Wine Talk

Snooth User: WineGeekJen

Worst Wine Ever...

Original post by WineGeekJen, Apr 21, 2010.

What's the worst wine you have ever had? I had some Don Luciano Shiraz over the weekend (which is a $4.00 wine I picked up at Wal-Mart...just to see). I had had the Don Luciano Chardonnay and it was OK, but the Shiraz I had smelled like road kill (very heavy sulfur)--I wonder if I got a bad bottle.  Has anyone else tried it?


Reply by Brad Borneaux, May 13, 2010.

As for Summerhill, I'm not a huge fan tasting at the winery... it's proximity to Kelowna & the highway bring in people by the busloads.  Interesting that you didn't care for their Cipes, it's what they're known for.  I've had it myself, and although I don't normally go out of my way to have a sparkling, it didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth as such.

Reply by TerriW, May 13, 2010.

I have actually never visited the Summerhill Winery proper. And I am a big sparkling fan.

So what are your favorite wineries in BC?  I have done a few trips through the Okanagan region and hit wineries starting at the Nk'Mip Cellars in Osoyoos to Larch Hills and Recline Ridge in the Salmon Arm area. 

Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2010.

Would definitely be interested in hearing what people think are the best wineries, and wines, in the Okanagan. Hopefully with an explanation why. Have a good friend going for an extended stay, based in Kelowna, in a month or so...

Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2010.

Maybe I'll start a new thread on this, since it is a bit tangentially off-topic for this thread.

Reply by hobowiretoaster, Jun 12, 2010.

Worst wine ever.  That was Le Rieufort Gascogne Rose, a french wine.  The bottle said it's a mix of Cab Franc and Merlot.  I found it was harsh and utterly flavourless.  I tried to rescue it by putting in some Drambuie and that made it better.  Not nice to do to Drambuie though.  Other white wines I've had that I didn't like tasted like wet dog.  As for nasty reds, they've tasted like burnt rubber.

Reply by Mr Lee, Jun 12, 2010.

Speaking of burnt rubber! I recently sampled a bottle that had exactly that taste, no kidding! It was an Septima 08 Malbec from of all places Mendoza. The best region in the world for Malbec. This weedkiller had a finish exactly of burnt rubber and smelled like a ballast had burnt out in a flouresent light fixture. I had to tell the vendor that no way would I put this on the shelf in the store. I suggested he should sell it to ACE hardware to shelf in the lawn care section.Lol. He didn't think that was funny, but oh well, Vino Veritas!

Reply by zufrieden, Jun 13, 2010.

Since life keeps getting breathed back into this forum (not necessarily a bad thing - since we just might help discipline a few miscreant producers out there), I'd like to support some of the comments coming out about Summerhill in the Okanagan Valley. Although I have never been a great follower of this winery (especially anything remotely red in color), the sparklers and whites used to be at least dependable. If there now problems with the Cipes Brut (a signature wine), then things are truly falling apart at this tourist-oriented operation.

The owner of Summerhill - Stephen Cipes - whom I have met casually on a couple of ocassions - is a former real estate agent from NYC.  Perhaps the subprime mortagage disease has infected his wines.  I hope this does not sound too unkind as I really have no idea what would cause such a catastrophic drop in quality.

As to my personal worst experience with wine?  There's an obvious and clear winner: Achaia Clauss Domestica Red bottled at Patras in the Peloponnese.  Now that's turpentine, IMHO which is really too bad since there are in fact many fine wines from Greece.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 30, 2010.

@GirlDrinkDrunk:  Don't know if it is the worst, but liked your post about Artemis.  I see a lot of ostentatious people pouring it down their gullets and can't understand the appeal.  Not terrible, but good Stags Leap wines are amazing, and that one is just about marketing to people who don't know better.  That said, my worst bottle that I can remember was a bottle of Catalpa Cuvee my wife bought.  I've had great inexpensive wines, but this was a wretched "cab."  It was somebody's left over juice, not even a real label--which can sometimes be great if the leftover juice came from somewhere great.  That's Cam Hughes' whole business.  My wife doesn't really have my luck at buying at the low end. I've had others back from when a lot of wine didn't get made carefully, but recently, that's it.  I have a tasteless pinot noir that we are vinegaring and using for cooking.  Not barf-y, just utterly bland and not worth drinking.  But the Catalpa was far worse.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 30, 2010.

@Hobowiretoaster:  Was your burnt rubber from South Africa by any chance?  They had a problem with that a few years ago. No one ever totally figured it out, as I recall.  I had one bottle and most of the nasty odor blew off after the first or second day. (I vacuvinned it in hopes that it was temporary.)  It wound up being okay, but it's actually turned me off to SA reds. 

Reply by jcjrogers, Jul 31, 2010.

