I used to be a drinker of "discount bin" wines, and even the occasional "box o' red" or "box o' white" (handy for canoe trips, as the wine bladder can be used for a lively game of "bladderball" when the wine is finished. Simply drain the wine into your tummy, then blow up the bag and engage in a spirited game of kick-the-bladder around the campfire. Also useful as a pillow once the gruesome truth of what you drank sinks in. And, you can burn the box in the fire!)
I can't do that anymore. It's not that I don't want to--I like a cheap discovery as much as the next person. But I have realized that drinking underpriced wine results in headaches, while drinking the pricier varieties is much more satisfactory. Could this be because one is aware that one is guzzling down 20s faster than one could burn 'em? Nah, it must be because of the quality of the bottle.
Here is a lovely shiraz that we have found that I must extol. It is riddled with virtue! It is, in fact, magic. So tasty is it that we bought not one, but two cases. And then a few random bottles. It is a full-bodied, rich red redolent with notes of "first love and pleather," not to mention blueberries, spice, and cream.
For those who are cringing at the price, don't. Just stop your cheap ass self right there! What are you going to do, drink Mad Dog? Night Train? That shit will rumble through your head in the morning as you stagger home from a disappointing one-night stand, wearing a rumpled prom dress (or worse, oversize sweats still stinking of the gym).
Of course, there is the "intermediate buy"--the ubiquitous $11 bottle. A category I have succumbed to on many occasions. It's a hit-or-miss proposition, that 'tween bottle. One could get lucky, or one could wind up with a mediocre stinker. Your miserable $10 would be better served by donating to a great cause rather than a cheap-ass lousy wine made from discontented grapes stompled by calloused, angry feet.
Feet. My college roomate had a fear and hatred of naked feet. What did this mean? I still wonder.