A Walk In The Clouds: Critiques of cheap wine for the budget-minded UM student

Are you as sick as everybody else of opting between some Budweiser derivative or overpriced micro brew crap in a bottle that you have to pretend you like because the six pack cost some freshmen girl 12 bucks? Well, if you want to roll up to the next backyard shindig with flavor then this could be your salvation: wine. Before this writer’s sexuality is thrown into question, let me explain.

Let’s start with money. Now, at the tender age where legal drinking is so close to being within reach, it’s time to make your parent’s money go further (bravo if you earned it yourself). Anyway, walk into a liquor store (Circle K does not count) and look for wines not followed by the word “cooler” on the side of the bottle.

Once this is taken care of, your selection should consist of five or six different brands of “fruit-flavored” wine. Don’t let the “fruit” fool you, because if you can actually taste the fruit then there’s a good chance you’ve already drank a bottle or so. Everybody loves brands, so here are a few: Cisco, Wild Irish Rose, Boones, Mad Dog (they call it “MD” now) and basically anything that sounds like some corny ass Southern rapper.

None of these are ever over four bucks for the biggest bottle, which leave ninety-nine cent for some Hot Fries if you’ve got five on it.
The Cisco, oh my, the Cisco. Keep in mind the alcohol content of these wines is usually double that of beer, but that has nothing to do with the taste. Cisco tastes something like cough syrup that went bad; except, instead of helping stop a cough it usually starts one.

Wild Irish Rose, I can safely say, has never touched the lips of an Irishman (if you’re Irish and have had a passionate relationship with this fine wine, I’m sorry twice) and the only thing rose about it is the color. If you’ve ever gotten into a philosophical conversation with a bum and wondered why their breath smelled like stale poop it’s probably because they’ve been getting “Wild.” After the first sip that’s it, you’ll smell bum-sexy; trust me.

Boones, well, the next time you have a girl over slide one of these into a paper bag, give it to her and there’s a good chance you’ll be sliding… well maybe not, but this is definitely the “fruitiest” of the bunch. Anyone can comfortably finish a bottle of Boones in no time at all, and this would probably explain why I was swerving on the way home. Plus if you drink a bottle of Boones first you’ll be able to drink its less-fruity counterparts.

Mad Dog is strictly pro material; nobody picks this up twice unless it’s the only thing for sale. Any combination of fruits is available in MD format, but they all taste the same.

This writer’s recommendation is to take it slow; if you’re ready go for it (become a wino) these are the tools of the trade. If I told you that Smoky Robinson’s retarded niece was my adoptive mother or that all I needed to get by was a bag and a bottle of hand lotion you probably wouldn’t believe me.

If I told you that within ten minutes of cracking open one of these bottles I met a man whose new adoptive mother is crack with the smoothest homeless hands I’ve ever shook, well… that was my afternoon with wine.

Sven Barth can be reached on the corner, next to the pay phone.