Have you ever noticed that convenience stores sell more than just toiletries, budget-saving meals, munchies, and beer? Well we did, and our curious selves decided to do a little wine tasting to find out if those affordable bottles of vino were indeed worth buying.
What we ultimately discovered? You don’t need to burn holes in your pockets to throw a wine night. The amount you can spend for one glass of Amaretto Sour or Jack Coke can already buy you a whole bottle good for 3-4 people. Ladies, you don’t always have to drink beer just because you're saving for that trip you recently booked. Cheap wine gives you a happy buzz and it's packed with antioxidants, too.
Here are our finds from the 3 most common convenience stores:
MINISTOP FIND: Red Oak Sangria
Okay, so technically a wine blend. Nonetheless, we were stoked to see that there is a bottle of sangria for less than a hundred bucks, with a tangy, citrus-y taste that didn't disappoint either. Red Oak's sangria is made with carbonated water, a great choice for people who like their alcohol with soda and that fizz. It's also perfect for weekday hits because of its 7% alcohol content - though it may have a medicinal Welch's taste for some folks.
Cost: P83 for a 500ml bottle
We suggest: Transferring the contents to a carafe. No one has to know it’s store-bought.
FAMILY MART FIND: Vivo by Manny O
Manny O. vinos are bottled in Europe, but made especially for the Asian palate. This one hailed from Puglia in Southern Italy, and had an ample amount of sweetness plus a really smooth finish. A legit vino masked under an affordable price point.
Cost: P282 for a 750ml bottle
We suggest: Chilling it before serving.
7-ELEVEN FIND: Maria Clara Sangria
Apparently, this sangria is a best-seller. The fruity mix with 10% alcohol content is something even non-drinkers can enjoy because of its friendly taste. It's made with red wine punched up with fruits, the way a real sangria should be done.
Cost: P195 for a 750ml bottle
We suggest: Adding real fruits and lots of ice, served in a punch bowl.
As for the munchies, the grocery offers reasonable finds you can whip up in a jiffy, a.k.a remove from the box and prepare as if fixing a flatlay.
Doesn’t have to be fancy; the dairy section of the grocery actually has a pretty neat selection of cheeses. Just take your pick, buy crackers to go with it (we chose Saltines and Hansel Premium Sandwich), plus a bunch of grapes. Chips are also great, of course.
Verdict: The convenience store trinity is the bomb. Try these out for loading up before heading to Tipple and Slaw or if you want a quiet (and cheap) wine night with your BFFs.
Photographed by Yayay de Castro