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Dive Bar Wine: 6 Best Wines for Dive Bar Wine Lists

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In a good dive bar business, there are a mix of foods, drinks, and business needs to be covered in your dive bar business plan. Your dive bar ideas will grow from plans for dive bar wine lists and menu pairings. Of course, to get there, you have to start with a dive bar wine list. 

Consumer data may tell you that dive bars are primarily a place to enjoy beer. While beer brands are a huge value proposition for restaurant brands and dive bars, the customer experience at dive bars is enhanced by a well-suited wine list. The history of dive bars shows us guest retention and customer satisfaction at these greasy spoons are built on catering to all customer types. 

Read on through this BinWise blog to learn more about dive bar wine, what to serve, and what it means for your dive bar:

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What Is Dive Bar Wine Like?

Dive bar wine is similar to the rest of the dive bar experience. It’s easily enjoyable, without pomp or pretense. From canned wine to red wine types to all types of white wine, dive bar wine lists involve wine for anyone who walks in. 

You don’t need to use the best wine openers in a dive because a lot of your wine should come in boxes or cans. Your wine storage will reflect this need for large quantities of wine that keeps. Overall, dive bar wine is as clean and delightfully simple as the rest of the dive bar.

6 Best Wines for Dive Bar Wine Lists

The wine lists of your dive bar should be straightforward. If you can avoid opening a wine bottle, do it! Canned and boxed wines should make up the majority of your house wines list. These six brands are the best to fill your list. From cost-effective to “classy” to everything in between, this is the quintessential mix. 

6. Bota Box Boxed Wines

Bota Box wines were launched by Delicato Family Wines in 2003 and since then, they’ve been a major name in the boxed wine game. They have a large variety of red, white, and pink wines that will round out your wine list. They also, as all boxed wines do, remain shelf-stable for longer than your average wine bottle.

5. Franzia Boxed Wines

Franzia boxed wines are one of the most common names in boxed wine. The Franzia brand has been selling boxed wine since 1983 and since then, they’ve been a steady cellar of all types of wine. They are often the best bang-for-your-buck wine in terms of mass purchases.

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4. Dark Horse Canned Wines

Dark Horse has been an exceptional seller of wallet-friendly wines for a long time. When their canned wines came along in 2018 they added something special to the canned wine selection. Their Pinot Grigio remains one of the best canned white wine options on the market after all these years.

3. Underwood Canned Wines

Underwood and the Union Wine Company have been a maker of wonderful Oregon wines since 2005. They entered the canned wine scene as a limited edition product in 2013. Since then they’ve been a steady name in the game. The canned wine industry owes a lot to the marketing of Underwood cans for the rise in popularity of canned wines.

2. Barefoot Canned Wine Spritzers

Every wine list needs some good wine spritzers. For your dive bar wine list, the Barefoot canned wine spritzers will fit the bill. Barefoot has long been the drink of choice for those who want a great glass of wine for a great price. Their canned wine spritzers fit that bill.

1. Porch Pounder Canned Wines

Porch Pounder padded into the wine scene in 2009 as a garage-based winery. They were officially founded in 2015 and their cans have been a fan-favorite ever since. Adding these to your dive bar wine list will bring in a wave of customers.

"Key Takeaway: Dive bar wine is similar to the rest of the dive bar experience. It’s easily enjoyable, without pomp or pretense."

Frequently Asked Questions About Wine at Dive Bars

The concept of dive bar wine may be a confusing one. Isn’t wine a high-class drink? Isn’t it meant to be served in fancy bar glassware? Those ideas don’t quite mesh with the dive bar aesthetic. When you bring in cost-effective wines, however, they’re perfectly at home in a dive bar, paired with dive bar food.

Our answers to these frequently asked questions provide further insight into the place of budget-friendly wine in dive bars: 

What Should You Order at a Dive Bar If You Don’t Like Beer?

If you’re at a dive bar and you simply can’t stand the taste of beer, some alternatives include:

  • Wine
  • Cocktails
  • Mocktails
  • Soda
  • Wine coolers

… and of course, any number of cool bar foods! Dive bars may be known for their cheap beer deals, but there’s much to enjoy for anyone at these cozy spots.

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What Do Non-Drinkers Drink at a Bar?

For teetotalers and drinkers of non-alcoholic beverages, there are many options at bars:

With the rise of social acceptability of non-alcoholic beverages in recent years, more bars are adding their twists to mocktails and non-alcoholic options. Cross-selling can even come into play, with mocktails paired with specific menu items.

Who Makes the Cheapest Wine?

Some of the most cost-effective wine brands are:

  • Beringer
  • Bogle
  • Chateau St. Michelle
  • Columbia Crest
  • Foxglove
  • Hess Select
  • J. Lohr Estates
  • Kendall Jackson
  • Pine Ridge
  • Gallo
  • Ravenswood
  • Robert Mondavi
  • Rodney Strong
  • La Crema
  • Yalumba
  • Alamos
  • Nino Franco
  • Penfolds
  • King Estate
  • Bella Sera
  • Barefoot
  • Sutter Home

Any of these bottles would be at home at a dive bar. If you’re looking for a tasty, budget-friendly wine, this list is a good place to start.

Is It Okay To Drink Cheap Wine?

Yes! It is always okay to drink cheap wine. There are many ways to enjoy wine. You can learn about and dive into fine wine. You can discover wine pairing options, like a lamb and wine pairing or a steak and wine pairing. However you choose to drink wine, the only thing that matters is that you enjoy it. If you enjoy cheap wine, that’s what you should drink!

Does Cheap Wine Give You a Worse Hangover?

No, cheap wine isn’t a direct link to a worse hangover. This is a myth that has floated around the wine community for a while, and there is much evidence to the contrary. The main reason behind the belief is the presence of congeners, or fusil oils, in wine. 

These oils can be more prevalent in cheap wine, but not necessarily. The way to avoid the worst of their effect is to drink plenty of water. That’s one of the all-time best hangover cures

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Wine at Dive Bars: Wine With a Divey Bouquet

These options for dive bar wine will round out your menu and bring in a mix of clientele beyond beer lovers. When you’re ready to open your dive bar be sure to have a mix of these wines on your inventory list. To manage that list, reach out to BinWise. Learn about the BinWise Pro beverage inventory program that simplifies your work when you take inventory.  

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