The Finest Wine On A Dime

Whether you’re planning a friendly get-together or you just have a problem (shhh, I won’t tell) … choosing the night’s wine shouldn’t be more than a skip and sashay down to your neighborhood bodega. Many people would be surprised at the vast selection of affordable wines and “wine products” out there that not only get the job done but won’t put a dent in your wallet.

Here are some of my favorites:

Brand: Chateau Diana
Suggested variety: Merlot
Price: $3-6
When Michael Jackson sang about a one “Dirty Diana,” he was definitely talking about this dime piece. Discovered at a 24-hour CVS pharmacy during a 2010 snow storm, this dirty girl got the party started and didn’t even charge me that much. Just be warned, if you’re palette is a bit of a snob, you may get a bit of a headache the following morning.

Brand: Sweet Bitch
Suggested variety: Merlot, Chardonnay
Price: $5-$7
Some call her snarky. Others say she’s just misunderstood. I flat out call her a ‘Sweet Bitch’ … the sweetest one on the block. I first met her lurking in the back shelf of a Queens bodega earlier this year, and after getting her name, I had to have her. Four glasses later, I was in love. You can find this bitch hanging out at the corner shop, at the supermarket and even at some random gas stations.

Brand: Yellowtail
Suggested variety: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio
Price: $7-$10
Whether it’s the sweetness of Riesling you crave or the dryness of Chardonnay that makes you feel grown and sexy, Yellowtail gets you there. Its affordable and available at most corner shops and even some gas stations in New Jersey. (See: Gulf on Park Ave. in Union City, NJ.)

Brand: Barefoot
Suggested variety: Riesling, Moscato, Sweet Red, Moscato Spumante
Price: $7-$10
I discovered this wine last New Year’s Eve in South Beach when the Barefoot company so brilliantly gave out free samples during a beach concert. It was spectacular, and the concert was okay too. While all of the varieties are tasty, I hold a special place in my heart for the Moscato Spumante. I don’t want to get all emo but we had a moment on that beach. (tear)

Brand: Carlo Rossi
White Grenache, Merlot
Price: $10-$13
Ah, Carlo Rossi and I go back… and when I say back, I mean way back. My brother and I used to lug these jugs up two flights of stairs when my father would get back from the liquor store after a wine-run. So long story short, ‘Tio’ Carlo is basically part of the family. For just a few bucks, you get a jug that will last you at least two weekends, or in the event you hate your liver… it’s a neat night cap.

WORD TO THE WISE: Although convenient, making a wine-run to your corner mom and pop shop doesn’t always mean conveniently cheap prices. Try shopping for liquor at nearby wholesale warehouses like those affiliated to chains like Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s. Prices are shockingly lower than what you would normally spend elsewhere.  If you don’t have a membership, ask a friend or a relative — or whoever is the enabler in your life — to take you.

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Categories: Bargain Buzz

Author:Andrew Ramos

I'm a reporter in New York. I talk to people. We have a blast.


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