*pours glass as I sit down to write this*
Hey SMU Style readers – if you’re anything like me, you LOOOOVE a glass of wine promptly as the clock strikes 5:30. The day is over and it’s time to take the bra off, put the slippers on, and unwind… (unless you have a dreaded night class or all-nighter cram session. In that case, we feel for you.)
Now, I’m no wine connoisseur. In fact, I’m a 21-year-old who recently realized the word “pinot” can be paired with “grigio” OR “noir” to mean white or red. Don’t make this amateur mistake in restaurants as you’re shakily handing your older sister’s friend’s ID to the waiter.
So, what’s good to drink when you’re a college student on a budget but cringe at the thought of pouring yourself a tall glass of box wine from 7-11? I swear, Franzia is cranberry juice with a slightly higher alcohol content. Unacceptable.
That’s why I’ve done a little research to show you some of the best wines in my however subjective opinion with fairly reasonable price points!
I’m more of a red girl myself, so here’s where we’ll start…
Freakshow – Cabernet Sauvignon – average price: $17.99
Reviews say this is a rich, ripe, oaky full-bodied wine with sweet blackberry and cherry flavors. It should be noted this is what I’m drinking as we speak. Do I taste each of these eclectic flavors? Perhaps if I close my eyes and focus, but I have to say I’m more interested in swigging this down. It’s definitely full-bodied, which I’ve come to realize just means you can’t see through it very well. It’s said this wine pairs well with meat, so throw a steak on the grill? Or just drink to complement your ramen.
Mark West – Pinot Noir – average price: $9.99
…I know this wine well. Goes down easy, excellent price point, and easily obtained at your local grocery store or gas station. (Note- this is the ONLY acceptable gas station wine.) Reviews say this is a medium-bodied, earthy wine that rounds out with a spicy kick. What a thrill. Bottom line, if you’re going to drink a dirt-cheap red, this is your little number. Thanks Mark!
Decoy – Cabernet or Pinor Noir – average price: $17.99
A reliable brand for all types of wine, regardless of red or white. It’s not gonna break the bank, but if you’re buying in bulk you might want to consider a cheaper alternative. Both the cab and pinot are winners in my book. According to review, the pinot leans to a fruity side with “a beautiful bouquet of fresh-picked strawberry, raspberry and blackberry.” The cab features a “jolt of richness on the finish, a showcase for notions of chocolate, cherry and blackberry.” Do with that what you will, but you can’t go wrong with decoy.
Meiomi – Pinot Noir – average price: $19.99
Let it be known I have major reservations when it comes to screw-top wines. Corks are an integral component to keeping wine fresh and anything less seems… alarming. But yes, Meiomi is a screw top and has somehow won me over. I’ve chosen to make an exception. Can you tell I’m particular? Anyhow, great wine and I highly recommend. Kind of tastes like chocolate after 3 glasses, or maybe that’s just me. Read more here if so desired.
When it comes to whites, I prefer something crisp, dry, and unsweet (usually a pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or sancerre). A white of that nature will be almost transparent and light yellow in color. Others prefer their whites to be warm, buttery, and oaky in flavor. In that case, a deep yellow chardonnay should do the trick.
Louis Jadot – Chablis – average price: $25.99
The french call this a “table wine” because it goes down so cleanly and sits at such a comfortable price point, they might as well keep it on the table all the time! Described as “pristine, bright and fresh with high acidity and citrus,” this chablis pairs most optimally with seafood and cheese. Def my kind of white.
Last but not least, let’s hit the rosé. I have one favorite partially because Angelina Jolie owns the brand and the bottle design/color is sublime. You guessed it…
Miraval – Rosé – average price: $21.99
When ordered at restaurants, Miraval’s price settles somewhere upwards of $50. Ouch. If you want to dodge this bullet, Costco sells Miraval for just about as low as it gets. If you’re the ultimate rosé-drinking-french mademoiselle, you’d use the leftover bottle as a vase for flowers 😉