Wednesday, July 11, 2012


"Yep, it's... it's wine."

Mmm, right?

35 Comments / Post A Comment

Genghis Khat

Wasn't this just posted yesterday on the billfold?


@Genghis Khat i think we can make an editorial exception for spreading the 2nd cheapest wine gospel.

Genghis Khat

@redheaded&crazie LOL, fair enough. I was just like, "Did I dream this? I feel I've been here before!"

Oh, squiggles

On special occasions, I splurge and get 3rd or 4th cheapest.


wine shopping tip:
look for something under $12 with a little tag that says "90 points" or more.
buy it.

(this even works in the draconian Pennsylvania state stores, although you need to "up" your limit to $14, or lower your points to 85)

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@teenie Yep! Totally a good fallback when you don't know what you're looking for. Also, PA, please leave the 1930's and get off our asses with the liquor shit.

Daisy Razor

@teenie Out of curiosity, I looked up the wines I got for my housewarming. (I wasn't judging--I am a Cheapest Wine kind of girl myself.) I was amused to find that every one of them followed that rule. My friends are cheap wine smart!


@teenie They make it even easier in Costco by dangling a large printout over the 90+ wines. Say what you will about Wine Spectator ("wet saddle" is one of the notes they've said you might taste in a wine, lol), but whoever they've got slogging through all the shitty cheap wines to find the decent ones and assign them 90+ points is doing the world a service.


@teenie my technique has always been to take the two cheapest second cheapest wines on the shelf and compare the percentage of alcohol. Ideally I'm looking for something like 13% for under 10 bucks.

I'm a pretty huge wine snob.


@teenie The coffee I drink at work is called "Mahogany" and is described as "like your favorite chair" -- it even has a picture of a leather recliner on the box. Always makes me think of crazy wine note descriptions ("dirty diapers").

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

huuuuuge LOL at "Impress your friends with a year that's not the current year."

I smell burnt toast

HAHA, yes! I just brought a bottle of 2009 something or other to a house warming (I got it for free at a work party) and I was so proud of myself. 2009! That was THREE years ago!


I went wine tasting in Sonoma this spring with my best friend from college, and at one of the smaller wineries we were standing next to these two older retired women who were clearly best friends. They were talking about being part of the wine club and comparing the wine they were tasting to another year. I looked at my friend and was like "maybe someday we will be able to do that!" And the two old ladies LAUGHED and said, "oh, we just make it all up!"

I have never encountered wine snobbery. I maintain that discussing vintages and bouquets is just the most socially acceptable way for avid drinkers to publicly express their love of booze. Beer snobbery on the other hand...

H.E. Ladypants

@MissMushkila I took a wine tasting class once, with what turned out to be the BEST dude. Someone asked, "how do you tell if a wine is good?"

The instructor rocked back on his heels and smiled. "There is only one way to tell if a wine is good." He laughed a little. "Do you like it?"

There was a bit of uncomfortable shuffling.

"No seriously. Either you enjoy it or you don't. Anyone who tries to tell you anything else is just trying to make themselves sound smart. And they're probably an asshole."


I'm laughing at this video, but it's that sorta-nervous laugh coupled with side-eye while I wonder exactly how long they've been watching me for


@crookedlegs EXACTLY MY THOUGHT. Like, holy crap, who has been following me on the infrequent occasions when some poor sap sends my wine-ignorant behind to the liquor store?

Michelle LeBlanc@twitter

I recently learned from Miss Manners (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/miss-manners-couple-ordering-wine-wants-to-skip-accompanying-show/2012/05/29/gJQA9P9ZVV_story.html) that the little taste the wine show is just to make sure it's not turned to vinegar basically and I feel a lot better about it now, given how close to home that reaction in the video is.


@Michelle LeBlanc@twitter Yeah, I've only once opened a bottle of wine that was corked, and it was IMMEDIATELY obvious. It was also in my apartment so I didn't get to send it away or anything. I probably don't order wine at fancy restaurants often enough for that to be a question.

I did sort of freak out though, because I didn't know what corked wine was, and I called my friend/roommate to tell her all about how the wine bottle I just opened had a sludge-like consistency and smelled like rotting cardboard. I was like "is this a note? is that a thing - like when they describe wine tasting like leather or iron or tabacco and other things I would not want to consume?"

