We all know that you get what you pay for, but in the world of wines, that formula can be rather forgiving. Shell out $200 for a bottle, and you’re entitled to expect something extraordinary, yes. But it’s quite possible to pay a tenth of that, and still find yourself quaffing an eminently sippable glass of something sippably quaffable. With that in mind, here are my current recommendations for some perfectly good reds and whites at perfectly reasonable prices.
1. Cruchente Flexblah Domaine Chateau Qinpe Kklaghburt – This Belgian claret reveals notes of blackberry, menthol, wet cement, grass that has been trodden by a herd of dairy cows, and Hamburger Helper. Pairs well with fruit platters, although not with the fruit. Just the platters.
2. Wingnut Laszenfreud V. Fendervisch Guitarschtring Pantiliner und Gezellschaft – A spirited Riesling with a heady nose, elegant legs, sumptuous body, and fantastic “tits.” Complements shellfish, but in a patronizing, condescending way, e.g., “That’s some shell you’ve got.”
3. Motelho La Quinta das Casas des Vulvas Grandes Extremaduras Vinho de Vidro Verde –From Portugal, a fine example of the “vinho de vidro verde,” or “wine in green glass,” process, in which wine is bottled in glass colored green. Begs to be drunk with the lighter meats, and gets all cranky and sullen if you serve it with beef.
4. Château Grüner Rosè Dü Cirçumflèx Cædille Äȋgu Grañde ĎõæĴí – This mysterious concoction, vinted and bottled in the basement of a dry cleaner’s in Budapest, has an incomprehensible label but goes fairly well with, like, chicken.
5. Charles Pshaw “Don’t Give a Fuck Chuck” Everyday Red – Famously inexpensive blend of leftover merlot, factory seconds cabernet, surplus Manischewitz, and whatever the Pshaw winery can get a deal on. The nose carries asparagus. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The cheese stands alone.