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September 21, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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A beginner’s guide to budget wine, by a beginner

Type: Red Wine

Unbeknownst to me until after I purchased it, the Queen Adelaide 2008 Shiraz is corked. Being used to the twist tops common with cheap wines, I own no corkscrew. Nobody else in my flat owns a corkscrew either.

If this wasn’t a divine warning against drinking the wine or some shit like that, I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was just the winemakers being difficult. Who knows?

Were I to consume this beverage, I would have had to trek all the way over to another flat at Everton Hall to attain a corkscrew. I did so, swearing under my breath at the bottle the whole time. After finally opening it, I poured myself a glass and sat down to a dinner of spaghetti bolognaise. After all, the bottle states quite clearly that the wine goes well with beef and pasta. And winemakers are always one hundred percent correct about their products; products that it is in their best interests to sell many units of.

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, that was sarcastic. While I’ve encountered…embellishments in my short time reviewing cheap wines, this Shiraz takes the cake. The wine is meant to be “easy drinking”, for a wine that is meant to have a “rich berry fruit flavour with a warm finish”. However, the only word that can be said to apply to this wine is “warm”, and perhaps “a”. It smells like the kind of wine served at communions, and first impressions are violent at best. It initially tastes like someone mixed together an unholy concoction of Robitussin and week-old vegetable scraps—a coven of wart-ridden witches, perhaps.

As I continued consuming the wine, the taste improved (I use the words ‘taste’ and ‘improved’ very very loosely). However, even as it moved from “sickening” to “repugnant” on the Adam Goodall Taste-o-meter, more issues came to a head. The wine doesn’t stand for being swilled around in one’s mouth, for one. Instead, the wine pretty much explodes if this is done, a supernova of unmitigated awfulness. On top of that, swallowing it is akin to swallowing a vial of heavily diluted acid—it doesn’t burn, but it does cause a mild irritation on the back of the throat that you’d rather not have.

After borrowing the corkscrew in the above story, I gave the people who loaned me the corkscrew a glass of the wine each. After consuming a glass of this unmitigated shit, I poured what I had left down the drain—one glass’ worth. With the wine costing $6.99, that works out to six glasses of devil-water for a little over a dollar each. I’m positive that this wine wouldn’t be good value at six glasses for one cent each. This wine is foul. Case closed.

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