Back in my college days, some frat buddies and I would each pick up a couple of bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 for whatever party we were having.  Though it might have gone down pretty easy, it was some pretty nasty stuff, especially now-- looking back 20+ years ago .        

Reply by madmanny, Jul 31, 2010.

If you find yourself traveling north on RT 4 from Orlando, FL towards Lady Lake and you see a winery sign, treat it as a mirage.  My wife stopped in and seeing that the wines were "award winners", picked up a few bottles.  They were so bad (not from heat) that I was afraid to pour it down the drain - might damage the pipes. 


Reply by jcjrogers, Jul 31, 2010.

Probably muscadine.  People seem to love it or hate it.  I was recently in a wine store in St. Pete, FL, which had all local wines.  All were fruit wines except the muscadine (though many people consider muscadine wine a "country wine").  The guy at the store allowed us to taste almost all of them.  They were all good, though I'm not a big muscadine fan either.  I bought a couple bottles of their blackberry wine.  Delicious. 

Reply by BrissyWineGuy, Aug 19, 2010.

Come on now people how the heck do you expect anything cheap to be anything but grape essence and flavor additives maybe some grapes there somewhere. If it cost min $6 to make, how can you expect to pay $3. You are really fooling yourself. Good luck. Happy Hangover...

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 19, 2010.

BrissyWineGuy--of course expectations are low when you are paying very little, but there's such a glut of grapes that the cost to a negociant is often a lot less than $3 a bottle these days.  See my post on "Shiners, etc." for a bit of information.  I also have friends who make wine and enter it into contests for "amateurs" who get the "leftover" grapes from super-duper-ultra-premium vineyards that you would know--their cost per bottle is less than $3, although they don't count their labor.  Their model is not really scalable, but Cam Hughes could sell his wine for even less, and occasionally does.  Go down a notch or two and you can get bulk juice for pretty darn cheap.  The real issue is, have you had bad wine at any price?

Reply by Degrandcru, Sep 19, 2010.

Santa Ana, Shiraz, Argentina, having it right now. The mexican market is swamped by cheap, almost undrinkable Southamerican wine lately. Their are great Argentinian wines out there, but nothing worth drinking under $15.

Reply by schellbe, Sep 19, 2010.

Ignoring numerous corked bottles, a bad wine that comes to mind is a CA Pinot Noir named Finnegan or Fin. I think we had the 08, and it tasted like cheap raisiny red wine. I can't beleive Zachys sells a lot of this.

There are other obvious rejects...most CA chardonnay, as well as locally produced Wyoming and South Dakota wines (unripe fruit), but oak chips (chardonnay) are not to my taste, and these other areas are marginal for grape growing.

I don't think there is any excuse for this Pinot Noir however.


Reply by biondanonima, Sep 20, 2010.

I think this is a tough question because IMO there should be different standards for wines at different price points.  If I've only paid $5 for a bottle, I don't expect much.  That said, for the most part cheaper wines don't let me down.  Sure, they may not be the greatest wine I've ever tasted, but I've rarely had one that was truly undrinkable. 

However, getting something undrinkable in the $15+ range REALLY irritates me.  Luckily that's rare too, but recently a friend brought me a 2007 Herricks Lane Cab Franc which I think retails for $16-17.  It was truly the most heinous thing I've ever tasted.  Pure Pine-Sol, or maybe Pine-Sol mixed with bile.  It reminded me of all those times in college when I spent the morning after re-tasting whatever I had drunk the night before.  Maybe it was corked - I certainly hope so, because if they're selling that swill intending for people to like it, they've got problems.

Up until that point I think the worst thing I'd ever tasted was a Greek red that I had at an equally awful Greek restaurant - luckily the place didn't turn me off of Greek food but I've been loathe to try Greek wine again.

Reply by arus803, Sep 23, 2010.

The worst wine I ever tasted was Barefoot Cellars Cabernet.  It was brought to a party I had (1.5 liter bottle, no less!); it was rough, bitter and just plain nasty.  Needless to say, it went down the drain!

Reply by scruffy33, Aug 17, 2012.

Chateau Des Charmes 2009 Unoaked Chardonnay.  My wife is in the hotel biz and brought a bottle of this home after a wedding party left a case of it behind.  Tasting notes?  Spoiled honeydew melon, expired marmalade, and a bit of "brown flavour" Listerine on the finish.  I would serve it with Kraft Dinner to someone who recently got 3rd degree burns in their mouth.

Reply by napagirl68, Aug 18, 2012.

Our Grocery Outlet gets some pretty good deals at times... got an amazing Altus Cab a few years back.  But in trying various wines, I have had some pretty terrible ones.  I took a chance on this on, and it was TERRIBLE!   Used it as drain cleaner.


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