Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: Edition Maximilian Pinot Noir

In its home country of Germany, this wine ($5.99 at Trader Joe's) would be labeled Spätburgunder, but this export label uses the English name for the grape variety, Pinot Noir. The rear label says it's Qualitätswein (QbA), which means it's made entirely from that variety rather than from a blend of grapes.

This is an soft, uncomplicated wine that tastes only of fruit, with no wood, earth, or cellar flavors. As is the case for many German reds, it's relatively low in alcohol (11.5%) and has a hint of residual sugar, which accentuates the fruitiness, but may put off those who expect or prefer their red wines to be dry. Unlike most Pinot Noirs, German or otherwise, there's not much acid or tannin, so people who don't usually like red wine might enjoy this.

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