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Jun 8, 2008 05:53 PM

What Was The First Wine Advertisement That You Recall?

Predicated on a topic in Not About Food - CH, I got to thinking, "what was the first advertising reference to wine, that I recall?"

For me, I think that it was the "Little Old Wine Maker Me," from Swiss Colony. I think it was their French Colombard.

Next was probably Riunete [SP?] and the "Aldo Chelo," bits.

Last, and from about the same circa, were the Harvey's Bristol Creme (usually at/near the Holidays).

What were the first ads, TV, radio, print, that you recall for wines?


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  1. I was just thinking about that "Little Old Wine Maker" ad the other day. That's the first one and the other one I thought of was Orson Welles, about serving no wine before its time.

    6 Replies
    1. re: monkuboy

      Ah, the Orson Welles ads. I had forgotten about those. I think I purchased my first black turtleneck sweater, after those...

      Was that E & J Gallo?



      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Paul Masson: "We will sell no wine before its time." Problem was he was using Emerald Dry -- a wine that was in the bottle within six months.

        I, too, remember "that little ol' winemaker, me" from Italian Swiss Colony, but rather than French Colombard, I remember him having trouble saying, "Sonapa-Noma" in trying to sell their "Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino" jug wine. Also he was selling "Tyrolia" . . .

        The ads Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara did for Blue Nun were classics! Indeed, much funnier -- but less ironic -- than Adam "Batman" West and ZsaZsa Gabor advertising Weibel Green Hungarian . . .

        Harvey's Bristol Cream -- and Dry Sack -- were the two sherries that were advertised annually.

        Almaden did a lot of print ads for their half-gallon Grenache Rosé.

        1. re: zin1953

          The late John Candy did a fabulous spoof of this on Second City TV. After delivering the Welles schtick, he looked off camera, and asked "What time is it? Six o'clock? It's time!".

          1. re: zin1953

            Thanks Jason, I knew that E&J Gallo did not ring true.

            I do recall the Stiller & Meara Blue Nun bits. But both the Weibel Green Hungarian and the Dry Sack (only recall the Bristol Cream) were either not aired in my region, or I have just forgotten them. Same with the Almaden.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Dry Sack starred Frank Gifford (New York Giants, ABC's Monday Night Football) drinking Dry Sack on the rocks instead of Scotch!

              Oh, and let's not forget Bartles & Jaymes! Thank you for your support.

              I think Adam West and Zsa Zsa may have been a radio campaign, the more I think about it . . .

              1. re: zin1953

                Now, the B&J commercials with the "older gents," were priceless. I do not recall the actors, if I ever knew their names, but think they might have been "character actors," from that circa.

                Do not recall Frank Gifford and the Dry Sack commercials. Depending on the era, I was either in New Orleans, or Denver. Most likely NOLA, as it was never considered a national market for much of anything. In Denver, we were the test market for so very much, back in the '80s & '90s. I would assume that it is still similar, as the demographic is good for marketing/advertising.



      2. "Spamanti Mantino, Pamanti Mantino! That's my vino..Wow!" is the first that comes to was an 80's commercial with a women in a cocktail dress singing..

        Second is a Piat Dior wine commercial..she's french and remembering.."Moi, mais me vin prefora..La Piat Dior"..

        1. I'm not a huge wine-drinker, but clearly remember seeing the ads for Blue Nun wines as a kid. I thought is was highly amusing, that a religious figure was hawking wine. Of course, I was probably 5 years old, too!! *LOL*

          1. The first thing that popped in my head was Hochtaler early 80s. I remember this lady in a leotard suit with top hat and cane sing a song. Catchie tune

            .....haha I just found it on youtube!!


            man that bring back memories.

            3 Replies
            1. re: livetocook

              Wow, that is a new one to me. Reminded me of Madeline Kahn in "Young Frankenstein." Maybe a regional thing.

              Thanks for sharing and for the URL.


              1. re: livetocook

                That was the first thing I thought of too. I wanted to be her for Halloween when I was little but my parents wouldn't let me! ;)

                1. re: Blush

                  Now, just think how they'd love to have a VHS of you in that role! Let the kids express themselves, but keep the video cam close....


              2. On radio, Clos du Bois, Sonoma County, with a man badly mimicking a French accent.

                And another radio spot. A traveler asks how to get to Napa County, she's given directions to a local market or butcher, and a short recipe with a wine pairing. I'm pretty sure that was Beringer.

                Saw my first Nicolas Feuillatte billboard recently in NYC.