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, most face-planting, getcha drunk wines on the market. This week: MD 20/20.
MD 20/20 is a low-end fortified wine affectionately referred to as "Mad Dog." This is undoubtedly due to the fact that it is a vile and hateful wine cooler fit only for the hounds of hell, and really cheap-ass college students.
Bottled by the 20/20 Wine Company out of New York, this concoction is the result of vintners either combining really cheap wine with wholly unnatural fruit flavors, or more likely, disposing of radioactive waste by cutting it with pure grain alcohol in order to turn a quick profit. It comes in every artificial neon color of the rainbow, but unlike its perky giggly cousin, Boone's Farm, this stuff is strictly for the big dogs. And maybe those who have thoroughly exhausted their sense of taste.
The Vintage: MD 20/20, Kiwi Lemon, ABV 13%
(See, swirl, sniff, sip and savor this bounty after the jump)
Appearance: The green ooze is opaque and slightly cloudy, emitting an otherworldly glow reminiscent of nuclear waste. It looks like the aftermath of a tryst between Slimer and the Incredible Hulk, bottled by a snake oil charlatan as a cure for impotence. The color and glow alone should be enough to deter the casual drinker from consuming this, as it screams biohazard with every oozing neon molecule.
Bouquet: Like most of its bum wine brethren, MD 20/20 smells like rubbing alcohol mixed with a fruit cocktail that was left to rot in the Arizona sun. Despite the branding, no kiwi was detected in the bouquet but unidentifiable citric notes were prominent enough to obscure most of the fetid fruity bile. An interesting earthy smell like clay was also present, although the fumes may have been overpowering my nostrils by this point.
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Body: Melting a couple lemon-lime popsicles in a tankard of ethanol would probably result in a less noxious beverage, or at least one without such a strong chemical flavor. After sampling this vintage, I can assure you that no kiwis or tropical fruits of any kind were harmed in the making. It tastes like dirt cheap white table wine mixed with a packet of lemon-lime Kool-aid and left to ferment until it was strong enough to burn the chemical crust off a car battery.
Finish: The finish is not unlike a mild chemical burn, coating the inside of your mouth and coursing up your nose upon swallowing like good horseradish does. It lingers on your palate as a subtle and shameful reminder, mocking, "Hey, don't be mad at the MD, you're the one that made the decision to drink this horse piss." Touche, Mad Dog. Touche.
Pairs with: Any other food-like filler chock full of your daily dose of chemicals and pseudo-vitamins. Cold Chef Boyardee ravioli straight from the can and a block of dry Top Ramen being the shameful top contenders, followed closely by snack cakes that could survive a nuclear meltdown.
Lasting impressions: If nothing else, this cheap wine will put a fire in your belly and keep you warm at night. Unfortunately, that warmth is courtesy of a noxious chemical cocktail that fluoresces an eerie green and will have you mad dogging your neighbor with the evil eye more and more after each swig. Hence the street name.