Sophistication on a budget

If you love pre-drinking, there is a good chance you’re a fan of wine. Who doesn’t love being thought of as extremely mature (pronounced mat-toor) and wonderfully sophisticated? Getting joyously smashed off of a single bottle is alright too.

Whether you’re a fan of chardonnays, rieslings, gewürztraminers, sauvignon blancs, pinot grigios, fusions or simply enjoy anything with an alcohol percentage of 11 or higher, you likely don’t want to pay more than $15 for your classy pre-drink. This past week 12 of The Cord’s staff took one for the team and spent a long, hard Saturday night testing various white wines for our lovely readers. Our work has paid off and we now feel confident that we have the knowledge required to recommend some of the best cheap wines out there.

10 bottles of wine under $15 competed for the top spots, but only a select few made the cut.

1st place

This streamlined bottle of riesling-gewurztraminer was the first on our list and remained the favourite. We would all buy it again, though some of us had some minor reservations. “I don’t think I could have more than one bottle,” said Editor-in-Chief Laura Carlson of this very sweet wine. Fredd Eyles on the other hand loved Open so much he felt that he “could drink it like drinking beer.”

For just under $12, you can get your hands on this very delicious, sweet wine with a sexy label to boot.

The team of tasters gave the wine an average scoring of 8/10, with the highestat 9/10 and the lowest being a 7/10.

*The 10 wines on our tasting list: Open ($11.75), Sibling Rivalry ($13.75), Girls Night Out ($12.75), Fuzion, ($7.25) Sola Nero ($7.25), Pelee Island ($8.75), Two Oceans ($9.75), Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush (12.75), Peller Estates ($11.25), Trapicha Astica ($7.25)

2nd place

Sibling Rivalry 2008 – $13.75


Sibling Rivalry, the most expensive wine on our list at $13.95, landed the second spot. With its funky turquoise label and its light, fresh taste, this wine will appeal to most palatse. “You could pair this with anything,” News Editor Lauren Millet said of the wine. Photography Manager Nick Lachance thoroughly enjoyed Sibling Rivalry as well, remarking that he would be able to drink a lot of it.

With extra points given for a creative name and twist-off cap – “twist off sare definitely nice for students,” Carlson said – this wine received primarily eights and nines from the tasters. Eyles however, not being a fan of chardonnays, found the fusion wine not to his liking. “I’m not a chardonnay kind of guy,” he said, only giving the wine a 6.5/10.

Overall, for our most expensive wine, Sibling Rivalry did not disappoint; 11 of the 12 all of the tasters would fork out the extra cash for it.

3rd place

Girls Night Out – $12.75


Third place goes to this very interesting Canadian wine from Lake Erie with a less than masculine name. Girls Night Out, despite having a name that will definitely attract some negative feedback from your friends, is a solid choice.

Traditionally, “nail polish remover” is not a description one would want to hear when discussing wine, unless you’re talking about Girls Night Out. Yes, that is right, nail polish remover. I know it is going to be hard to convince anyone to try this beverage with that in the description, but it seems to work. This incredibly unique wine really does get better and better with every sip.

“I would definitely buy this,” Eyles said after a few sips. For some reason, this wine keeps you
coming back for more, receiving mostly 7/10 and 8/10 from the tasters. So, I dare all the men out there to be brave and purchase a bottle of Girls Night Out for their next guys night in.

Best wine under $8.00

Fuzion 2009 Chardonnay

For those inevitable drinking days that fall around the end of the month when money is tight, here is a solution you will thank us for. Fuzion offers a drinkable – but not amazing – white wine for a measly $7.25. Meaning, for the cost of a pint of import beer, you could have an entire litre of 11 per cent alcohol all to yourself. Not too shabby, eh?

“This is a great way to get drunk off of $7,” said Editor-In-Chief Laura Carlson. Arts Writer Sarah Murphy’s opinion of the wine was altered after hearing how incredibly affordable it is. “I didn’t like it until I found out the price, now I’m reconsidering.”

On the whole, most of the 12 tasters agreed that the price of this wine made it more than palatable. It was certainly better than the other two bottles of $7.25 wines that we tasted. If you are going to buy a wine for under $8, Fuzion is the way to go, as Sola and Trapiche Astica were both deemed “terrible” and “cheap tasting” by multiple testers.

Worst wine of the night

Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush 2008

Sauvingnon Blanc – $12.75

As far as terrible wines go, this takes the cake. “I would puke if I drank more than two glasses of this,” was In Depth Editor Alanna Wallace’s reaction. And most of the tasters had serious trouble even finishing their glasses.

This wine was not just bad, at $12.75 it would be classified as a complete rip off, if not for the fact that a portion of the profits are donated to Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

I hate to say it, but helping animals is not enough to make any of us down a beverage that made you look like you bit into a lemon after drinking it. “I would rather buy actual cat’s pee,” Fredd Eyles said of this truly awful concoction.

It was unanimous – none of us would ever spend a dime on Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush. To be honest, I wouldn’t drink it again even if it were given to me. This stuff is terrible.