Double Dog Dare White Zinfandel

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: Double Dog Dare.

The Vintage: Double Dog Dare White Zinfandel, ABV 9%

When it comes to the oft-maligned white zinfandel, double dog dares aren't entirely out of the question. It may be the only way to get wine snobs to willingly consume a frou frou pink vintage. Zins are wine lite for those of us on a Franzia budget. They're largely inoffensive, mild, and more reminiscent of fruit juice than fermented grapes.

Make peace with the pink wine, lift a pinky, and sip with pride. Your testosterone levels will only dip slightly. We dare ya. Double dare ya. Double DOG dare ya.

(See, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor this bounty after the jump)

Appearance: It looks like pink lemonade. There is no getting around that. Unfortunately, it's bad etiquette to hide your wine by drinking it out of a tumbler, even if it did cost a mere three bucks. But let's face it, if you're drinking this you probably aren't hanging with the snooty wine crowd anyway, so sip with impunity!

Bouquet: Bland, bland, bland. You practically have to dip your nose in it to smell this wine. After nearly introducing your sinuses to a zinfandel bath slight hints of fruitiness are notable, but the bouquet is so subtle it's nearly nonexistent. Tap water has a more robust profile than Double Dog Dare.

Body: Unsurprisingly it tastes just like it smells, kind of bland. It helps to look down every now and again to confirm that you are indeed still consuming wine. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and there are way worse things you could subject yourself to for three dollars. The dog is a light and fruity pour with hints of berry and a subtle sweetness.

Finish: All bark (well, whimper) and no bite. This is a very low acidity wine and it goes back smooth and mellow. It's a perfect beginner wine to ease in folks (the wine cooler crowd) that don't respond well to those pushy, forward varietals that get all up in your face with flavor.

Pairs with: Double Dog Dare is a chameleon and could potentially pair well with just about anything. To class up the experience and further fruitify your evening, pair it with a lovely honeyed goat cheese and fresh-cut strawberries. Or a fruit pie from the Quiktrip. Let's be realistic here.

Lasting impressions: If you're the type of person that chooses wine based on a cheeky label (we're totally guilty of this), then Double Dog Dare is a decent choice for the price point. There's a dog jumping through a hoop of fire on the label! It doesn't get much better than that, people.

Know of any screw top vintages we just have to try? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

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Erica O'Neil