Anyone who 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. This week: Wink white zinfandel, 11% ABV. White zinfandel may be wholly derided by sommelier snobs as being a frou frou wine-like beverage, but it caters to a market that takes their vino a little less seriously. The playful label on this bottle of Wink seems to realize its place in the pecking order, but we'll be damned if that cheeky little minx on the label didn't entice us to purchase it.
We're suckers for a cute label (and a three dollar price point).
(See, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor this bounty after the jump)
Appearance: Pink! Not a pale and anemic pastel shade either, but the kind of bright and flirty pink that screams girls' night out. It looks like pink lemonade, if pink lemonade gotcha drunk.
Bouquet: Wink has a light and fruity bouquet, with just a waft of alcohol. (It did only cost 3 bucks, after all.) The zin smelled like a combination between strawberry lemonade and a stick of Zebra Fruit Stripe gum. Here's to hoping the flavor is better than that chalk-substitute sold as gum.
Body: A smooth, fruity parade for the palate. The label claims that strawberry, peach and cherry flavors characterize this wine, and they're not far off. It's the fruitiness that frou frou wines like Arbor Mist strive for, without the blistering sugar-induced headache that follows.
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Finish: Mellow and surprisingly drinkable. Maybe that's what the little label vixen is winking about. She knows just how easy it is to polish off a bottle and not even realize it. Even Double Dog Dare had more of a bark to it that this sweet, but meek offering.
Pairs with: Lifetime original movies on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or your guilty pleasure of choice. (Don't judge. That's why it's called a guilty pleasure.) We're also sucker for a little something sweet and salty to nosh on while watching The Burning Bed, like a dried fruit and nut medley.
Lasting impressions: Wink is a step up from the frazzled housewife market that Arbor Mist and wine coolers cater to. It manages to be fruity and light without resorting to a saccharine sweetness. Next time you're looking for a lazy afternoon vintage that goes well with other guilty pleasures, give this white zinfandel a whirl. The saucy little label vixen didn't lead us astray.
Know of any screw top vintages we just have to try? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.