Best Cheap Wines to Drink on Thanksgiving

Published: November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so chances are you've already stocked up on all necessary supplies.  Remember, most liquor stores are closed tomorrow, so you'll need to buy all necessary whiskey today.  In a pinch, quite a few grocery stores will be open tomorrow, and you'll need something to serve distant relatives and unpleasant family members who sit too close to you at the dinner table.  Here's a festive list of what wines to pick if you end up in a pinch, on a budget, overly sober, and want to keep up appearances of being a good host.


You may also select one of these to bring as a gift, if you aren't the host.  I will notate which ones don't come off as cheap looking, so others might think you have taste and class.  

  1. Vendange

    Skip the glass bottle and pretenses of trying to be fancy, this wine is nothing more than glorified grape juice and yeast.  Go straight to the main reason for buying - the convenient single serving juice boxes in a variety of flavors.  You can easily buy these in bulk, slip them in your coat pocket, and sip on them through a straw while you take a quick smoke break.  Or pass them out like Halloween candy.  This is your go-to choice for wine on the go. 


  2. Fairbanks Port

    I like to think it's made by monks who've taken a vow of silence, but you can envision whatever winery suits your imagination, there's only ONE thing you NEED to know about this wine:  It's 18% alcohol content. 

    If you enjoy cherry cough syrup, you will enjoy this wine.  If you enjoy the finer things in life, you will not enjoy this wine, but you will be surprised enough to mutter "that's not as bad as I expected!" 

  3. Andre Champagne

    Every holiday needs a little bubbly.  Andre looks pretty on the walls, comes in fun flavors, and tastes like every other champagne out there so you might as well buy cheap. 

  4. Two Buck Chuck

    If there is a Trader Joe's in your area, you're in luck, any winen under $4 will do just fine, but the quintessential choice is Charles Shaw, colloquially called Two Buck Chuck by every single person whose ever bought it, because there is no pretention here.  When you buy wine for $2 a bottle, you aren't trying to be fancy.  You're just trying to drink som wine.  

  5. Franzia

    Bulk Box Wine.  For a Thanksgiving that's going to be off the hook.

  6. Protocolo*

    *If you are going as the guest, this is your gift wine of choice.  It's like $7, but it's not well known as a cheap lable like Sutter Home or Yellow Tail.  Your host won't have any clue how much you paid, although the slightly syruppy texture and banana aftertaste might give it away, you can airly state "this is all the rage in Europe" and sip away, without betraying your budget.  

    Buy it here if you can't find it locally:

  7. Cisco describes this "wine" far better than I ever could. 

    For the worst hangover of your life.  Happy Holidays.

If you enjoyed this list, look for my Top Hanukkah Wines, coming soon!