We Tried the Walmart and Target Wines, and These Are the Best

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BIG-BOX WINES

More and more consumers are realizing that wine doesn't have to be expensive to be good, allowing one-stop shops like Target and Walmart to enter the wine retail game. Aside from convenience, the big stores have buying power to purchase large quantities for a discount and pass the savings on to their customers. As a professional wine judge and Cheapism's resident wine expert, I tasted through all of the house wines from Target and Walmart to see how they stack up and ranked them based on quality using a 3-star system with 3 stars indicating high marks. In general, the Target wines offered the lowest prices, often less than half the cost of Walmart wines of similar quality. In turn, the Walmart wines scored slightly higher across the board. When it comes down to it, both stores offer a lot of value for the price tag by offering solid wines at low prices. Click through to find out which wines topped our list.

Prices and availability subject to change.

California Roots Chardonnay
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WHITE: CALIFORNIA ROOTS CHARDONNAY

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 3 out of 3 stars
The aromas are light but very clean and fresh. A nice pop of acidity hits the palate and turns into juicy citrus fruit with some tropical undertones. The flavors are bright and juicy without turning sweet. A lovely sipping wine.

California Roots Moscato
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WHITE: CALIFORNIA ROOTS MOSCATO

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 3 stars
Peachy on the nose, the aromas are light and juicy. Gently sweet with a touch of effervescence, the wine is balanced with tartness so that each sip finishes dry. Tasty and true to the style, this is an easy wine to enjoy.

Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc
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WHITE: WINE CUBE SAUVIGNON BLANC

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2 stars
Almost no aromatics, this wine is all about being crisp and refreshing without any boldness. Subtle tart green fruit and chalky minerality flavors keep the profile simple, clean, and crisp. All in all, a neutral wine.

Wine Cube Pinot Grigio
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WHITE: WINE CUBE PINOT GRIGIO

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2 stars
Virtually odorless and very light in flavor, there is not a lot going on in this simple wine. Flavors of lemons, green apples, and tart pear are all clean and well-balanced. Each sip leaves the mouth fresh, especially when enjoyed very chilled.

Wine Cube Chardonnay
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WHITE: WINE CUBE CHARDONNAY

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 1 star
Peachy aromas are delicate and fresh. The flavor is medium rich with strong notes of sea minerals and green apple skin. A hint of spice on the finish rounds out the flavor profile on this wine that would be paired with dark leafy greens to temper the bitter undertones.

California Roots Pinot Grigio
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WHITE: CALIFORNIA ROOTS PINOT GRIGIO

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 1 star
The aromas of white flowers and orange oil are subtle. The wine has a slight spritz to it, which lightens the otherwise heavy body that almost seems to have a touch of sweetness, like overripe peach and pineapple. The finish is dry and slightly tangy.

Grenache Rosé
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ROSÉ: GRENACHE ROSÉ

Price: $10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 3 stars
A medium pink salmon color, this wine shows aromas of minerals, light red fruits, and citrus. Soft and flavorful in the mouth, the fruit is ripe and juicy with plenty of strong minerality and chalkiness for balance. A traditional and tasty rosé.

California Roots Rosé
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ROSÉ: CALIFORNIA ROOTS ROSÉ

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2.5 stars
Copper tones lend a nice shimmer to this salmon colored wine. Flavors are reminiscent of a bowl of freshly picked strawberries, white raspberries, and cream. Fruit forward, the wine is juicy and ripe with a clean finish.

Yes Way Rosé
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ROSÉ: YES WAY ROSÉ

Price: $12.99 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 1.5 stars
Very pale pink in the glass. In the mouth, the flavors are light and subtle, with gentle notes of berries, herbs, and lemon zest. A delicate wine that is light in all senses.

Italian Red Blend
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RED: ITALIAN RED BLEND

Price: $10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 3 stars
Earthy aromas are more herbal than fruity. Quite tart, flavors of black currant and dried cherry are balanced by spice and suede-like tannins. Some dried-fruit flavors linger on the finish adding some layers of depth to each sip of this enjoyable wine.

Chianti Classico
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RED: CHIANTI CLASSICO

Price: $11.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 3 stars
Rich aromas of chocolate, tobacco, and red fruit are layered. Classic flavors of cherries, smoke, and fine-grained tannins are well-balanced with bright punchy acidity and a clean finish. A true example of Chianti.

Wine Cube Red Blend
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RED: WINE CUBE RED BLEND

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 3 stars
Subtle spice mixed with red fruit aromas on the nose. Medium rich and juicy, this red wine is very fruity with plenty of cherry and berry flavors. A slightly leathery tannin balances the ripeness of the fruit for an easy drinking and cheerful wine.

