In the Tisdale house, we like nothing better than cheap alcohol. Sure, we love the fancy stuff, but when you’re living on a tight budget, spending even $10 on a bottle of wine when you drink as much as us would result in blowing the monthly budget. So what’s a cheap drunk to do? Seek out cheap booze!
If you’ve read “about us,” you already know why we are called the Tisdales. Our friends started calling us Mr. and Mrs. Tisdale after the $3 bottles of wine we always served guests and even brought to parties. Which brings me to an important point: if you’re going to bring cheap alcohol to parties or serve it to guests, it’s best if the label is unfamiliar to others. And for gods sake, don’t brag about how cheap the bottle is (we learned our lesson). Nine times out of 10, folks won’t taste a difference between a $3 bottle of wine and a $10-$12 bottle. (Above that price, and the difference is obvious.) So if you serve the cheap stuff, just don’t admit it.
So here are a few tips on where to find drinkable, inexpensive wines in Louisville.
1. Charles Shaw at Trader Joes
Entire blogs are dedicated to Charles Shaw (known by all as “Two Buck Chuck”), so we won’t wave poetic here. But for $38.03 for a case, including taxes in KY, you really can’t argue with Mr. Shaw. (But because Shaw is so recognizable, it’s best to drink at home alone or bring to huge parties where folks are too drunk to care you’re a tightwad. Just be sure the slip your Shaw in the back of the pile of bottles when no one is looking).
2. Southern Point at Walgreens
What? You’ve never bought wine at Walgreens? Think only professional drunks would stoop so low as to wait in line to buy their booze at a drugstore? Get over yourself already!
Southern Point is quite drinkable – in fact, we like the “flavor profile” better than our old standby, Charles Shaw. Plus at around $3.50 a bottle, it can’t be beat. Especially when you use your Walgreen points to get further discounts (yes, the points even work on alcohol). And often Walgreens offers discounts on their wine. Using these tactics a few weeks ago, Mrs. Tisdale paid less than $3 on Southern Point cabernets. Oh, and while we usually stick to red wines, their Pinot Grigio is pretty good.
3. Rock bottom prices, drinkability found at Kroger
Some Krogers have wine and spirits attached to them (in Kentucky, grocery stores can’t sell wine or liquor). If you are lucky enough to live near one of these, make sure to become familiar with what they sell. In addition to offering a plethora of cheap wines, if you buy six bottles of any wine, you get 10% off each bottle. Even crazier, your alcohol purchases count toward your fuel points. So be a drunk, but be a thrifty drunk: buy at Krogers.
So what are the Tisdales favorite wines? Not surprisingly, it comes down to price. Here are some of our current favorites:
Bay Bridge cabernet – this wine is currently selling for $2.99 a bottle. With your 10% discount for buying 6 or more bottles of any wine at the same time, your price is $2.69. Even cheaper than Charles Shaw! We don’t claim this is the best cheap wine, but it is ridiculously cheap. And you’re a cheap drunk, right? So get you some Bay Bridge and try it over a thrifty dinner at home. After a glass or two, we guarantee you won’t care that it’s a simple, straight forward vino.
Aconga cabernet or merlot – this is $3.99 a bottle ($3.59 with your 10% volume discount). Plus the label looks pretty high-end. We had our sister-in-law, Ms. Sommelier (she’s not really a sommelier, but she has a great palette and knows her wines at a much higher level than us), take a taste. Even she was fooled! She thought it tasted like a $12 bottle. Not only does this bottle taste good, but the label will fool your guests or hosts. So buy, display, and consume your Aconga with pride!
Cheap wines to avoid
If you know us at all, you know that the Tisdales never turn down a glass of wine. Or beer. Or spirits. You get the gist. But we must admit there are certain labels we avoid, mostly because they are so saturated in the market. Some brands that we eschew include Fish Eye, Yellow Tail, Little Penguin and Gato Negro. (Rule of thumb: if the cheap wine incorporates an animal or sexual position into its name, avoid it.) Not because we don’t love these cheap wines. But because everyone else does too – and these wines tip you off as a cheap bastard. So be cheap. But be smart about it. (Smart drunks are way more interesting than dumb ones, don’t you agree?)
What do you drink?
Got cheap wine tricks of your own? Let us know and we’ll check them out!