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We tried 5 cheap wines from $2.99 to $11.99 — here's the only one worth buying

Wine taste test

  • We tried cheap bottles of chardonnay from five popular brands to see which one tastes the best.
  • Woodbridge was the clear loser, since it had a very unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Trader Joe's Charles Shaw was in the middle of the pack because it was tasty, but also seemed a little watered down.
  • Yellow Tail came in first place because it had a very pleasant flavor, and tasted like quality wine. 


Nothing beats a delicious glass of wine after a long day at work.

However, a good bottle of wine is expensive — but does it need to be?

I, along with five of my co-workers, put five inexpensive bottles of chardonnay to the test to see which one tasted the best as part of an ongoing INSIDER taste test series. In the past, we've compared everything from ice cream and fried chicken to cheap beer.

We bought all five bottles in New York City and spent anywhere from $2.99 to $11.99 per bottle. We performed our taste test blind to ensure that our ranking was not influenced by brand loyalty.

We compared each of the brands based on three categories: Flavor, quality, and aftertaste, ranking each bottle out of 30 points in total.

The brands we tried included:

  • Woodbridge
  • Barefoot
  • Cupcake
  • Yellow Tail
  • Trader Joe's Charles Shaw

Keep scrolling to see our thoughts and how each bottle ranked.

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We sampled five popular but inexpensive chardonnays: Woodbridge, Barefoot, Charles Shaw, Cupcake, and Yellow Tail.

Chardonnay is the most popular and widely-bought white wine in the world, though what it tastes like depends on were it's grown.

First up was a 2016 chardonnay from Woodbridge.

We were really disappointed by Woodbridge and ended up giving it 8/30 points.

Woodbridge's chardonnay had a really overbearing and slightly sour flavor. Some might call it "floral." One taste tester even proclaimed it reminded her of drinking Franzia, while another said she could feel it go all the way down her throat. The general consensus was that this wine had an unpleasant flavor, but an even worse aftertaste.

Price: $7.99 per bottle

Flavor: 3/10

Quality: 3/10

Aftertaste: 2/10

Overall: 8/30


See the rest of the story at INSIDER