Rest in peace, Two Buck Chuck. With a pending class action lawsuit alleging that the Trader Joe’s brand wine Charles Shaw – famously available for $3 or less (and formerly $2, hence the nickname) – contains illegally high levels of arsenic, Trader Joe’s has cruelly snatched all bottles of Two Buck Chuck from its shelves. What’s a cheap drunk to do? With these alternative inexpensive wines, you’ll be back on your way to thrifty alcoholism in no time.
Grifone - $5
After a thorough investigative search – in other words, frantically checking price tags after noticing the dearth of Charles Shaw – this brand now appears to be the cheapest wine available on Trader Joe’s shelves. Surprisingly smooth and airy, it’s worth the extra $2. The Primitivo red actually tastes like it’s made of grapes, while the Bianco white is perfect with Chinese food and chocolate. This is wine you’d actually want to eat with food, instead of just plugging your nose and chugging.
Yellowtail - $6
From its classy kangaroo label, you’d never guess Yellowtail is this cheap. While their red Shiraz is more than drinkable, the brand also just introduced its Yellow Sangria wine. Good sangria, a Spanish and Portuguese mixture of red and citrus wine, used to be difficult in Evanston to find unless you wanted to grab dinner at Tapas Barcelona. Now, you can enjoy passably zesty, only slightly acidic sangria from the comfort of your couch.
Barefoot - $8
While this is a slightly pricier wine, Barefoot is definitely worth the extra bucks. Unlike many of the other brands on this list, Barefoot tends to be on the tangy, sugary side and rarely tastes like cooking vinegar. Barefoot Bubbly, a line of wines that includes fizzy wines like Moscato, Prosecco and the sorority girl favorite Peach Fusion, is especially delicious. Buy one for your Dillo Day mimosas.
Carlo Rossi - $13
Please. Like we would skip the grandfather of cheap wines, the quintessential 4-liter “jug o’ wine." If you haven’t at least sipped this vinegar nectar, you’re not a college student. Burgundy might be the most popular flavor, a dark red that tastes faintly fruity but mostly like bitter cough syrup. NBN recommends sticking to Chardonnay, as the vinegar flavor is a little more muted with hints of apple. No matter what, for only $13, you’re guaranteed to feel more than a little sloshed.
No. Just no. You’re better than this.