Buy wine because of a funny label and you kind of expect to forgo flavor for a few laughs. But after tasting the kookiest of the crop, we found the bottles that don’t require the trade-off!
MAD HOUSEWIFE CABERNET SAUVIGNON A not-too-sweet companion for pizza night—or girls’ night. $10
FRENCHIE 2009 NAPOLEON RED An intense, oaky red blend that made us think about our favorite steak recipes. $30
MIDDLE SISTER DRAMA QUEEN PINOT GRIGIO A crisp, fruity find that got nabbed for one editor’s seafood dinner. $12
WELL HUNG MERLOT-VERDOT A smooth, earthy sip that’s definitely not your mother’s merlot. $20
CHATEAU SMITH 2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON A robust red that may induce serious burger cravings. $20
(OOPS) CHEEKY LITTLE WHITE SAUVIGNON BLANC A citrusy hit, emptied before the tasting was over. $11
—Allyson Dickman, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
Studies suggest that we like a wine more when we think it’s expensive. Could our taste buds be snubbing some seriously delicious bargains?
The Plan: Blind-taste four cheap wines—each less than $9 a bottle—then rate our satisfaction and guess their prices.
The Findings: Testers—even the pickiest—liked what they tried. We also confirmed that the higher the wine rating, the higher the estimated price. But the big surprise? The cheapest bottle in the bunch, Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Cabernet Sauvignon ($3)—aka Three Buck Chuck—was thought to be the most expensive.
The Bottom Line: Rely on your palate and not the price tag. You might be surprised by how much you like what you find—and by how fat your wallet feels!
- Judith Pena, Assistant to the Editor in Chief
Inspired by the recipes in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, we revisit some 1960s New York hotspots.
Recycle more than just paper and plastic: Turn everyday household items into entertaining showstoppers.
Keep an eye out at the wine shop for an unsung tipple: orange wine. Made from white grapes, the sipper gets its sunny disposition from a process that keeps the skins with the grapes after pressing, upping the volume of tannins and pigments, which can range from light copper to bright orange. It’s not just a pretty glass, though: The crowd-pleasing flavor blends the light texture of white with the punch of red.
-Alexa Weibel, Senior Copy Editor