Two Buck Upchuck


To set a comprehensive quality standard to the cache of inexpensive fortified wine available to ghetto-oenophiles, disadvantaged residentialists and homeless guys on the Southfield/Lodge on ramp holding ‘Will Work for Drugs’ signs.


Each bottle had to cost less that $2 retail and had to be purchased through bulletproof polycarbonate—but could not contain bulletproof polycarbonate as an ingredient.


Franzia, which by comparison is practically a Grand Cru.


• Judges were sequestered in a sterilized, fumigated, sensory-deprivation tasting chamber located in the Golden Tower of the Wineaux Building *

*tours available M-F, $12; free to girl children between 16 and 19.

• Judges were advised to drink nothing stronger than vodka for a full hour prior to starting time.

• Wines were individually scored and rated according to a) color b) stench c) backwash and d) puke potential.

•  All wines were sampled at street temperature.


All wines were scored on a scale of zero to minus ten; zero being the optimum score.


The anonymity of the judging panel is protected through respect for lawsuits, but in the interest of maintaining professional credibility, the individual qualifications for each taster are provided:

JUDGE #1: Thirsty.

JUDGE #2:  Part Mexican.

JUDGE #3:  Delusional alcoholic and already inebriated.

JUDGE # 4: WMU alumnus; currently homeless.

JUDGE # 5: Happened to be hanging around.

JUDGE # 6: Only one with a pen.



Thunderbird, MD 20/20, Cisco, Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, Buckfast Tonic Wine.


MD20/20, Banana Red, Westfield AOC, Non-Vintage, about $1.99:  Deep, beguiling neon garnet hue with an evolved bouquet of dried pentatomoidea.  Sopped underbrush and silky ipecac round out the mouthfeel.  Smooth and harmonious on the neo-cortex with pleasantly tart gastric mucosa, roasted swamp beetle and a dusting of Agent Orange. Great finesse and balance; required effort not to vomit too quickly.

Winemaker notes: n/a

Score: -10

Cisco Beverage Dessert Wine, Centerra AVA, Non-Vintage, about $1.47:

Soft, buttery aldehydes like CH3–(CH2)2–CH=CH–CHO echo in the slightly runny nose; color hints ‘bile’ but remains primarily urea. Interstitial fluid explodes through the middle palate with rich, methylphenol dustiness allowing the wine to remain poised, but  firm as it builds in concentration.  Pleasantly hallucinatory, with subsequent imagery ranging from Mr. Opie’s 7th grade gym class to Lucille Ball making love to that kid from Deliverance.

Winemaker notes: n/a

Score: -8

Night Train Express, E & J Gallo, California, Non-Vintage, about $1.98:

A bit blowzy but with good Dimetapp character.  The slightly oily antibacterial protein bouquet offers a trace of sweet lemon turd.  Dense and complex, although a little marred by volatile arsenic trioxide.  No bâtonnage is used on the lies, so the inflammatory pyogenic infection notes shine through a massive structure.  Plenty to offer yet—will continue to evolve for twenty or thirty minutes.

Winedrinker notes:  “That Night Train’s mean wine.”—Jake Blues, dead.

Score: -5

Thunderbird White, Modesto, about $1.79:

A top pick from Scott Peterson’s home town; the wine is smegma yellow with a tongue-blackening secret ingredient whose DNA profile suggests ground-up clerid beetles and strachybotrys atra;  medium to full-bodied and oozing with septic-field overtones fading evenly to swill.

Winemaker notes: n/a

Score: -4

Wild Irish Rose, Not Ireland DOCG, about $1.99:

A light, lyrical bouquet of amoebic abscesses lead to the total blackout finish that’s characteristic of this wine; the texture is unusually muculent with a Crazy Cat Lady bite around the mid-palate.  Super-endowed with Celtic bog aromatics and surgical isopropyl on the finish. Best if cellared until Tuesday.

Score: -1

Winemaker notes: n/a

Buckfast ‘Green Bottle’ Tonic Wine, Devon, Non-Vintage, about $1.89: 

As the flight’s only European import, tasters were expecting a true terroir footprint and were pleasantly disappointed to find instead a toxins-forward smorgasbord of glycerophosphate, dipotassium phosphate and caffeine.

Winemaker notes: “If you think this sucks, try the one in the brown bottle.”

Score:  0 **

** At this point, gastrointestenal protests forced the cessation of the First Annual Two Buck Upchuck Taste-Off and the Betty Ford Clinic was placed on Code Red.





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