College is a difficult time for winos. You have just recently discovered the joys of wine, but tragically, you are far too poor to afford good wine.
Before being “bougie” caught on, college students were perfectly fine with their kegs of beer and cheap vodka. However, with our newfound class comes newfound problems. We now face the issue of hunting down affordable, but tolerable wine. Many are forced to face the cold hard truth that the wine they are supplying for their wine and cheese night might be amateurishly chosen and taste like grape juice that went bad several weeks ago.
Fortunately, finding good and affordable wine is not as hard as people think and Franzia is not the end all be all of cheap wine. Most grocery stores actually offer great tasting wine with an even more pleasing price tag, you just need to know how to pick out the winners. Keep these tips in mind when scouring the grocery store for you next wine night:
Steer Clear of the Frat Boy Wine
Any wine that comes in a huge bottle, a box or any other type of whimsical or unique packaging is not going to be a good wine, I promise. Even though you will usually get the most for your money here, they are usually mass produced and taste terrible. Sure, Franzia is great for a rousing game of slap the bag, but does anyone actually like the way it tastes?
The Cuter the Label, The Simpler the Wine
Simple wine is what producers have nicknamed wine that is easy to drink. It’s not too complex and typically a big crowd-pleaser in a group of people with diverse pallets. This usually means that reds will be sweet and the whites will taste slightly of honeyed fruit and be less acidic. A general rule of thumb is that cute labels are a sure-fire sign of simple wine.
#SpoonTip: Keep in mind that “simple” does not mean “bad”, simple wines are great if you like that kind of wine.
Pay Attention to Who Makes the Wine
This one can be tricky. More often than not, the selection of wines in the grocery store come from a wide variety of producers. If you want to find out where a wine comes from, look for the phrases “produced and bottled”, “vinted and bottled” or “imported and bottled.” The location listed will make you privy to the parent company that bottled the wine.
#SpoonTip: Here is a complete list of the big wine companies that you should keep an eye out for.
Beware of Discounts
Discounts might be great to see at your favorite clothing store, but when it comes to wine it’s usually a bad sign. Especially when it comes to older vintages, a discounted wine usually signifies that it has been sitting in a warehouse or the shelf for quite a while and has probably passed its peak already.
#SpoonTip: To be on the safe side, stay away from white wine that is older than two years and red wine that is older than three.
Following these tips when you find yourself in the grocery store wine aisle is a foolproof way to find cheap wine that won’t make you gag. However, if you are in a time constraint and need wine ASAP, these are some great wines that won’t break the bank and can be found in most grocery stores:
–Barefoot (just about any type)