The pros: Trader Joe's Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine is new and has an almost homemade taste to it. This is far more complex than most other sauces. The smell of this had me both smiling and thinking about Julia Child.
The cons: Slightly more expensive than some of the other sauces on the shelves. Jar indicates that the whole jar should be consumed in three days.
The verdict: Sometime at the end August, if you walk down my block you will see lots of people outside. There is almost no parking and everyone has their largest pots out. Why? Even in suburban New York, there is the tradition of canning the tomatoes for the year. My neighbors spend the better part of two full days peeling and canning the summer's harvest.
While I have not taken part of this annual event because my husband, an Italian-American does not actually like red sauce. I know you had to do a double take on that sentence, but it is true. He does not like tomato sauce, marinara, or gravy depending on how you view sauce. He especially does not like chunks of tomato. While I have gotten him to consume Trader Joe's Pizza Sauce, I know that this sauce was a non-starter.
That's a good thing. More for me.
If you are hoping for a watery sauce or one that lacks any form of texture, then skip this sauce. If you enjoy a good sauce, one that is close to homemade, then reach for this. This has all the familiar textures of a homemade sauce. It has the traditional ingredients of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, carrots, and celery. Growing up, my father always made sauce, frequently on Saturdays to be served on Sunday. He, too, put red wine in his.
Yes, that red wine is the first fragrance that hit my nose upon opening this jar. In fact, all my thoughts were almost immediate in a faux French Julia Child style voice. In fact the tanins from the wine came right through in terms of flavor.
Before mixing this with pasta, I took a spoonful. It was far more complex than any run of the mill brand. This was very different.
Placed and mixed with some homemade spaghetti and I was enamored with this sauce. If this had been cooked with the meatballs and brasciole then it would bring me back to the good ol' days of that day old sauce where the flavors has combined into something more complex and rich. There are big chunks of tomato to remind you that this is a bit more rustic in style.
If I had to come up with some complaints, then it would be that the jar indicates that it should be consumed in three days. For some households this might be a challenge. Also, it was a bit salty. With some plain pasta, the saltiness did go away.
For $3.49 this has become my favorite sauce. Fortunately, Trader Joe's has indicated that this is not seasonal, but instead is going to become a regular on the shelves.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The jar of Trader Joe's Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
With some spaghetti:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine again. It might just become my new go to wine.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!