Drink cheap wine…

…because let’s face it – you can’t tell the difference.

Cristal(ino) Brut Cava, $7.99. Turn the bottle just so, and you’ve got Cristal!

New York Magazine published a great Living Cheaply guide back in November, serendipitously close to when I quit my PR job with starry eyes to embark on a prolific, albeit peanut-paying writing career.

Well, now I’m on my own and in need of a cheap drink even more, so I thought I’d list some great wine that’s so cheap, it’s kitschy and cute to drink, not gauchely budget-friendly. Think cava, prosecco and Trader Joe’s.

Speaking of gauche, my favorite summer drink is red wine with ice. I hope that doesn’t make you skeptical about my wine choices, though! Just trust me.

Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Merlot, $3…AKA “Two-buck Chuck”

Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County 2007, $27. Yes, a zin – #10 on Wine Spec’s 2008 Top 100


Vina Bisquertt Syrah Colchagua Valley Casa La Joya Reserve 2007, $11 (Wine Spec gave this Chilean beaut 90 pts!)

Leasingham Riesling Clare Valley Magnus 2007, $11

Oak Leaf Vineyards Pinot Grigio-Chardonnay Blend, $3 at WAL-MART

Bellenda Miraval Prosecco, $18

And finally, invest in a nice set of Riedel glasses in a value pack (funny seeing those words in the same sentence, but Amazon’s got ’em!).


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