Cheap Wine is Nothing But a Headache

Have you ever taken a sip of wine and thought “wow, this is why we all hate the French.”

I’d like to invite you into my ‘circle of trust.’ I used to drink very, VERY, cheap wine. Oh yes, I’d purchase it in the 3-liter bottles and scoff at the wines on the top shelf mumbling, “you can’t fool me, it’s all the same.”


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Yes- it would be about two or three glasses in before the bold aluminum taste would subside, or that warm bitter residue would leave my tongue, but hey- it did the job.

Did I mention I would also leave the red wine out on my counter? Allowing it to grow to a balmy 90-something degrees. You know, really harnessing ANY hope of getting a decent taste.

Honestly, I don’t know where I picked up that the warmer a red wine is the better it should be; I’m guessing some poorly interpreted YA book I read in 7th grade (did they drink on Fear Street?) but full disclosure: On more than one occasion, I would actually place my wine bottle OUTSIDE my apartment in the blistering Houston sun to get my wine to the ‘optimal temperature’. I still throw-up in my mouth a bit thinking about it; Augh, my twenties.

It wasn’t until I finally had a real bottle of wine, and by ‘real’ I mean a wine that wasn’t just a grape twelve months ago and on the shelf yesterday, that the light really came on.


I remember it like it was yesterday…The bottle was a 2005 Twomey Merlot. Holy MOG it was the smoothest, savory, most succulent thing I’d ever let past my lips.


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The way it filled my mouth, alerting every taste bud on my tongue, I was floored. So this, THIS, is what everyone was talking about.

When people would speak about wine the same way they would talk about love, I thought it was all for show- total BS.

It wasn’t. It reallllyyyyy wasn’t.

I don’t think my husband and I had ever sipped anything so slow, with such intention, ever. We immediately started implementing every wine lesson we had since ignored until then:
Only pouring to the widest part of the glass (about 6-8 oz) so it would open up and breath more.
Holding the glass by the stem so that we don’t alter the optimal temperature.

The only thing we couldn’t do was release the overwhelming ‘wine paranoia.’

***Wine Paranoia- the condition in which the person displays relentless anxiety about their next glass without enjoying their current one. Symptoms include ordering an additional glass when your current one is still half-full and pouring from the bottle before your glass is completely empty.***

We also soon noticed, that although we felt drunk that evening, the next mooring the usual dwarf with a pick-axe was pleasantly absent from inside our heads, and other than being a bit dehydrated, we felt totally fine.

We were floored- expensive wine tastes better AND we didn’t have a horrible hangover the next day? Ooohhh…those French are sneaky bastards. (Why, at this point, we still believed that all wine was French is beyond me. I mean, it said California on the bottle…whatever.)

Then we went to find it online. Critical mass- we’re buying an entire case of this heavenly juice!

Annnnnnnddddd there it was: $59 a bottle.

Then, heartbreak.

The next time I would enjoy Twomey was when a client sent me two bottles after I relayed to him the above story, in what I can only imagine NOW, in a very passionate and enthralled way. (Can I just take ALL of my twenties back please?)

My husband and I immediately drank both bottles that same night, only this time we had a bit of a headache the next morning. I mean, after four glasses of anything, you’re gonna feel it the next day.

But from that first experience, we made an effort to re-think the way we chose wine.

We stopped just grazing the bottom shelf. We started asking questions when the wine managers were around. We started noticing the beautiful nuances good wines have- like the tastes of cocoa or cassis, or citrus and spice. We started going to specialty wine shops and liquor stores to check out what the smaller vineyards were producing.


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Basically, we started giving a cork. (HA! Wine puns…I’m not drunk now, FYI.)

Yes, we spend a little more, but it’s completely worth it.

Let me help you on your wine journey. Drink me all in (wait- what? Maybe I am drunk…)

Here we will be your beverage gurus. One sip at at a time…everything from pairing a wine with hot wings to what that beer she’s drinking really says about her. You know, #StuffDudesLike.

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Have any questions? Message us or post to our twitter and your question may be featured in an upcoming column!

And remember, always drink responsibly and NEVER drink and drive. Cheers!


– Morgan Alexander Kosinski

Instagram: @PHCP