Is it ever worth it to buy cheap wine—the under $6 stuff? Do the savings warrant having to endure several glasses of what is often barely drinkable? It depends on your budget of course but who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? And occasionally, very occasionally you find something at least pleasant.
So what about this staple of the bottom shelf, Rex Goliath. It is owned by the wine goliath, Constellation Brands, the largest wine producer in the world.
It is OK. Black Cherry and burnt toast, share aroma space with green bell pepper typical of inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon. A little earthiness is nice. Not interesting but not awful.
On the palate, it’s juicy upfront but the flavor fades rapidly passing through a cocoa-inflected phase before stumbling to the finish, which tastes like sour cola. Medium body and without trying to be too lush, it has a little sweetness but the acidity is quite high preventing the wine from being cloying,. The tannins are soft and, as is typical of cheap wine, you just have to ignore the finish. It’s not bad; it managed to stay out of my drain. If you’re inclined to raid the bottom shelf you can do worse.
This wine reminds me of a line in R.E.M’s the One I Love—”A simple prop to occupy my time.”