Huffpost Taste
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Thrillist Headshot

Ranking the Top 5 Bum Wines, From Thunderbird to Mad Dog 20/20

Posted: Updated:

2014-01-16-bummain.jpg

Some call it "bum wine" or "brown bag vino." But the cultured call it "fortified wine", that ultra-sweet, high-octane "grape wine with citrus spirits" that gets a, um, bum rap because it's high on alcohol and low on price (though, averaging $5 a bottle, MD 20/20 is out-pricing the Three Buck Chuck). In the interest of fairness, we scored five of the more popular fortified wines and ranked them like any other wine. Then we maaaaaaaaybe peed on a bus stop... but only to stop the government from reading our thoughts.

2014-01-16-bum1.jpg

5. Cisco Strawberry
What it is: A mixture of grape and citrus and strawberry that's marked by a distinct thickness. It's also a wolf in sheep's clothing: Because of its effete bottle and technicolor glow, people often mistake it for a wine cooler... a wine cooler that'd dump the average consumer of wine coolers on her minivan-driving rump.
ABV: 18 percent
Taste-test: If I didn't know waaaay better, I'd think I brushed my teeth before tasting this... it tastes like something I fermented in my bathroom (believe me, I know). It has the consistency of watered-down cough syrup and sugar, but none of the flavor of traditional sizurp.

2014-01-16-bum2.jpg

4. Thunderbird
What it is: "The American Classic", Commie! Also, "Citrus wine with natural flavors and caramel color... vinted and bottled in Modesto". Commie.
ABV: 17.5 percent
Taste-test: Apparently, "American Classic" means a weird, syrupy flavor that's at once bitter and sweet. So... Sarah Palin? But seriously, folks... it tastes a bit like corn syrup mixed with bottom shelf vodka that was left out in the sun.

Which bum wine came in first? You might be shocked that one of them actually tastes like Merlot! Find out in the full story on Thrillist.com!