TRIGGER WARNING: The following article will cover a topic which some readers might find sensitive, upsetting, or discomforting. With this article, BAISmag DOES NOT intend to promote the sale or consumption of alcohol or any kind of substance abuse. The following article is for entertainment purposes only. Reader discretion is advised.  

The BAISmag team is here to help our fellow students navigate choosing the perfect wine. Does anyone really understand how to pick which wine to buy? Probably not. Here are our team’s tips and tricks on impressing your friends with the “best” bottle of wine!

To Hugo or Not to Hugo? That is the question!

Lelani’s Suggestion: 

If you want to impress your dinner guests with something sweet, don’t buy Hugo. Don’t be tempted by the low price and sweet, juice-like taste. Hugo is not wine, rather a wine cocktail.

Villa Rosa Vino Frizzante – Gall & Gall, 4,49

 If you want something kind of similar to Hugo with a more ‘adult’ appeal, try a sweet-ish sparkling wine. I recommend Villa Rosa Vino Frizzante for those that are willing to spend a little more on a good wine when spending time with good company. I discovered this wine when I bought it to celebrate Biden winning the 2020 presidential elections. The wine is soft, and not too sharp, kind of like Biden. But all jokes aside, it is easy to drink for dinner parties or small victories. 

Lu’s Defense of Hugo:

Hugo – Albert Heijn, Lidl, or Aldi €1,99

Someone has to say it and defend Hugo: yes, it is somewhat not wine, but it is incredible. I’m sorry but it is sweet, it is bubbly, and it gets you drunk before it gets you sick. Hugo is a big slay, there is no other word.

For less than €2, I can, for a minute, forget that life exists and relax after a long uni day with an affordable bottle of yummy ‘wine’. I once drank a whole bottle alone after an exam while playing the Sims in bed. Did I feel like an alcoholic? No, because that gold tastes like soda!

So I recommend Hugo, whenever you want, and you will be drunk on a budget while preserving your self-image, and we stan.

P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I also like fancier wine – like, obviously, I’m Swiss – but do I want to spend more on alcohol when I can pay only €1,99 and have fun? Well no.

More Student Friendly Options

Krzysztof’s Suggestion:

Klein Vriend, €2.99 – Jumbo or Hardy’s, €3,99 – Albert Heijn 

I’m gonna be completely honest and say that I have never touched a fancy wine in my life. As a student, I prefer to do my shopping on the “Prijsfavorieten” shelf, (aka the bottom one) where nothing costs more than €4,00. Now you may be thinking to yourself: “It’s literally impossible to find a wine that doesn’t taste like bathwater under €5,00”. I used to think that too until I found Klein Vriend. Klein Vriend is unofficially Jumbo’s premier student wine, clocking in at only €2,99. The best part? It’s palatable, which at this point is all I can ask for. In the case of Albert Heijn, Hardy’s is my top pick. At €3,99 it only tastes a little bit like acetone (at least that means they aren’t skimping on the alcohol). But let’s take one more moment to be honest with ourselves. After you drink an entire bottle of Hardy’s while sitting alone on your bedroom floor, you won’t even remember what it tasted like going down. And isn’t that the entire point? 

Diederik’s Suggestion: 

Glühwein – in good company

I have had good wines in my life, and I have had even more terrible wines: wine so bitter it makes you shiver, wine so sweet it makes you feel nauseous after two sips. What distinguishes a great wine from a good wine, however, is not its taste; it is the setting in which you drink it. The way too sweet €1,00 wine I drank on my friend’s kitchen floor while finishing an assignment easily beats the objectively good tasting wine I drank on a freezing cold terrace wondering if it was already an appropriate time to tell the people at my table that I was going home. So what is the tastiest wine? I cannot answer that question. What is the best wine? Glühwein, no debate. I rarely drink it, its taste can be as awful as it can be great, but every memory I have of drinking glühwein is a happy one: those few days of winter where the cozyness makes the cold worth it. Glühwein in good company, I recommend.

Beatrice’s Suggestion:

Sobreiro Ruby Port – Albert Heijn, €4,79 euro

I have to admit, it is slightly more expensive compared to the standard student-friendly wine but it is definitely worth it if you want to treat yourself! According to the people who know much more than me about wine, Port is more of a sipping wine and less of a ‘meal wine’. By that I don’t necessarily exclude the fact that it can be drunk while having dinner, but I would strongly advise you to sip it while watching a movie with your friends. Even if it is a red wine – and I usually prefer white over red or rosé – I think it is great for when you invite your friends over and you are in need of a wine that could appeal to everyone. In fact, differently from normal red wine, Port is much more sweet and without having that sourness that makes your nose itch. And if this doesn’t convince you, I will let you in on a little secret – and the main reason why I keep on buying it: yes, it is not cheap, but it also has a higher percentage of alcohol so it kind of balances it out. 

Marina’s Suggestion:

I honestly don’t drink a lot of wine here in The Netherlands, except for the occasional cheap wine, which is bound to be pretty crappy but, with our student budget we can’t really afford a picky palate. However, this is one of the wines I’ve tried which has not been the worst one I’ve ever had.

Sarmentino Cabernet Sauvignon- Albert Heijn, €2,99 euro 

 A red wine always looks good at a dinner party or a chill evening with friends. This one is less than €3, which should be slightly concerning for a red wine, but it works just fine. It has that grape taste, which red wines should usually have, smells like red wine and also has a certain spicy aftertaste which is a nice surprise. If you’re looking for a cheap wine that looks nice, is drinkable and also sounds very fancy, then pick this one!

Maria’s Suggestion:

Liebfraumilch Qualitätswein- Albert Heijn, €2,79 euro

One might say that this semi-sweet white wine is full of ‘red flags’: its name might make German speakers uncomfortable, while the fact that it is sold in a carton box discourages the rest of the potential consumers. Nevertheless, if a person overcomes their wine snobbery – which being a broke student might make it an easy task – there is no way back to the notoriously famous Hugo. This boxed wine goes perfectly with light snacks such as fruits or cheese, and can be a good cheap accompaniment to a relaxing evening with friends. If you often find your white wine to be ‘too sour’ or-  in general like moderately sweet drinks – give this one a try. It also might be a good introduction to the wine world for all the ‘cocktail’ people. 

After all, Liebfraumilch started its story in the 13th century and now is one of the most famous German wines not without reason. 

P.S. The main benefit of boxed wine is that it can be kept for longer than a bottle – up to approximately 20 days. So you can always leave the rest until the next party! 

Martina’s Suggestion:

The secret to how I pick a bottle of wine disclosed:

  1. Red, white or rose? Personally, the answer is always white.
  2. Set a price limit. Usually restrictive, be ready to crawl around the bottom shelves.
  3. Pick the one with the nicest etiquette. It got a dog? It’s got a rainbow? Taken!
  4. Enjoy (hopefully)!




Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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