She wisely advised me to pour all 5 dollars of it down the drain.


I identify greatly, but feel slightly left out as my preferred wine selection based on "the prettiest label" has not been addressed. "Oooh, a bear! Oooh, a bird!" Clearly my technique is foolproof!


@WhiskeySour My friend bought a bottle of Toasted Head wine purely because of the fire-breathing bear on the label.


@WhiskeySour I once got a wine from Cupcake Vineyards because CUPCAKE!!! and uh it turns out that was a bad idea.

My go-to for bourbon is still "funniest name"

Marquise de Morville

@WhiskeySour No need to feel left out, it seems a common way of picking wine! There is a specific wine-marketing term for it: critter-branding. It was very popular in the last decade to introduce new wines because customers tend to memorize it better than the names.


@meetapossum That is exactly the bear I was referencing. I love how casually that bear is belching flames. Like it's no biggie.


@Nutmeg No, no, noooo to the bourbon-buying technique! Somewhere Balk is crying.


@WhiskeySour I have this theory that the uglier the bottle, the better the wine. No idea if this is actually true, but ugly labels also have the effect of making people think you're serious about what's inside the bottle - not that I know the difference.


@WhiskeySour That's my strategy because I figure that if the winemakers and I have a similar taste in labels then maybe we will also have a similar taste in wine. Also I don't know anything about wine so I don't really have a better strategy.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@WhiskeySour I do the same thing! "Oooh, flowers!" "Oooh, I like that font!"

like a rabid squirrel

@WhiskeySour Yup, my boyfriend knows my favorite (and second cheapest) wine as "The one with the rooster on the label." It may not actually be the second cheapest out of all the wines, but it's the second cheapest wine with an animal on it.


@olliegrace Unless you consider a "mad dog" an animal and "electric blue" a kind of wine.


@meetapossum "You always know you're in for a good night when there's a Polar Bear bleeding on the label."


Theory time!! My fiance is an economist and he said that according to game theoretic principles, you should actually buy the CHEAPEST wine, because restaurants know that everybody orders the second-cheapest, and so it would be advantageous for them to switch the two. (Of course, if they figured out people were onto them, there would be another level of complexity).

I maintain that he is just cheap. Which is okay with me. I prefer to bring my own wine. In a POM bottle. (Not really.) (Sometimes, really.)


@spectacularisms The article on the Billfold yesterday basically says that he's exactly right! Apologies in advance if this makes him insufferable :)


@spectacularisms I used to have a coworker who filled her water bottle with Vodka and bought orange juice when out clubbing - she was a VERY cheap night out, in the smartest, boganest, drunkest way possible!

Katherine Farmar@twitter

True story: During my teens and early twenties, my parents used to publish a wine guide, which meant they had to host many, many, MANY wine tastings, usually in hired rooms but sometimes in our house. I helped them out, as one does, which involved transcribing hand-written notes by the tasters, opening bottles before tastings, and pouring out the contents of the spit-buckets afterwards.

As a result, I know rather a lot about wine (though it's been a while, so my knowledge is pretty out of date by now). I can uncork a wine bottle with ease and grace and I have opinions about corkscrews.* I know what AC and IGT and DOC stand for! I know about phylloxera and fining and terroirs! I know why the "year that's not the current one" isn't always a good sign!

But I cannot stand the taste of wine. Even the smell of strong red wine makes me nauseous. So all my knowledge and expertise is wasted. :(

(On the other hand, during the latter part of this period, having a source of free high-quality wine every summer made me very popular with those of my friends who didn't share my aversion. Silver lining!)

* The ranking goes like this: waiter's friend (versatile! cheap! easy to use! looks cool!) > wing corkscrew (kinda clunky, but durable and does the job, plus it looks like a dude raising his arms in joy, which is nice) > lever model Screwpull (expensive, but essential if you have to open a ton of bottles in a short time and don't want to kill your wrists) > regular corkscrew (meh) >>>>>>>>>> ordinary Screwpull (flimsy, overpriced, easy to use wrong, tends to split the corks if you're not really careful)

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