To Cheap, or not to Cheap?

Let’s face it, this is a tough time to be a drinker of wine. Well, not really, but it is pretty tough to keep up with some of the finer choices while maintaining a mortgage, grocery budget similar to the weapons allotment for the ATF, and a soon to be teenage boy.

I’ll freely admit that I like to enjoy a bit of the aged grape juice on a regular basis. I even maintain the concept that there are enough great bottles of wine out there in the $15 and under category that one could enjoy an entire bottle daily and likely never run out of choices (although at a full bottle daily, things could potentially not last too long… unless you’re Italian. Or Irish).

It’s at times like these that I am willing to make a statement. Willing to sacrifice dignity for the sake of others. That’s just the kind of guy I am.


My name is Pat, and I drink box wine. Often.

Now, before you either hit refresh to try and make sure you’re on the right page, and not (site not endorsed by, but cute buffalo pictures), or delete the blog from your browsing history to ensure your area property values don’t diminish, hear me out. I’m not talking the F-brand here. You know what I’m talking about… I’m talking about actual good wine, in boxes (or bags, no… really), that is not only great to have a glass (or two) from on occasion, but I personally feel to be something that should be sitting on your kitchen counter with pride, not under the sink where you keep your bathtub hooch for the after hours crowd.

I honestly feel that you should pull your snobby head out of your expensive wine place, and check out a few of these choices that I’ve found. If you think they suck, please leave a comment.


  1. Clif Wines “The Climber” Cabernet ($17)

Ok, so this isn’t a box. Shoot me. Please don’t. I will tell you that this is possibly one of the best camping wines available. Heck, if you rigged the bag in the right way, you’d have yourself one heck of a hiking ‘water’ bottle on your hands here (in no way do I endorse hiking with wine, duh). The bag holds just above two bottles worth, and you can easily pour one glass at a time, while preserving the rest for, say, ten minutes later. Want to talk about ‘pack it in, pack it out’?? The bag, when empty, takes up a hell of a lot less space than those chunky bottles you now leave the campground sounding like a college kid’s VW van in. Don’t believe me? Well, a silver medal at the Next Gen Wine Competition could help. No? Too judgmental over their energy bars that look like something that is more ‘post energy bar’? Well, that means you’re too picky, and are truly missing out.


  1. Black Box Wines Cabernet/Merlot ($19-22)

The wife is going to disagree with me on this one, but this is my ‘usual’ for the weeknight glass. Found just about anywhere, it can’t be beat for the price in relation to flavor. Do the math. FOUR bottles fit inside this thing, and at or around 20 greenies, you have yourself a five buck bottle that doesn’t taste like granpa’s homemade grappa. Or dandelion wine that he made for his own funeral. Or paint thinner. You get it. Don’t get me wrong here, this is no Gifford Hirlinger (have to plug the cousin’s vino some time), but it will do just fine on a day that you come home and the man has got you down. Or the woman. I’m all about equality here.


  1. Elkan Wine in a Can ($N/A, but cheap)

Wait!! Come back!!

Ok, so wine in a can is probably about as classy as, well, wine in a can. But think about this. Ever been on a boat with someone who won’t allow glass (like me)? How about camping (what is with this guy and camping?)? Or that picnic in the park?? This stuff, although Chilean, and not to offend my friends down south, not my favorite, is pretty drinkable. The chardonnay, when put in a cooler for as long as you stick those Bud Lights in, actually tastes pretty yummy. JUST DON’T FORGET, a can is just near or over a half of a bottle, so sip, young Padawan. Sip. If you think you’re going to be drinking can for can with your macho, drum beating, goatee sporting testosterone baldys, you’re mistaken. Besides, if you’re trying to take up space in a man’s cooler with chardonnay, and you’re not his girlfriend or wife, you’d better be rethinking your evening plans. Unless you like hospitals, that is.

So there, I said it. I drink the cheap stuff. But just because it’s CHEAP, doesn’t mean it is, well, cheap. As I said, try the different packaging. Let go of the corkscrew. Have a glass and not worry about some insane bottled oxygen to preserve your thirty dollar (or daily teacher’s salary) bottle of old juice.


If I’m wrong, I’ll shut up.

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