Everyone has a drink of choice. Watching my parents and their friends as I grew up, I noticed that certain people would prefer gin drinks, while others liked rum. My dad has always gone for the fruity drinks—which some, including my sister, would label “girly”—whereas my mom always preferred wine (until she developed an allergy to it). They now both settle for a simple mandarin vodka with seltzer. My sister, being the wild one in the family, has long favored whiskey drinks and beer. I guess I took after my mom with her oenophilia.

Wine gets a bad rap on a college campus—good wines tend to be expensive, and they make you sleepy. That’s fully against the college mantra of cheaper being better and may be impractical for students who intend to stay up and out late. It is thus that many college students have their first alcohol-related experiences with cheap beer and bad vodka.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In my attempts to avoid the unfortunate burn of cheap vodka or the awful aftertaste of bottom-shelf rum, I’ve made it my goal to find affordable, pleasant wine to have around the house. In this attempt, I’ve hosted a couple wine tastings (which are not as boring or adult as they might seem. And good cheese is always a plus). The wine tastings have been designed with the college budget in mind. Friends (21 and older) were asked to bring a bottle of wine that cost fewer than 12 dollars and to write reviews of the wines as they tasted them. Some of the more amusing comments are included below. Hopefully my intrepid friends, who were all too happy to be wine-drinking guinea pigs, will be able to help you in your quest to find wine for the price of Dubra (or less!) without the characteristic Dubra burn.
Fish Eye Pinot Grigio ($7)
Tastes like the wine Jesus made out of water, but only halfway through the transformation.
Soave Italia ($12)
Tastes like wine. In a good way.
Very smooth and dry.
Naked Grape Harvest Red Blend ($7)
Very juicy and slightly sweet.
Good wine for the price.
Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon ($5)
Sweet and delicious with a slight hickory flavor.
Piccini Chianti ($8)
Hints of oak and cherry (sugarplums?) with a bold overstatement of hibiscus.
Bota Box Malbec ($20, 3 Liters)
Not as good as [Bota Box] Shiraz; whereas the Shiraz is frutier and more full-bodied, the Malbec is dry and more bitter (not in a good way). Doesn’t match up well to Malbecs in its price range.

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