Since the great Four Loko ban of 2017, many of McGill’s students, staff, and administrators have found themselves dazed and confused, hopelessly searching for an affordable alcoholic substitute to take the edge off. For some, the end of the sugary and colourful malt beverage era is an opportunity to delve into the world of sophisticated drinks—and what’s more sophisticated than a glass of vino? To help students explore the wonders of wine while sticking to a budget, The McGill Tribune has compiled a list of Montreal’s four best wines available at the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) for under $10.
Astica Sauvignon Blanc: $8.60
Let the price speak for itself—this fruity white wine belongs in a bag and should only be consumed during Frosh week. Although Astica is more traveled than your friends on exchange, claiming to come from Argentina, it seems more at home in an Upper Residence dorm room. At first smell, you can tell this is a cheap wine—simultaneously very watered down and sickeningly sweet. But with its 13 per cent alcohol content and low price, this bottle has a high bang-to-buck ratio, making it the best choice if you’re looking to drink wine in large quantities. Just be careful, it’s probably not the type of wine you would want to bring home to your parents.
Domaine La Hitaire Les Tours: $9.25
Like many at McGill, La Hitaire sells itself through its pride in its French roots. Although the bottle presents itself more seriously then Astica, La Hitaire could still be confused for spiked fruit punch based on its citrusy taste. If you are looking to avoid the bitter taste of alcohol, La Hitaire is your best choice for a white wine, coming in at an unimpressive 10.5 per cent alcohol content. Buyer beware though: Sugary wines like these almost always guarantee a pounding headache the next morning.
Vila Regia: $8.95
At the sight and taste of Vila Regia, one could say that Portugal has truly outdone itself. This red wine perfectly combines subtle fruity flavours with a bottle aesthetic that wouldn’t offend a real adult. Vila Regia represents the best of both worlds—it’s perfect to drink at a cheap pizza party or to use in sangria at a more formal dinner gathering.
Firriato Nari Nero d’Avola / Petit Verdot: $9.50
This red wine tastes like what we can only imagine adulthood feels like—dry, stressful, and painfully serious. With a whopping 13.5 per cent alcohol content, the beverage smells like the McGill medical clinic, and does not taste much better. This wine’s redeeming factor is the bottle’s fancy design, which makes it somewhat acceptable to present in sophisticated environments.