Wine Cube Pinot Noir
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RED: WINE CUBE PINOT NOIR

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2.5 stars
Light and fruity aromas of crushed red flowers, berries, and white button mushrooms are very typical for pinot noir. The flavors are similarly focused, balanced between earthy and berries with a hint of candied citrus. A cheerful pinot noir.

Cabernet Sauvignon
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RED: CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Price: $11.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2.5 stars
An intense and typical aroma of baked earth and black fruits is seductive. The flavors are layered showing both fresh and dried fruits and a hint of saltiness. The strong tannins leave the mouth leathery dry after each sip, where dried orange and raspberry notes linger.

California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon
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RED: CALIFORNIA ROOTS CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2.5 stars
Light aromas are almost creamy with red fruit preserves. Soft and velvety on the palate, there is a big burst of ripe bing cherries with earthy overtones. The flavors are long-lasting with a slightly floral finish.

Syrah Pays d'Oc
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RED: SYRAH PAYS D'OC

Price: $10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2.5 stars
Rich and toasty aromas are strong. Velvety soft, the full-flavored wine is rich with ripe blackberries and deep spice flavors. Firm tannins leave the mouth feeling dry after each sip with a subtle lingering berry note.

California Roots Red Blend
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RED: CALIFORNIA ROOTS RED BLEND

Price: $5 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2.5 stars
Dark fruit aromas are mixed with earthy notes. Supple and velvety, this smooth and round red wine coats the mouth with red and black fruit flavors. A subtle spice lingers on the finish for just a hint of complexity.

Sangiovese Sanguis Jovis
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RED: SANGIOVESE SANGUIS JOVIS

Price: $10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2 stars
Traditional aromas of earth and spice are medium pungent. Flavors of sour cherry and pomegranate are on the tart side and very typical of Italian Sangiovese. Without much complexity, this wine is enjoyable and well-balanced.

Chianti Riserva
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RED: CHIANTI RISERVA

Price: $15.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2 stars
Only subtle hints of aroma come through. The flavors in the mouth are full of spice and dried red fruit leather. Dusty tannins leave a smooth and dry finish that is peppered with baking spices that fade quickly.

Grenache Minervois Languedoc
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RED: GRENACHE MINERVOIS LANGUEDOC

Price:$10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2 stars
Aromas are a bit overwhelmed by subtle sulfur. Soft and juicy fruit is light in the mouth with flavors of rich baking spices and dried citrus peel. A hint of earthy bitterness on the finish is not unpleasant and would work well with food.

Montagne Noire Francais Cabernet Franc
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RED: MONTAGNE NOIRE FRANCAIS CABERNET FRANC

Price: $10.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 2 stars
Enticing aromas show some smoke, earth, and restrained red fruit. The flavors play between ripe dark berries and earthy forest bramble. Strong tannins are leathery and very dry, like dark cocoa powder. The short finish is simple.

Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon
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RED: WINE CUBE CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Price: $17.99 for 3-liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2 stars
Plums, black cherries, and other dark fruits make for ripe and juicy aromas. The flavors are powerful and bold with cinnamon spice, woodsy undertones, and red berries. The finish is short, dry, and clean, with the tannins leaving a bit of dusty dryness to linger.

Wine Cube Dark Red Blend
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RED: WINE CUBE DARK RED BLEND

Price: $17.99 for 3 liter box | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2 stars
Rich, red fruit aromas are ripe and inviting. Bright red raspberries and dark cherry flavors are tart and juicy. The flavors are simple and well-balanced. The finish is very short and dry.

Sparkling Rosé
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SPARKLING: SPARKLING ROSÉ

Price: $12.96 | Buy it at Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 3 stars
Gentle fruit aromas are pleasant. The piquant bubbles and mild berry flavors mix with hints of toasted bread to create an elegant profile. An all purpose wine for any occasion.

Bravino Prosecco
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SPARKLING: BRAVINO PROSECCO

Price: $9.99 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 2 stars
Fruit notes of apples, pears, and citrus dominate the flavor. Its snappy bubbles keep things light while the rich and ripe fruit is almost sweet.

Bravino Sparkling Rosé
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SPARKLING: BRAVINO SPARKLING ROSÉ

Price: $9.99 | Buy it at Target
Rating: 1.5 stars
Flavors of crushed raspberries are both fresh and cooked, lending some complexity to this wine. Dried orange flavors turn slightly metallic in the mouth. The finish is dry.

selection of four winning wines
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AND THE WINNERS ARE ...

Best White: California Roots Chardonnay ($5 at Target)

Best Rosé: Grenache Rosé ($10.96 at Walmart)

Best Sparkling: Sparkling Rosé ($12.96 at Walmart)

Best Red: Italian Red Blend ($10.96 at Walmart)

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