grigio Friuli 2016.


9. La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay - $17

This delectable example of Californian Chardonnay wows with mature peach, apricot, apple, and oak notes. Buttery smooth with a creamy edge, it goes down a treat with fresh fruit and exciting oak undertones. 

Layered aromas of vanilla, plum, and peach blossom give this wine a sweet, delicious bouquet, yet the taste profile is off-dry with a buttery mouthfeel.

The creaminess of this Chardonnay pairs perfectly with fresh fruit, strawberries and cream, and ice cream sundaes. Meaty fish like halibut and cod, lobster, crab, scallops, and mussels seasoned with garlic also works exceptionally well. 

It's also stocked in Walmart for a similar price.


Rosé

8. Angels & Cowboys Rosé - $15

Light, fresh, and brimming with strawberry and citrus notes, Angels & Cowboys Rosé is a pleasure to drink. Intriguing notes of dried currants, watermelon, and lime give it a complex yet mellow personality ideal for sipping. 

Angels & Cowboys was established in 2014 as a winemaker and graphic designer collaboration. Their rosé is a blend of 40% Grenache, 18% Pinot Noir, 9% Tempranillo, 7% Malbec, and 6% Riesling, with grapes from Sonoma County.

Twist the cap, and you are greeted by a floral bouquet with watermelon and strawberry notes. The palate has strawberry, raspberry, citrus, grapefruit, and cherry flavors, with a light finish heavy on the citrus. 

Try this wine with grilled tuna steak, marinated pork belly, charcuterie boards, and smoked salmon. The zesty acidity and smooth, light mouthfeel also pair well with savory, salted snacks like popcorn and pretzels. 


7. Diving into Hampton Water Rosé - $18

Diving into Hampton Water Rosé is a collaboration between Jon Bon Jovi, his son Jesse, and French winemaker Gerard Bertrand. It's a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Shiraz, with a creamy nose and a strawberry-melon palate. 

Gérard Bertrand collaborated with Jon Bon Jovi to pay tribute to the Hamptons and South of France Art de Vivre, which share similar cultures for arts and wine. 

Hampton Water is a multi-award winner and is the only rosé ranked in the Wine Spectator's annual wine list, making it one of the hottest wines in town. 

On the palate, cherry, watermelon, and strawberries give it a delicious flavor, with floral, mineral aromas. The silky texture leads to a long, dry finish. Pair it with light seafood dishes, salads, sushi, and freshwater fish. 

Still thirsty for rosé? Don't miss our guide to great rosé at Costco next.



Sparkling

6. Ruffino Prosecco - $14

Dry and acidic with elegant bubbles, Ruffino Prosecco always goes down a treat. Intense apple and peach flavors give rise to a floral, mineral finish. It's made with 100% Glera – the only grape synonymous with Italian Prosecco. 

We adore this Prosecco's lively effervescence, savory overtones, and clean aromas of apple, pears, and citrus. The flavor is crisp and sharp, with apple, hints of elderflower, and notes of mandarin and lime, giving it a tart, unique taste. 

Soft cheeses and antipasti go beautifully with Ruffino Prosecco, or you can drink it as an aperitif, and it also pairs well with spicy food and savory snacks. 

Also available slightly cheaper in your local Target store.


5. J Vineyards Sparkling California Cuvée - $23

Flavorful and polished, J Vineyards Sparkling California Cuvée will bring your palate to life with green apple, pear, citrus, and lemon notes. It is aged on the lees for 24 months and offers lots of zing with toast and almonds on the nose. 

J Vineyards is one of California's most revered sparkling winemakers, stretching back to 1986. Their Cuvée is produced with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, giving it a fruit-forward taste profile. 

A wonderfully aromatic nose of tart apple, pineapple, and orange blossom leads to a lively palate rich with green apple, pear, and lime. The well-balanced flavors move around with lots of tiny bubbles, which carry the flavors beautifully. 

We enjoy this sparkling wine with shrimp, shellfish, caviar, and oysters, but it also goes well with buttercream cupcakes. 


4. Mumm Napa Wine Sparkling Brut Prestige - $18

Sparkling Brut Prestige is Mumm Napa Wine's signature sparkling wine, produced with warm-climate grapes. It is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Gris /Pinot Meunier, aged 18 months in French oak. 

This signature Brut goes big on citrus, lemon, and dough/brioche flavors, with layers of cream and fizzy effervescence. The wine also ages three months on the cork, developing a vanilla and pear mid-palate. 

Bold, acidic, and fizzy, you can't go wrong serving this sparkling wine at toasts and celebrations. It works well with sweet and savory pastries, cream cheese, breadsticks and dips, and nachos smothered in cheese. 


3. Cascinetta Vietti Moscato D'Asti Wine - $20

With only a 5.26% ABV, Cascinetta Vietti Moscato D'Asti is the perfect dessert wine. It's delicately sweet, with subtle bubbles and light acidity. Flavors of apple, pear, honey, and melon find balance with a crisp, peachy undertone.

Bright straw yellow with a nose of peach, pear, rose petals, and tangerine, we adore this wine's sweet bouquet. But the real treat is the peach cobbler, lemon sorbet, and crisp apricot flavors, with a twinge of acidity to keep your palate fresh.

This wine is sweet enough as a sipping dessert, but it pairs beautifully with classic carrot cake, peach cobbler, and apple pie. Fresh berries and rhubarb stewed with sugar and ginger work wonderfully with this sweet hit. 


Related: Your local Whole Foods has some wine bargains to be had.


2. Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noirs Rosé - $18

Blanc De Noirs Rosé is a blend of 92% Pinot Noir and 8% Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir imparts juicy, red fruit flavors, while the Chardonnay adds a touch of green apple and lemon. Slightly pink, fizzy, and wonderfully floral – perfect for sipping!

The Gloria Ferrer winery is situated in the hills of Carneros, Sonoma County, specializing in sparkling wines. Blanc de Noirs Rosé is made with hand-picked grapes aged for a minimum of 18 months to bring out fruity, acidic flavors. 

A light body and sunny flavors make this wine a treat. Bold aromas of bright strawberry, black cherry, and vanilla give way to a creamy lemon overtone. 

On the palate, cherry, lemon sorbet, and cola combine with lush red fruit giving it a fresh, juicy profile.

We love this rosé with Thai fishcakes, fish and bean tacos, sandwiches, quail, foie gras, and semisweet desserts like peppermint crunch.


One to Try That Won't Break the Bank


1. It's a Head Snapper Prosecco - $13

If it's a cheap bottle of Prosecco you're after, 'It's a Head Snapper' Prosecco hits the spot with a light body, crisp tree fruit flavors, and a yeasty finish. It tastes much more expensive than its price tag and pairs beautifully with snacks and pastries. 

Head Snapper is part of The Wine Group, an American wine producer based in California. Their Prosecco is produced with traditional techniques using Glera grapes from the Prosecco DOC, giving it lots of pedigree.

On the nose, this Prosecco impresses with citrus, nectarines, honeydew, and cream. Flavors of melon, pear, apricot, and toffee shine on the palate. 

Cobb salad, quiche, gruyere cheese, and spicy curries like Madras work well with this wine, but it's most at home with sandwiches and cheese boards. 


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About the Author Jamie


I'm Jamie (James to some), professional over-thinker and aspiring pun champion. I'm fluent in emoji, sarcasm, and song lyrics.

I'm a certified cork dork wine obsessive and wineturtle.com is my megaphone.

I have the WSET Level 2 (with distinction) in Wine and I'm currently enrolled in level 3. I've also co-written a book on wine.

I look for value in wine and I'm always on the look out for the next hidden gem.



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