Anyone that has searched the couch cushions for a handful of change knows that boozing on an extreme budget can be a risky proposition. To help you decide how to spend that meager pile of pennies, we've scraped the bottom of the barrel to review some of the cheapest wines on the market.
The Vintage: Rex Goliath, ABV 13.5%
The way we purchase wines isn't very scientific (or knowledgeable, or tasteful), but if we had to break it down then it would be a trade off between a dirt cheap price and the cheekiness of the label. Cheap bastard wine does not have to be particularly creative with their labels, but if a cute label happens to grasp our fruit fly-like attention span, we'll shell out an extra couple bucks for the bottle.
Rex Goliath satisfies both these criteria, with a price point under five bucks and a label featuring the vintage print of a 47-pound circus freak rooster ready to square off. You do not want to be on the receiving end of those talons.
(See, swirl, sniff, sip and savor this bounty after the jump)
Appearance: Dark blood red. Although we're pretty sure no roosters were harmed in the making of this wine. Pretty sure.
Bouquet: This is a red wine that totally needs to decant. The initial nose has more in common with a huffing rubbing alcohol than the scent of red wine. If you let it sit for a bit, you'll be rewarded with a rich, fruity earthiness. Maybe even with a hint of leather. Err, discard that, wrong animal.
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Body: Fairly sweet for a cab, with notes of currant and layered berries. For the first time, we tasted an identifiable berry flavor in a wine that wasn't electric koolaid red in color. Rex Goliath tastes like raspberries and wood. (Insert joke here, Beavis.)
Finish: This rooster juice makes your mouth tingle a bit. It was grossly on the acidic side when first opened, although the bite fades some as it decants. We feel so chic using such a silly wine word, especially for a five buck bottle.
Pairs with: A juicy hamburger with a side of sweet potato fries. Delux may be the perfect food pairing for Rex Goliath cab sauv. Just because you're dressing down your meal doesn't mean you have to settle for equal lows in liquors, or lacquers if it's a particularly bad batch of booze.
Lasting impressions: Rex Goliath is one of those rare success stories in the bottom of the barrel world, where a cheap price point doesn't necessarily translate to notes of furniture varnish and shoe polish. It's a respectable, full-bodied red wine that would pair well with any robust entrée you plan to prepare. Rex also promises not to embarrass you in a social situation, and would make a lovely hostess gift. Kickin' chicken label and a decent red wine equals the perfect holiday gift.