Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 362 - Gluhwein (and in store artists!)

Ahhh, gluhwein...
This gluhwein is the only product that I remember reviewing this year that I wanted to get and use not to just see what it tastes like, but for the experience.  I packed this bottle of mulled wine and brought it to Florida with us knowing that I wanted to sneak away to the beach and drink it with my love by candlelight.

NOT planned was the fact that when we finally decided to drink said gluhwein, there would be a bit too much wind at the beach and the candles would not stay lit…  J  However, the moon was most cooperative and shone brightly to light up the night even sans candles.

(Note - I captioned that video via YouTube, but I think it automatically made the captions BLACK and I cannot figure out how to change them...  Given the setting the video was shot in, perhaps black lettering was not the best choice...)

I liked the gluhwein from Trader Joe's but fully admit my bias:  sitting in the dark night by the ocean with my love, I think I could enjoy drinking mulled anything really. 

This is the perfect setting for drinking anything really
But as far as this gluhwein from Trader Joe’s goes, I liked it.  It reminded me of being at Christmas Markets in Germany and drinking gluhwein out of blue ceramic mugs.  This particular bottle was spicy and tasty.  It is a good holiday drink. 

My opinion is that every family should buy one bottle of this gluhwein to heat up and drink around the holidays.  It is a nice way to celebrate the season.  I give this Trader Joe’s bottle a 4.5

David says, “I think this gluhwein is nice.  Really, it is designed to be drunk in a cold temperature, like Susan said.  Like in a cold German Christmas Market where you have been walking around all day.  You have stayed out longer than you should – your hands and feet are cold – but you are having such a good time.  Then you come upon a stand selling HOT GLUHWEIN and the warmth and the spices (and alcohol/wine) all make it fabulous.

As I drank this Trader Joe’s gluhwein, we were in a lovvvvely location, but even though it was close to midnight it was pretty darn warm out, probably around 78 degrees…  So it was a nice experience, but a bit warm for this particular drink.

Technically the spices in the gluhwein were very nice. The flavor was good but not quite as full and rich are you might like.  It had kind of a slight hint of ALCOHOL in the kind of HOSPITAL sense.  Tangy, rather than rich, full bodied wine.  It might be better if they used a more rich wine, but, ya know…  the point is the spices and the warmth and it certainly delivers on that account.  I would give this a 4.25.”

Let’s take a peek at PRICING of gluhwein, too.  Though this Trader Joe’s version is cheaper than if you picked a bottle up at, say, World Market, I found the SAME BOTTLE for EVEN LESS at Aldi (remember Aldi – I talked about it here).  Finding it at TJ’s and Aldi was hit or miss for both stores – as you know Aldi only carries things a limited time and we learned that some TJ’s locations never got gluhwein (even though they sold wine).  So if you want some you may need to shop around a bit to find it.

Pricing at Trader Joe's

Pricing at Aldi - a buck cheaper

The bottle at Aldi's was a bit different,
but I think it is basically the same wine, don't you?
Done with the review, but here is a bit more news.  Remember when I told you that we recently checked out a new (for us) Trader Joe’s in Jacksonville Beach, FL?  Well, I had the great good fortune there to actually MEET 2 of their sign artists - Ryan Paule and Brook Page!!! 
LOOK - I got to meet and talk to two real live sign artists!!!
I have explained this earlier in the blog, but let me recap it here for those who didn’t see it:  each TJ’s location has their own in-store artists who make allllll the signage – the beautiful artwork you probably see when you enter, then pieces all around the high up areas of the store, and even the PRICING signs.  All of it is done in-house!  I love TJ’s signage, and I think it is one aspect of the stores that really make each one unique.  I have really enjoyed looking at all of the artwork as we travelled around and visited different stores, but I had never MET any of the sign makers.  Until last week, that is!  J

Look at this awesome sign above their sampling station!!  Each TJ's has a different name for this area.
 I think this one is adorable, don't you?
So Ryan and Brook are two of the people who make the amazing signs in the Jacksonville Beach, Florida store.  Aren’t the signs great??  We even got to meet a 3rd sign maker when we checked out – he was giving us some of the ins and outs of making signs (for example – I had never thought about how tough it would be to fit more than ONE product on a sign for an end cap…).  He had recently made a bunch of signs for the wine department.  He explained that the store is moving towards the plain white and black pricing signs – I for one would vote against that, they look too much like other boring stores to me.  I prefer the more creative ones!  J   (I cannot remember the name of the sweet artist at the check out, but our receipt says "B. Greg" - shout out to you!)

This is a pretty sign right at the entrance to the Jacksonville Beach store.
We learned that it was made by an artist who came to this location to help open it up.  
I would think drawing and writing those signs would be a full-time job – there are soooo many signs in each store!  But the sign makers explained that they don’t “only” do the artwork, they are out on the floor, too.  Cool, eh??  It was an honor to meet them and hear about their work.

This Jacksonville Beach sign made us giggle!  Yikes - they are EVERYWHERE!!!  :)
Be sure to check out the signs in your local Trader Joe’s the next time you stop in.  And take time to compliment the artists if you can!  They sure deserve it. 

And now a general life note:  be sure to take time to do whatever brings YOU peace and relaxation:  sitting on a beach, reading a book, running a marathon, taking a nap…  Whatever it is that is special to you – do it!  Yes, it sometimes seems impossible to “make time” for what you want to do – work is busy, the house is a mess, maybe you have kids that need driven somewhere.  But if you do not take care of YOU, you are no good to the rest of the world.  J  So every once in a while at least – leave the house dirty, ask a neighbor to chauffeur a kid, and actually clock out of work at 5 PM.   Make time to do what is special to you.  I for one am glad that, after over ten days of putting off heating up the gluhwein and walking to the beach at night in lieu of sitting on the couch and watching television, I finally decided to bust out the mulled wine last night.

Make time.  Cuz you are worth it.

And just like that, the gluhwein review in the books.  J

Price – $5.99
Rating – 4.25


  1. I have no shame and will continue to beg for you to continue this blog.....admit it, writing it makes you happy. I know reading it makes my day!

    1. This made me giggle. Writing this blog TOTALLY DOES make me happy. As do reading comments from people like YOU. :) New project starting soon!!! Details in tomorrow's TJ's blog. I hope you join me in that one, too!

    2. Here I am waiting for the update ; )

    3. "As do" in my comment above?? I must have been sleepy. As DOES reading comments from people like YOU. :) Update almost finished and soon posting!!