Cheap wine reviews

If you’re balling on a budget this Valentine’s Day, we did the leg work on which wines to buy

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NATALIE BLAKE | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

“I suggest you throw out a few extra dollars and get something you’ll both enjoy .... Also, make sure you always have chocolate.”

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

Telling your significant other you’re going to wine and dine them, then giving them a bottle of Barefoot and a hot pocket? You can do better. Unless that’s really what you want, I’m here to give some decent — emphasis on decent — recommendations on wine and chocolates.

Ravenswood Vinters Zinfandel (a red wine): $8-12

Red wines tend to be more acidic, and this one is no exception. If you enjoy tasting hints of strawberries, oak and vanilla then this is the wine for you. This wine would work great with some dark chocolate – my preferences would be Ghirardelli dark chocolate or Lindor dark truffles. If you want to go the extra mile, red wine pairs well with red meat. Just be careful if you use marinades — you don’t want to choose something sweet.

If you want to try a different mellow red, I’d highly suggest the Marcel Malbec. It’s a French red wine with more vibrant flavors and less acidity for only $5 more. Plus it’s French, and they’re known for not making garbage.

Woodbridge Chardonnay (a white wine): $10-14

This is an amazing bang for your buck. It’s a dry but sweet wine, so if you don’t like the acidity of reds, this is a better option. The main tastes are hazelnut and, for lack of a better term, a sort of lingering fruit. I think this Chardonnay would best pair with caramel or white chocolate, preferably Dove. If you want to class up this pairing, maybe go for chocolate-covered strawberries. 

If you don’t want to treat yourself to something nice, I guess you could buy a bottle of Barefoot Chardonnay. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Andre Blush (a sparkling wine, think terrible Champagne): $5-8

Look if you spend enough time in a college town, you know that if you’re trying to have cheap, disgusting bubbly, Andre is your best bet. Pair it with whatever you find in the McDonald’s dumpster you’re scavenging through or a Hershey bar from whatever gas station you like to go to. Some sort of milk chocolate might be okay.

Even Korbel or Chandon is better than this. But if you want sparkling, at least go for La Marca Prosecco, which is around $20. Most of us can’t afford a $40+ bottle of Champagne, but don’t lie to yourself about this swill.

In the end, you can pick out whatever cheap garbage you want. But if you’re trying to impress someone this Valentine’s Day, I suggest you throw out a few extra dollars and get something you’ll both enjoy, rather than something you’ll pound until you can’t taste it anymore. Also, make sure you always have chocolate.