Leslie Alexander’s ultra-exclusive Société du Vin wine club is opening in Bridgehampton this summer and welcoming anyone willing to pay the $50,000 entry fee and $8,000 in annual dues. At least four times per year, the club will serve up some fancy vintages for esteemed guests.
These are not among them.
10. Franzia Box Wine
Franzia proudly calls itself “The World’s Most Popular Wine,” and why not? It comes in massive quantities, easy-pour boxes and a variety of tantalizing flavors. Their “Vintner Select” wines go down smooth and stay “true to the varietal flavor.” Instead of “the overpowering flavor of oak,” enjoy the essence of plastic, colostomy-style bags and cardboard box with flavors like Sweet Merlot, Sweet Chardonnay and Chablis. Or try the House Wine Favorites, including Sunset Blush, Chillable Red and Crisp White, among others.
9. French Red Wine [in a Can]
This canned red finally makes it possible to shotgun your table wine and finish by smashing the can on your forehead. Ever try that with a bottle? It hurts. Now wine enthusiasts can fit in at Super Bowl parties, barbecues and tailgate gatherings. Just knocking ‘em back with the boys, right?
8. Well Hung Vineyards
Nothing says “exclusive” like a unique and little-known brand to impress your friends. Add a quirky label that alludes to man parts and you’ll be the belle of the balls. Started by three adventurous women, Well Hung Vineyard is a small operation with a small vineyard in the Monticello AVA, but it’s not the size that matters, as the ladies can attest.
7. Manischewitz Kosher Wine
It’s not just for Passover anymore. Right when you thought Manischewitz wine couldn’t get any better, they added Cherry and Blackberry as companions to the original Concord Grape flavor. Any wine that shares its flavor with the better half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has to be good. The unique bottle and easy-access screw cap further improve the cachet of this kosher staple.
6. Counterfeit Playboy Wine
This unique treasure from Bucharest, Romania is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. It’s unclear what type of grape is used or what region the wine is from, but each bottle of “emot10ns” features a different Playboy playmate with the month and year they appeared in the magazine. Will your fellow sommeliers catch how the makers of this classic replaced the “I” and “O” in “emotions” with the number 10? That’s because each girl pictured is a “10.” Witty ain’t it?
5. MD 20/20—Best known as “Mad Dog” 20/20
What could be cooler than a fortified wine with a nickname more well known than its actual name? Some might call MD 20/20 “bum wine,” but that would be insulting to the flavorful concoction. Bottled in Westfield, NY by the Mogen David (“MD”) wine company, this sweet, always kosher treat with a bite became known as Mad Dog 20/20. Try the delicious “Red Grape Wine” flavor or get your Prince on and sip some silky smooth “Purple Rain.”
4. Vampire Merlot
Imported from Transylvania, Vampire wine is dark and mysterious and red, so it looks like blood. See? It’s like drinking blood, like a vampire! Because vampires drink blood and red wine kind of looks like blood! Slap a spooky label on it and the point is driven home like a stake in Edward Cullen’s heart. Red wine is also sexy, like vampires. Vampires are sexy.
3. Two-Buck Chuck [Charles Shaw Chardonnay]
Owned by Trader Joe’s, Charles Shaw’s California Chardonnay proved that wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. At $2 a bottle, this white changed the game and was henceforth called “Two-Buck Chuck” by its many admirers. It’s fruity, uncomplicated and meant to be drunk young (and often), according to the maker. Unfortunately, it’s just doesn’t cost enough for most East End oenophiles.
Another fortified delight, Cisco is the Cadillac of hobo wines. A thick and syrupy libation somewhere between Robitussin and a melted Slurpee (the one where you mix every flavor), this stuff is famous for causing blackouts, memory loss and belligerent outbursts for most connoisseurs. Now in eight fruity flavors—Black Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Orange Pineapple and Peach among them—Cisco “has been a consumer favorite for years,” says the makers at Canandaigua winery in Canandaigua, NY. “Strong, yet sweet and fruity, Cisco offers a high-quality flavor selection to satisfy every palate at affordable prices.” All thanks to Coley King, the Director of Winemaking at this New York winery. Yes, that’s right, they are winemakers at a winery.
1. Baby Mice Wine
Awww, how cute, right? Baby Mice Wine sounds adorable and great until you realize it actually contains baby mice. Made in Korea, this rice wine is a traditional health tonic perfect for the Hamptons epicure who has everything. Each of the 12 recently-born pinkies is drowned alive in the bottle, which is then left to ferment, allowing the baby mouse essence to infuse the clear saki-like spirit. You may want to drink this one through your teeth.