About Vinagoth, The Wine Barbarian

If you came here looking for Parker-esque breakdown of high end wines in flowery language, boy are you out of luck. Instead of a wise and scholarly advocate, you’ll find a mildly inebriated barbarian telling you about whatever swill he just recently downed… usually bought for a fistful of dollars rather than a hefty dent on his meager credit. 

This is a wine review site for the cheapskate. Most of the wines here are priced under $20, with an emphasis on the “cheap and red”. The author fearlessly treads to dangerous low ground of the grocery wine section shelf, willing to taste anything… once. If it sucks, he’ll tell you. If it is good, he’ll praise it. If it is passably mediocre, you’ll hear about those too. The bottom line here is finding good values on a tight budget. No complicated scales or points, wines here are graded strictly on a “pass/fail” basis. When you are buying at the low end of the scale nuance and subtlety are a waste of time. Is it good, or not? If I like it I’ll say so, if I don’t, I’ll say so too. Any wine with a passing grade here is probably worth your money. If it fails, then I’ve saved you a few bucks.



So who is the Vinagoth? Well, let’s just ask him:

I’m just a midwestern boy who’s been living on the west coast since I managed to escape from college in 1985… (yes, with a degree.) My father is a wine snob, and I count many wine snobs among my friends. I like to listen to wine snobs. In fact the inspiration for this blog happened while I was listening to my favorite wine snob, Tom Leykis on his radio show “The Tasting Room” while I was mowing the lawn one day. I’m just not really a wine snob myself. First of all, I’m cheap. If a Scotsman married a Jew and produced a Miser, that would be me. I’ll drink pricey wines… if somebody else is covering the check. I can pick a winner from a fabulous wine list, hell anybody can. What I do when the money is coming from my own wallet is scour the bottom end of the price range. Single digits are best. Prices in the teens are acceptable. When the first digit of two has a “2” I start to sweat. If it is a “3” or greater just picking up the bottle to look at it causes shooting pains in my wallet. If I were to actually purchase something north of fifty bucks you know that I’ve gone bonkers and you might as well schedule me for a round of shock therapy.

I had a few semesters of French in my school daze, and one word I recall set off alarms of self-awareness was “gourmand” … I am a gourmand. I relish flavors and experiences. This of course conflicts with my skinflint ways but somehow I manage to reconcile the inner dichotomy.

So the purpose of this blog then is to serve as a guide for the buyer of cheap wine. I’ll share my experiences along the bottom shelf of the wine world… exposing my biases, my likes, my dislikes, my treasures and my trash. Tasting notes, without the burden of the traditional oenophiles adjectives. 

Don’t expect high-end presentation… in fact I expect my style will be fuzzy cell-cam shots and fuzzier descriptions, but hey, WTF do you expect for under twenty bucks!

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