The Wines of Game of Thrones: Trader Joe’s Edition

wines of game of thrones

Game of Thrones Lannister Family Banner | Chambray bell sleeve top | Red thread hoop earrings | High waisted leggings, plus size here | Wine glass set | Corkscrew wine opener | Gold finish ice bucket

If there’s any show I feel like I need to drink wine with, it’s Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister stole my heart when he said “Everything is better with some wine in the belly” in season 1, episode 1. The amount of wine consumed in this show is pretty impressive, and Tyrion takes the cake as biggest wineo, hands down.

While watching this masterful series, I became very curious about what kind of wines the characters were drinking, and wanted to drink along with them. Although I knew the show was fantasy, it amazed me that the Arbor wines and Dornish Sour Reds that are sipped by Daenerys and Cersei were also entirely made up. So that got me thinking…

Wouldn’t it be awesome to bring the wines in the fantasy world of Game of Thrones to life?

And wouldn’t it be even more awesome if you could find the real-world equivalents to the wines of Westeros at Trader Joe’s?

With some help from the brilliant minds at VinePair , Vivino, VineGeek and some of my own creative interpretations, I’m doing just that! Here are my real world wine recommendations to drink Arbor Gold, Arbor Red, Dornish Sour Red, Dornish Strongwine and Sweet Reds from Highgarden like the characters in Game of Thrones, all of which you can get at your local Trader Joe’s.

If you’re planning on hosting a Game of Thrones watch party, impress your guests by serving these Westerosi wine doppelgängers.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

The Wines of Game of Thrones: Trader Joe’s Edition

game of thrones wine arbor gold

game of thrones wines trader joes

Arbor Gold

This is said to be the finest wine in all of the kingdoms, known for it’s sweetness, fruitiness, oak flavor and rich gold color. This most famous wine from the Arbor region is associated with the ruling upper class, and is considered a luxury. The closest real world equivalent to Arbor Gold is a Californian Chardonnay. A few of the articles I came across also recommended a Sauternes, but TJ’s did not have any available.

Characters who drink this
– Tyrion Lannister
– Queen Cersei
– Sansa Stark
– Jaime Lannister
– Littlefinger
– Arya Stark posing as the late Walder Frey
– Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons (AKA Dany)

Real world doppelgänger 
– California Chardonnay

Trader Joe’s wine recommendation
What to buy: Acacia Carneros Chardonnay 2014
Cost: $11.99
Flavor profile: Hints of ginger, honeycomb, silky lemon curd and oak (fit for a queen)

wines of game of thrones

wines of game of thrones

Arbor Red

Arbor red wines are mentioned less frequently in the series, but we know that it’s said to be dry, and similar to it’s golden cousin, fit for royalty. This is the wine that the wine seller in Vaes Dothrak uses to try to kill Dany in season 1, AND the wine that was poisoned to successfully kill King Joffrey at his wedding to Queen Margaery (RIP).

When Arbor Red is not being used to kill people, I imagine it’s a delectable, bold red wine similar to a California Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m not one to pick a wine bottle by it’s name or label, but this Force of Nature wine with a burning castle on the label was too perfect to pass up, and it did not disappoint.

Characters who drink this
– Tyrion Lannister
– Queen Cersei
– Dany (when not poisoned)
– King Joffrey

Real world doppelgänger
– California Cabernet Sauvignon

Trader Joe’s wine recommendation 
What to buy: Force of Nature Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Cost: $16.99
Flavor profile: Ripe black cherry, currant, mint, roasted coffee beans, grainy tannins (fit for a queen)

game of thrones wines dornish sour red

dornish sour red game of throne wine

Dornish Sour Red

The Dornish Sour Reds hail from Dorne, which is one of the main wine production regions in Westeros. There is really no “sour wine” equivalent, but when a wine has high acidity it can cause a pucker face (like when you taste a lemon), so we’ll go with that. It is also known to be opposite of the sweeter Arbor Gold with much lower sugar content and light body.

This one had the most debate as to what the real-world doppelgänger would be, but I decided on a Chilean Pinot Noir. These wines are grown in a cool climate and have high acidity, tart cherry flavors, light body and are inexpensive. A Pinot Noir from Oregon could also work here.

Characters who drink this
– Prince Oberyn Martell
– Ellaria Sand
– Tyrion Lannister

Real world doppelgänger
– Chilean Pinot Noir (or an Oregon Pinot Noir)

Trader Joe’s wine recommendation 
What to buy: Viñas Chilenas Rosario Estate Winemaker’s Selection Reserva Pinot Noir 2016
Cost: $3.49
Flavor profile: Ripe red cherry, cranberry, strawberry, super smooth tanins

wines of game of thrones

wines of game of thrones

Strongwine from Dorne

“The taste of it is languorous and heady on the tongue, the color purple so dark it looks almost black in the dim-lit cellar.”

This Dornish sweet wine’s real world equivalent is Port. Port is a fortified wine made from black grapes in Douro Portugal that is sweet and has very high in alcohol content (I’m talking 19-20% high).

Characters who drink this
– Prince Oberyn Martell
– Ellaria Sand
– Tyrion Lannister
– Queen Cersei

Real world doppelgänger 
– Port

Trader Joe’s wine recommendation
What to buy: Porto Morgado Ruby Style Port
Cost: $6.49
Flavor profile: candy, black cherry, blackberry

wines of game of thrones

game of thrones wines

Sweet Reds from Highgarden

Highgarden is the capital of the Reach, and has the most fertile land in all of Westeros, perfect for growing strong grapes and making sweet red wines. The wines here are known for being lower quality, fruity, sugary and high in alcohol content. They are also known for their specialty drink hippocras, which is the modern day equivalent to sangria.

Ideally, I would’ve selected a California jug wine, but TJ’s wasn’t having it. Instead I picked this German Sweet Red, which was pleasantly delicious and not overly sweet. It’s the perfect drink to toast to the lives of Margaery Tyrell and Lady Olenna (RIP).

Characters who drink this
– Lady Olenna
– Margaery Tyrell
– Loras Tyrell

Real world doppelgänger
– California Jug Wine

Trader Joe’s wine recommendation
What to buy: Joseph Handler Sweet Red Rheinhessen 2015
Cost: $4.99
Flavor profile: raspberries, plum, silky tannins, delicate sweetness (so easy to drink!)

Thanks so much for reading along! If you enjoyed this piece, please share it with your Game of Throne loving friends.

Which wine will you be trying first?

Cheers,

aryanna harrell fashion and wine blog

the wines of got trader joes edition (1)

Game of Thrones Lannister Family Banner | Chambray bell sleeve top | Red thread hoop earrings | High waisted leggings, plus size here | Wine glass set | Corkscrew wine opener | Gold finish ice bucket

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