The Worst Wine Ever

The Worst Wine Ever

Bad Wine

We all know of course what the best wine of all time is. That would be the 1811 Chateau d'Yquem which was awarded 100 points by both Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator (note: there was no such consensus on the 1847)

How can I say this with such confidence? It may have to do with the fact that virtually everyone reading this article won't have even a fighting chance of ever trying the 1811 d'Yquem.

OK, now that we have the best we now need the worst to neatly book-end every other single wine on earth. The problem is that it's not so easy. Parker and the Spec. don't publish such lists probably for obvious reasons such as legal implications. That's where the power of wine blogging comes in. No we're not wimps around here. No sir-ree Bob! Still, how do we come up with such a list? Through tasting? Uh-oh, perhaps we are wimps after all!

Wine Refinery

I decided instead to google, yahoo, etc. “the worst wine ever” to see what I could come up with. No consensus emerged. Far from it, I found a vast and varied world of plonk and people writing about it. From this these fairly dubious and possibly drunk sources I've assembled a list of “the worst wines ever” and present it as an online poll to the readers of this blog to settle this matter once and for all.

Please note that my legal department wants me to point out the none of the wines in this list are my own choices, but are simply plucked from the above mentioned sources. To be fair, there may be a few that made the list simply because the particular bottle tasted was corked or otherwise off. Also, let's not forget that one person's Thunderbird is another person's d'Yquem. OK, maybe that's a bit too generous.

In a way this vinous hodge-podge that reminds me of a list from a ‘certain Chinese encyclopedia’ mentioned in the preface of Foucault's The Order of Things: ‘animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame,(d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies’. (Aside: quoting Foucault? Have I really become a pompous wine sipping twit? Chorus: Yes! Shut up!) But I digress. Without further ado, the

POLL: Editor's note 5 May 2011: The original poll data was sadly lost in a upgrade. Please enter your choice again so that we can reinstate our important work.

Resources: Wine Searcher's Recommended Wines Bum Wine


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  • Hi Pedro,

    Good to hear from you! It always amazes me when really marginal wine growing areas make wine. Don’t they know down in San Juan that there’s a global wine glut?!

    Steve De Long on
  • Well I thought that a bottle of Brusco dei Barbi was simply terrible, but drinkable. Then I recently tried a Cabernet Sauvignon from San Juan, Puerto Rico that was horrific and “undrinkable.” The island has to stick to making rum not wine.


    Pedro on
  • Hey anonymous, don’t mess with Texas! Good advice, however, with 4,793 Wine Spec. ratings in the “not recommended” region of 50-74, which certainly begs the philosophical question: what is the difference between a 50 and a 51? 23 wines populate the 50 points mark and are either corked or ancient bottles that passed on years ago. Two others were apparently the result of bad winemaking:

    Cantina del Taburno
    Score: 50
    Wine: Greco Taburno 2000

    Price: $15 Country: Italy Region: Campania Issue: Web Only (2002)

    Repulsive. Totally flawed. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 2,830 cases made. (JS)

    Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
    Score: 50
    Wine: La Tâche 1983

    Price: $NA Country: France Region: Burgundy Issue: Sep 30, 1999

    Simply awful. Smells and tastes of burnt rubber, sulfur and rot—it has serious flaws. Dry, lean and disgusting. DRC should be ashamed for having released this wine.—La Tâche vertical. (PM)

    In terms of the Spec, I think we can safely say that the 1983 DRC La Tâche represents the worst value for money in the “awful and repulsive” category.

    Steve De Long on
  • He who tries a Mexican wine is too drunk already or is on a dare…

    I cant understand how Mexico, having MUCH better wine grwing weather than California, hasn’t attracted investors from USA or Spain, given your nieghbour might end up being a drug dealer, the wine you could possibly get wowuld be amazing. earths quality is wonderful – climate perfect!

    California makes good wines too and has lots of potential for the future, that is If they ever learn to make wines propperly or if they bring some Good Old winemakers from Spain, France or Italy, although the real good ones rather stay in home countries and just take a long trip to California on a very expensive consultancy deal with some reach investor and still not revealing the secret of passionate wine making, which is really simple “money is meaningless, the love for winemaking is all, tecnique also helps” = P

    to the point, the worst wine ever? Padre Quino, from Mexico – horrendous

    Maid'n on
  • Well, I have had some pretty bad wines! Some have come from Hungary! These wines are hit or miss but at least out there they are a few dollars a bottle or (Forints). The worst wine I’ve ever had was in a very expensive mexican restaurant in Jalisco. The wine was Mexican and cost $45 USD. It has been the only bottle I have ever returned at a restaurant. I have returned them to stores before, because it’s not my fault the wine is spoiled. Mexican wine is salty…….don’t drink it! I like to tell my favorite wine but if I did there wouldn’t be any for me!!! The best Italian wines aren’t imported the Italians like to keep them for themselves.

    Baje rock on
  • Hi Whit, Great stuff — at half price how can you go wrong? Very wrong!

    Steve De Long on
  • any of the cherry, blackberry, whatever-erry wines of the greater midwest - Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota … etc….

    gph on
  • Has no one had the courage to try Carlo Rossi (any color)? Yellowtail and Red Bicycle are relative ambrosia. But I have to agree that Little Penguin is pretty bad.

    Dobberboc M on
  • Vallontano CS 2004 No dout about that!

    Vertas on
  • Can’t settle on ONE particular wine, but these three producers/labels need to be singled out:

    Bicyclette Rouge (a Gallo product)
    the Little Penguin

    All equally horrendous. You’ve been warned…

    Head for the Tropics

    head for the tropics on

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