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 swill on the market.
The Vintage: Seagrams Escapes Fuzzy Navel, ABV 3.5%
After the binge and splurge of Thanksgiving weekend, a nice escape from the overindulgence was in order. Too much turkey, too much pie, and too much carousing through a make-shift wine flight. (Sounds better than the willy nilly mix-n-match of cab sauvs and chards.)
To balance out the debaucheries, we headed down the path of dainty, frou frou wine with Seagrams Escapes peachy keen, barely alcoholic elixir. We blame it entirely on the tryptophan-induced food coma.
(See, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor this bounty after the jump)
Appearance: The color of this cooler was surprisingly staid. Instead of being a fluorescent orange, it was a pastel peach color. Way to class up the joint, Seagrams. Unfortunately, the annoying font and cliché beach scene on the bottle was almost enough for us to turn our snooty little noses at it, but then we remembered that willingly drinking bum wine completely strips us of this right.
Bouquet: Like prancing through an orchard of canned peaches. Very little is subtle and aromatic about this wine cooler. It's a saccharine mess that will assault your nose with a cloying, sugar-coated chemical aroma. Just stick a couple of peach jolly ranchers up your nostrils to recreate the sensation. (But don't blame us if they get stuck up there.)
Body: Equal parts syrupy peach nectar and fizzy bubbles. Not a hint of alcohol could be detected against the background of over-ripe peaches and heaping doses of high fructose corn syrup.
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Finish: Mouth-puckering sweetness. The online site for Seagrams Escapes Fuzzy Navel recommends cutting it with white wine and other hard liquors to create fancy new cocktails! Cutting it with something else is probably the only way to choke down an entire bottle of this stuff. Almost as low rent as Boone's Farm.
A very small cocktail umbrella? Stolen moments at a junior high dance? The remnants of your fast decaying dignity.
Lasting impressions: Swishing with simple syrup or rubbing a bit of corn syrup on your gums may be a better plan of attack for obtaining a cheap buzz. But even if you aren't looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling, the sweetness of this wine cooler is enough to turn off anyone other than teenage girls. Escape is right in the name of this cooler, so take that warning and flee right back down that aisle.
Know of any screw top vintages we just have to try? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.