In college, the standards for wine are extremely low. You usually slurp out of a bag while your friends elevate it over your head until you slap in surrender. If you’re trying to be classy and drink from a bottle, you can bet that they cost no more than $7. Even though our wallets aren’t overflowing doesn’t mean our taste buds are lacking, however. We still want to be able to get the most with our buck and not cringe every time we take a sip.
Trader Joe’s offers cheap, delicious wine for frugal students and sommelier-wannabes alike. Their most infamous selection is the Charles Shaw wines, more commonly known as “Two-Buck Chucks.” The wine comes from the Sonoma and Napa regions in California, which makes it pretty legit, even at a severely below-average cost.
Even at $2 a pop (actually $3 in most of the country), you still need to be weary about the quality of wine you are buying. Save your dollar because, like a true wine fanatic, I marched into Trader Joe’s, bought seven bottles of wine, and called my friends over for a wine tasting. Here are the rankings of the bargain-priced wine from a group of under-qualified college kids who just like to drink wine.
7. Sauvignon Blanc
We deemed this wine to be not very impactful. The wine itself is known to be crisp and refreshing, but all we could taste was essentially a glorified glass of water. We all agreed that this quote could sum it up the best: “It tastes like Lollapalooza, but not in a good way.”
Our initial thought of the wine was that it was a little sour and bitter, making it a little difficult to go down the hatchet. Still, we concluded the wine was refreshing and would be the perfect pair to a rich and buttery dessert.
5. Pinot Grigio
Our sips were pleasurable in that the taste was easy on the palate and it didn’t burn the back of the throat. The pinot was also a little sweet and very light which made it even more enjoyable.
4. Cabernet Sauvignon
Initially we thought of it as a strong wine, but after further investigation, we could taste the nutty and buttery qualities making it a “solid wine with an attitude.” Overall, $3 is a fair price to drop for this bottle.
There were plenty of tannins in the wine to keep our tongues interested. The shiraz played as a typical red wine with notes of an oak barrel. We imagined sipping on this with a hefty Italian meal in front of us.
The merlot was rich and plentiful which seemed to satisfy all of the tasters around the table. If somebody is looking for a very, very decently priced standard glass of red wine, this would be it.
1. White Zinfandel
This may be a little controversial as number one for some because this is a sweet wine. Still, the sweet, frosting like flavor tasted creamy and buttery and surpassed any glasses of moscato we had ever consumed before. This was so good that we were concerned we would begin to drink it like juice.