College wines should be two things: classy and cheap. When considering the best cheap wines, I kept two factors in mind: taste and price. A wine with robust taste, but a little bit on the pricey end, outweighed the wines which were dirt cheap but also tasted as such. The wine has to go down well without bringing your bank balance down with it. But, reds and whites can hardly compare, so I'm giving you the best of each. 


From Merlot to Pinot Noir, reds are def the classier of the wine types. They tend to be bolder and more intense, so I looked for wines that didn't skimp on the flavor. Here, I've listed the red side of the best cheap wines.

6. Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $8 or Below

This is about as cheap as you can go without getting into bitter, super dry territory with red wines. This Dark Horse wine is still bold with a fairly smooth, dark berry flavor and finishes nicely. It's perfect for when you want to figure out which of your friends pronounces "Cabernet Sauvignon" correctly. 

5. Storypoint Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $12

Storypoint sources their grapes from San Luis Obispo and San Joaquin counties in California, but manages to remain one of the lowest pricing wines from the region. With notes of nutmeg and vanilla, it's a touch more complex than the same variety of Dark Horse and it's great for when you're feeling something extra.

4. Oak Ridge Winery Zinfandel

Price: $12

This Zinfandel from Oak Ridge Winery packs a rich, intense flavor. With a combination of raspberry, milk chocolate, and mocha, you'll def have seduction written all over you when you pop this bad boy open. Also, Oak Ridge Winery suggests pairing it with pepperoni pizza, so like, this is really a bottle that can multitask.

3. Alamos Malbec

Price: $9

For its price, this is definitely the best Malbec out there. James Suckling, this hella classy dude who happens to be one of the leading wine critics, described this wine as "really intense and flavorful... lovely balance and finesse. One of the best deals out there." With notes of cherry and chocolate, the Alamos Malbec is worth your money. 'Nuff said.

2. Meiomi Pinot Noir

Price: $15

This dark, deep plum-colored wine is just what you'd expect of a Pinot Noir. Meiomi offers hints of vanilla and mocha, but that's not the best part. The amount of berries in this glass is insane, leading to an almost chaotically, surprisingly complex wine. Think you're bad enough to handle this one?

1. Apothic Inferno

Price: $15

I think there's only one word to truly describe Apothic Inferno: intense. This blend of red wines is aged in whiskey barrels for 60 days to give it something a little sumthin'—and at 15% ABV, I'm not shaming it for being a little extra. Dark fruity tastes give way to a smooth, unique smokiness you won't find in any other bottle. 800% worth it, especially at that price. 


I always lean a bit more toward whites. They're bubbly and fruity and not adult-y at all, for the most part. They kinda just wanna chill and have fun—and that, my friends, is an attitude I live by.

6. Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling

Price: $10

Fairly dry for a riesling, this variety from Charles Smith has a mix of fruity flavors—apple, melon, peaches—to the point where it's hard to tell what it is but it's not bad. Great for when you order Chinese and want to retain a touch of class while plowing pork fried rice into your face.

5. Voga Pinot Grigio

Price: $9

Pinot Grigio is among the most popular wines produced in northern Italy. Voga gets it to you for less than 10 dollars. It has a light, crisp taste and doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. Perfect for when you want to tell people that you drink Italian wine, even if you've never been to Italy ever.

4. Yellow Tail Chardonnay

Price: $7

The taste of this wine is pleasantly vibrant and fresh, with notes of peach, melon, and vanilla, and is an adorable bottle to bring on a picnic during the summer months. Another great thing about Yellow Tail Chardonnay? It's hella cheap. And for the complexity and flavor it offers, that's rather exceptional. Also, look at the kangaroo! Adorbs. 

3. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $13

Oyster Bay's first wine, this Sauvignon Blanc is the pride and joy of the company, and for good reason. The extraordinary aromatic flavors upon opening the bottle greet the senses like a bouquet presented to you from the love of your life. Only, this love is refreshing and gets you buzzed, which is far better in my book. Just sayin'.

2. Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay

Price: $12

This is a killer wine with a lush, smooth—far from overbearing—taste that will convince anyone to love wine. Edna Valley Chardonnay has apple and apricot flavors and is best paired with a savory quiche—which is a breakfast food, which means wine for breakfast. Clearly.

1. Barefoot Moscato

Price: $5

Do I really need to give any introduction to Barefoot? If you're a college student and love wine—meaning, you're still a child and want to buy things cheap—you'll love Barefoot Moscato. It's possibly the number one, best cheap wine brand because it's AMAZE. Seriously, this stuff is like juice that makes doing English papers a lot more fun.

Of all the best cheap wines, I have a loudly proclaimed love for Barefoot. Their wine tends toward the sweeter side, but I'm a sugar fanatic so, hey, I'm not complaining. As an English major, I'd totally vote for drinking wine in class—it enhances the literature and my desire to attend a 9:30 am. Sip smartly, loves.