Five wines for the college student budget

26 February 2019

Zachary Engelman

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    Wine has a reputation for being snooty and unapproachable. I set out to write a wine review for the average student with zero tasting, but plenty of drinking experience. I collected five random bottles under $10 each. We grabbed a variety of types, and the assortment we got was impressive, so here are five wines to try out on the college budget.

    Yellow Tail Shiraz Cabernet: $7.99

    This wine is a vibrant red with a hint of pink. It does not stick to the glass and has nice transparency. It is tart with a nice sweetness. It finishes with a warm nutty taste that is a little off putting. This Shiraz is a great complement to fatty foods because of its acidity, but not as good by itself. Enjoy with cheese or buttered popcorn.

    I rated this bottle a 8.5 out of 10: Overwhelming aroma.

    Rojo Mojo Spanish red wine 2016: $6.99

    A deep red color and very slight stickiness make a glass of this wine look beautiful. The taste is a little bitter and kind of dry but finishes with a mild, fruity sweetness. The fullness of this wine cannot be understated; it makes the taste more complex, especially for this price range. This wine can stand on its own or with a nice piece of dark chocolate.

    Williams gave this bottle an 8 out of 10 rating: Solid bottle.

    Barefoot Pinot Noir: $8.99

    A smooth, dark red liquid with hints of orange make this one interesting but also make it look a little brown from an off angle. It has a mild taste and is very sweet. It also has a bold, smoky flavor with a tingly burn to it that would make this pair well with spicy pasta. Have this one before bed because it feels heavy and has a slightly higher alcohol content.

    I rated this bottle 8 out of 10: Dull, but in a good way.

    Marchese Guadagni Orvieto: $9.99

    The only white wine of this selection has a golden color with an even consistency. The label is deceptively fancy, which probably contributed toward it being the most expensive on the list. Its aroma is overwhelmingly sweet with an almost vinegary harshness. It is very sweet and very tart to the point of almost being sour. It looks nice, but is not much to talk about. I would use this wine in a reduction, but not in a glass.

    I rated this bottle 5 out of 10

    Cono Sur Bicicleta Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon: $8.99

    A dark thickness makes this wine glow a little bit in your glass, and makes it the most beautiful on the list.  The flavor is bitter and nutty and goes well with a crusty bread or thin crust pizza. It has a rich body that makes it harder to drink with dinner, but it is perfect for getting cozy next to the fire with a loved one. Try this one after a romantic date this weekend. Or you can use it to bolster a salad before you eat.

    I rated this bottle 8.5 out of 10, calling it “Nutty.”

    Bonus Boxed Wine: Black Box Red Blend: $18.99

    This wine gets my award for college student best pick. The box contains as much wine as four bottles, hence the price, and tastes as good as anything on this list. The color is a warm red that does not look watery. It has a sweet, unoffending taste that can be appreciated by non-wine fans as well. Pair this with dinner or dessert, or enjoy it with a group of friends. The box also makes it more portable for picnics and the like. This wine may not fit under $10, but you are certain to get what you pay for.