Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Maria Jola Sangria (Red AND White)

This is an unusual review, in that I am going to actually review TWO products in ONE review.  But I feel I must put them together, to save you the sadness that befell us.  Therefore, this review will cover:

RED Sangria
WHITE Sangria

Consider this a Public Service Announcement…  In my mind, SUMMER SANGRIA SEASON IS NOT OVER YET.  I refuse to believe that autumn is right around the corner.  So read these reviews, then rush to TJ’s and stock up on (red only) sangria.

(Well, not THIS bottle, we already drank this one, but a bottle that looks just like this one!)
Let me say this right off the bat – we loved the red Maria Jola sangria (which I shall review first!).  We loved it so much, that after we drank it, the next time we were at Trader Joe’s and saw the WHITE version, we thought, “Hey!  The red was soooo tasty, the WHITE kind has to be delicious too, right?”.  Oh man, were we suckers.

First review – RED Maria Jola Sangria

We lugged a bottle of red sangria with us from Virginia down to Florida (land of “no Trader Joe’s near where we stay…”).  One lovely Florida day we swam in the ocean, rehearsed David’s show on the back patio (which makes a great “stage”), then I capped off the day by making a pitcher of SANGRIA!  I put the bottle of red sangria in a pitcher and added fresh orange slices, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries, and a little bit of Meyers lemon from our very own fruit cocktail tree (whose name is Trixie!).*  I refrigerated the whole shebang for a while to let it chill.  My opinion is that the longer the fruit is in the sangria the better the whole thing gets (though our opinions might have been skewed by the increasing amount of sangria we put into our systems as the night wore on…).

Us on the BEACH!  (This was pre-sangria, we were not day drinkin'...)
And speaking of the fruit, it tastes super delicious to munch on after it has stewed a while!  When you pour this make sure everyone gets fruit in their cups!  It is like a healthy (??) little serving of fruit with your drink.    

Anyway, this red sangria is really good, especially if it is very cold.  It is a great summer time drink. 

Trixie the Fruit Cocktail Tree loaded down with Meyer Lemons
It may LOOK like a lime but it is a Meyer Lemon

David’s take on it: “I agree with what Susan said completely.  This is much better than I expected.  I have had a lot of sangrias that just take like not very good wine with fruit thrown in them, but this is (maybe because of how Susan prepared it!) very, very nice and fruity.  It is the way I think a NICE sangria you might get somewhere in Spain or Europe somewhere would taste, or at a nice restaurant.  It tastes very summery – the strawberries and lemons taste fantastic, too!   I like that it isn’t too strong – it lets you drink more of it!!  (Editor’s note:  the label says the alcohol content is 7%.)  I give this red sangria a 4.25.”

Susan:  I agree with that score – a 4.25.  It is not too sweet, it is not chemically tasting…  It tastes a bit PUNCHY (and, we both agree, if you drink enough of it, YOU GET A BIT PUNCHY!).

Price – $6.99
Rating – 4.25

* If you do not a fruit cocktail tree to pick your own Meyer Lemon off of, you can find them in season at Trader Joe's!  Excellent review of them from day 3 of this blog here: Meyer Sweet Lemons 

Second review – WHITE Maria Jola Sangria

I added raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and orange slices in this sangria.  As you just read above, we really dug the red sangria, so I was excited to have this white one!   I like white sangria when we order it at restaurants!  We thought this bottled version of white would be juuuust as tasty as the red one.

(I hate to keep bringing up the RED SANGRIA, but geez Louise,
it is yummy!  We brought it to a dinner the other night...)
We were wrong.

When David first tasted it he said it was “perfume-y”, and I think that is the right term.  There is too much “perfume”-like scent to it.  When you raise your glass to take a drink, it smells too much like PERFUME, and then you TASTE the perfume…  And somehow, to my “sophisticated palate”, that “perfume-y” taste makes it takes like BATHROOM CLEANER.

To be perfectly transparent here, I have never drunk bathroom cleaner.  And I am not saying this product tastes TOXIC or anything…  It just tastes too much like it smells…   Do you know what I mean?  It is hard to describe.  I would say you need to taste it to understand what I am trying to explain, but that would mean you have to actually taste it, and I don’t want you to have to do that!

I give this a 2.25 rating.  I MUCH PREFER the red version.

Obviously I get excited over the red version....
David’s opinion: “This white sangria is too sweet and too perfume-y so it overpowers the fruit.  I can’t even really taste the fruit as much as I would like.  I think would be a better sangria if it were made with a more “transparent” white like a vino verde or something.  It is WINE, and it is not UNPLEASANT, but if I went shopping for sangria again I would get the RED instead of this one. I would give this white sangria a 3.5.” 

Price – $5.99 (a dollar cheaper than the red, but spend the extra buck, trust me!)

Rating - 3


  1. Hi there!

    I came across your blog today looking for some fellow Trader Joe's fans. I work for an animation studio that does work for them, thought you would appreciate some new ads we just finished. Love your site and all the pictures!


    1. Thanks! Glad you found the blog! And thank you for the link!!! I can't make the ANIMATION part work - when I click "play" it closes the site. :( I feel like I am getting a SNEAK PEEK at TJ's ads - I love it!!!!

  2. Someone else commented today (anonymously) but it has since been deleted :(. Anyway, he or she said they hadn't tried the red yet, but that they really like the white! I want to encourage them to try the red and comment again - let me know what you think! I am glad you liked the white - some people must like it or TJs wouldn't keep it on the shelves.

  3. Sorry, but I absolutely love the white with nothing but crushed ice. Sooooo delightful and not too strong or sweet. Problem is, they seem to only sell it in the summer :(

    1. Don't be SORRY, we all have different tastes in wine! If we didn't, Trader Joe's wouldn't need so much shelf space for wine :) . I am glad you like the white, and I am sorry that TJ's doesn't carry it in the winter. Booooo. I think they like to limit things to certain times of the year to make them more "special" when they come out again. If you have space to store some, next summer STOCK UP! That's what we try to do when we have something we really like that we know is seasonal. :) (Which would explain the big jars of olives on a shelf downstairs...)

  4. As of yet, I haven't tried the red sangria, but based on the review I will buy a bottle or two when I am in TJ's again. However, on my last visit to Trader's I purchased the white sangria and before serving I added strawberries, blueberries, cherries, orange and lemon slices, peach slices, mango slices, and a few shots of brandy, the resulting drink proved to be as refreshing, as a nice fruit salad on a hot Southern California day!

    1. Oh if you like the WHITE, please please please try the red! I am curious to know how you like that version. HAPPY SUMMER!