By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
WINE NO. 1
White. Sweet. Strong smell of apples. Did you bring me non-alcoholic cider? Really, it tastes like sparkling cider with low alcohol. If you want easy drinking, it works. All I taste is lots of apple and pear, with a strong industrial cleanser finish. You'd better keep drinking it or the taste will linger.
Wild Vines Frutezia—Orchard Blend—6 percent, $2
"A white wine product with natural flavors of crisp, delicious apples"
WINE NO. 2
I smell cherry, some vanilla, some strawberry, some sweetness. I wish a wine did smell like this, but it doesn't smell like wine. My father would like it—he likes really sweet wines. Reminds me of fermented soda pop, stale Dr Pepper maybe. With LifeSavers dissolved in it. Still pretty low alcohol. But it'd make a good sangria.
Boone's Farm—Sangria Flavored Grape Wine—7.5 percent, $2
"A light, refreshing taste of fresh, ripe citrus"
WINE NO. 3
This tastes like peach—bad, awful peach. Maybe not peach, but stone fruit aromas for sure. Is it sweet? Yes. Is it acidic? Yes. Is it heavy? Medium-bodied. With an aftertaste like Rainbow Brite decomposing in my mouth. Is it good? Absolutely not. Would it make a good cocktail? Yes.
Wild Vines—Blackberry Merlot—6 percent, $2
Fine wine product with natural flavors
WINE NO. 4
This is the most normal-smelling. I'm not getting lots of sweetness. It makes me grimace. It'll give you a good hangover, that's for sure. Cherry, maybe a little blackberry or currant. There's no spiciness, no oak flavor. Light to medium on the palate. Not acidic. Probably the most well-made of all the ones we've tasted, but it's boring. If Symposium goes bust and I lose everything, this is the stuff I might be drinking.
Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck)—Gamay Beaujolais—12.5 percent, $2
WINE NO. 5
Very carbonated, but very rough bubbles—not like the fine mousse of a good champagne. Like overripe pear, but less convincing. The bubbles are so intense you're just tasting fizz in your mouth. They create a sense like a cold grape lollipop is slowly migrating down my throat. Do you want to toast an enemy? I don't know. I think this is the champagne my bartender would buy me.
Andrť—Cold Duck—9.5 percent, $3.50
American Sparkling Burgundy & Sparkling Champagne
POINT BOTTLE AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS