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Before White Zinfandel, there was...

Red Mountain Pink Chablis! I recall being in a Navy electronics school in San Diego in 1969 and you could get Red Mountain Wine (burgundy, chablis, pink chablis, etc.) for $1.49 a gallon. Seven years later I got stationed in Vallejo, CA, right at the south end of the Napa Valley and found out what wine really is.

So, what rotgut did you drink before you discovered real wine? C'mon, I won't tell a soul...

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  1. Riunite Labrusco. It's nice with ice <g>

    1. Gallo Hearty Burgundy from the jug with the little finger-loop. I was apparently just way ahead of my time ->

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor

        That was my very first wine ever! It was introduced to me by my wine-loving college boyfriend when we first started dating, as that's what was in his budget. We walked over to the grocery, he bought a jug of burgundy and a gladiolis from the floral section and we camped out on his bedroom floor studying and drinking our jug o'wine out of milk glasses. It was fantastic! The memory, obviously, not necessarily the taste of the wine...

        Edited to add: I should say I never did (and still don't) care for white zin, but the jug had just enough flavor to peak my interest in pursuing wine.

      2. Pink chablis was absolutely the worst. Guaranteed hangover.

        1. Actually, the first wine I ever had was 1937 Erbacher Marcobrunner Trockenbeerenauslese . . . rotgut came later.

          6 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            Wouldn't you know it? Sheesh, Jason.

            In college we drank mostly beer, and the wine came after graduation. It was Mateus Rose and Lancers that got us into wine and, into the 70's, we became fans of Sutter Home White Zinfandel. Later we made a quality decision and moved up to Beringer White Zin. It wasn't til the early 80's that we moved on to 'real wine' at home, though we did splurge on better wines at restaurants before then. By '85 or so, though, we were hooked on the good stuff.

            1. re: Midlife

              Well, there WAS a time (after the '37 TBA) when there were a few bottles of Lancer's and Mateus rose, but I generally stuck with Gallo Hearty Burgundy since -- back then -- it was mostly Zinfandel and Petite Sirah . . . or Bolla Valpolicella and Soave (for $3.99 -- or was it $2.99?), you couldn't go wrong.

              1. re: zin1953

                i drank gallo hearty burgundy in college, too. what is the composition now, if you know (or is it still made?)

                also, my older sister was into blue nun for a while.

                and a friend and i got really crazy once with cold duck!

                1. re: alkapal

                  It's still made, though significantly more expensive. Gallo has raised the price point of Hearty Burgundy ABOVE that of their other jug wines, and no longer bottle it on 3.0L and 4.0L (the former one gallon) sizes. Indeed, while it's still a semi-generic, they no longer consider it a jug wine, per se. That would suggest that the composition is still primarily Zinfandel.

                  Gallo sells their "regular" (as opposed to "Hearty" or "Dry") Burgundy at the same price point as their other jug wines (e.g.: Rhine Wine, Pink Chablis, etc.)

                  Their n.v. Dry Burgundy was first introduced in screw-cap 750ml bottles ONLY, as it was composed of their 1979 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that Gallo felt wasn't good enough to release as a $50 varietal wine.

                  In the 1960s, Gallo used to purchase one-third of ALL the grapes grown in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties. In the 1970s, Gallo pulled out of Napa Valley completely and put their efforts solidly into Sonoma -- with their estate wines and Gallo of Sonoma bottlings the result.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    in 1978-79, i recall that the gallo burgundy i was drinking was sold in a 750 ml size regular wine bottle. it fit in my dorm fridge door. maybe what i was drinking was the "dry burgundy" instead of "hearty" burgundy....that must be it, cause it had a screw cap, but not a jug. i bet it would still taste pretty good.

                    what is closest in the current gallo line to the flavor/varietal profile of the 1979 dry burgundy?

                  2. re: alkapal

                    it wasn't until i was well into my twenties before i even tasted good wine. . .

                    before that e&j gallo produced some stuff called ripple and some other stuff called thunderbird.

            2. I kid you not, the first wine I recall loving was the 1986 Chateau Talbot in 1994. I was 14.

              It has been downhill since.

              1. My first wine was a bottle of Liebfraumilch; the red mountain came later.

                9 Replies
                1. re: wally

                  this is a fun excercise... mine happened to be night train. but lets not forget what white zinfandel has done for american wine consumption, aside from awful hangovers. it was americas forey into wine drinking on a global level. with that, was further interest and more import and exposure to the world of wine. ok, other than that this is still a fun thread

                  1. re: bowmore36

                    Boones Farm, White Zinfandel. I actually know some people who still drink Chardonnay. Yuck.

                    1. re: grantham

                      One hopes there are a LOT of people who drink Chardonnay . . . what's wrong with Macon? Meursault? Puligny-Montrachet? Corton-Charlemagne?

                      And they needn't be all French -- there are a number of EXCELLENT Chardonnays produced elsewhere in the world, too -- even California!

                      1. re: zin1953

                        anything manipulated beyond recognition could qualify as yuck! just so happens that chardonnay is subject to that quite often.

                        but zin, absolutely agreed. i think we have no fear of chardonnay falling of the planet

                        1. re: zin1953

                          <One hopes there are a LOT of people who drink Chardonnay . . . what's wrong with Macon? Meursault? Puligny-Montrachet? Corton-Charlemagne?

                          And they needn't be all French -- there are a number of EXCELLENT Chardonnays produced elsewhere in the world, too -- even California!>

                          Amen to that!

                          I do recall Mateus and Lancers, Thunderbird.... Boones Farm and Almaden "Mountain Chablis" (aka vinegar). then came Taylor Tawny Port and Harvey's Bristol Cream.....

                          by 1980 we were drinking "real" wine. I shall never forget the Mothers Day I made Scampi for dinner and had purchased a beautiful German Riesling to go with it, and one of the guests brought a jug of Carlo Rossi Hearty Burgundy and got upset when we didn't pour it with dinner................;>/

                        2. re: bowmore36

                          Surprisingly, White Zin still retains more than 10% market share for all CA wine. Lots of people are still drinking it

                        3. re: wally

                          Ah yes, Red Mountain, the base of massive quantities of spolioli (faux sangria)

                        4. Zima. Anyone? Come on, I know I wasn't the only one...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jadea3

                            But that was Zomething Different.... ;)

                            1. The German style Reislings pre-dated the zin drinking.

                              As to the red jug wines (like Carlo Rossi or Almaden), remember that high disposable income types like airline pilots and doctors had over-invested in varietals that were produced in quantities greater than demand in about 1969-70, resulting in jug wines that were very drinkable and that consisted of mostly good varietals.

                              Gasoline was then maybe $0.40 a gallon, making your jug wine a current $15 a gallon--about right I guess.

                              1. In college we had "Cheap Wine Night." Everyone would bring bottles of Mad Dog, Night Train, White and Red Rocket, Lancers, etc. We'd listen to music and drink all night. I'd also put a bottle of Boone's Farm in a plastic bottle and take it to the computer lab when writing papers.

                                Mom always had Ernest & Julie Gallo(n) jugs in the fridge.

                                1. my mother used to make this syrupy sweet plum wine in the fridge that i began raiding in my tender youth. i credit that early training with my current ability to hold my liquor pretty well for a scrawny person. (thanks, mom!!)

                                  on a side note: i bet there are white zins worth drinking! i don't happen to know what they are, but they must exist...

                                  1. Black Tower.

                                    On a different end of the spectrum I also recall purchasing a Olivier Leflaive Rully Blanc 1er Cru for a dinner party when I was like 25 years old and not really liking it at all.

                                          1. re: monkuboy

                                            ditto...Mateus Rose, and I still like the way the bottle looks:)

                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                              The Mateus bottle was so distinctive. I clearly remember it from my early days of drinking. This was the early 70s, and the Mateus bottle was much more attractive then -- the shape, the photo on it, all of it. Here's a good picture of it:

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                Yes, that was sort of a modified bocksbeutel, but from Portugal. Very distinctive, like the fiasco. It also made a great candle holder too!

                                                For me, Lancer's bottle shape and then colors, were distinctive as well.


                                          2. This is some great stuff! The references to Black Tower and Hearty Burgundy make me wonder why my liver didn't run away from home years ago...

                                            I was in a liquor store with a friend in the late 70s and she wanted a bottle of Blue Nun. I didn't know where it was, but she walked right to it. She said she knew it would be with the Manischewitz in the "religious section".

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: dd992emo

                                              First I actually remember was some Cold Duck. My mom bought some for my 18th birthday party and we all got ONE glass of it.
                                              Other than the CD, I remember lots of Mateus and Lancers my freshman year in college. I was not a beer drinker at all (that came in my 3rd year in college), so anytime anyone brought any kind of wine to the party, that's what I drank.

                                            2. I grew up drinking wine mostly at Thanksgiving/Christmas. Usually Almaden Rhine Wine, Chablis, Grey Riesling, etc. Early on, I discovered that I liked their Chenin Blanc and "Johannisberg Riesling" best, and since I was the only one in the family who remembered what I liked, I was soon given the task of picking the bottles for the celebrations. Kindof embarrassing now, but back in those days (c. 1960), I was kindof proud to be given the job. Plus that way I never had to drink American Chablis and "Rhine Wine" again.


                                              1. $10 Liefraumilch working summer camp and totally unprepared for the rot gut that followed..ah memories.

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    hey zin, in more ways than one ;0-)

                                                1. I'm a little surprised nobody has brought up Spanada, which I think was a Gallo creation. It ruled the wine-cooler market in Hawaii in the early 70s. Maybe I'm just too old...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: dd992emo

                                                    So it took that long to get to Hawai'i, huh . . .

                                                    It was big in the beach/surf towns of Southern California 1965-1969 . . .

                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                      During the shipping strike (I think 1971), Spanada was one of the first things to become scarce on Oahu. Next came toilet paper and sugar (that one blew my mind).

                                                  2. Madria Madria Sangria
                                                    Fazi Battalia
                                                    Reunite on ice, that's nice!
                                                    Boone's Farm
                                                    Blue Nun

                                                    A hall of shame

                                                    1. OK. I have to ask. Does anyone else remember the 2 liter bottles of wine coolers? Seagrams and Bartles & Jaymes? We used to throw a pint of vodka in one and call it a party.

                                                      Man, I drank some foul stuff when young.

                                                      12 Replies
                                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                                        You're forgetting California Cooler . . . never tasted ANY of them, but I used to sell a lot of it!

                                                          1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                            Nah, that was one category of "wine" I never had to judge in competitions, nor did I have to taste it as a wine buyer -- just order it!

                                                        1. re: mojoeater

                                                          I remember the little four-packs, but not the 2L. B&J had one of the great marketing campaigns ever done. I think the front porch the two old guys used in the commercials was at one of the Alexander Valley wineries. Maybe Chalk Hill or one nearby?

                                                          1. re: dd992emo

                                                            This being during my college days, I think I am correct on this...The "malt coolers" came in the 2L bottles (and kegs FYI) - the malt cooler brand that comes to mind was White Mountain Coolers.. a malt beverage not wine. All the Wine Coolers were in 4 packs.

                                                            Does everyone one remember Bruce Willis pushing Seagrams Golden Wine Coolers? I can still hear the song!

                                                            1. re: tapas gal

                                                              California Cooler came in kegs . . .

                                                              1. re: tapas gal

                                                                I guarantee that wine coolers came in 2 liter bottles, just like sodas. Sun Country, Seagrams, and B&J too. I'm talking the mid 80's. This was before the "malt beverages" like Zima, etc.

                                                                1. re: tapas gal

                                                                  I just did some research, and it seems that most wine coolers became "malt coolers" circa 1991 - when the US government increased wine tax drastically. At that point most cooler producers dropped wine from their recipes and substituted malt.

                                                                  Learn something new every day.

                                                                  1. re: dd992emo

                                                                    "And thank you for your support . . . "

                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                      My favorite B&J commercial was the spring one where they pointed out that "Ed and I were just looking at our new calendar and we noticed that Vernal Equinox had a day named for him. We went to school with old Vernal and it's great to see that he made a name for himself."

                                                                      1. re: ecustard

                                                                        Oh, that's great.

                                                                        I remember those commercials -- it was amazing, as Jeff Goodby put it, that "the world's biggest winery was making believe it was just two guys...and you kinda believed it. It set the bar really high for irony after that." The commercials were created by Hal Riney, who had one of the most distinctive voices (literally and figuratively) ever in advertising. I miss that kind of creativity in food commercials.

                                                                2. Oh, for me, and easily a decade before you, I was in love with the "beach party" mix based on "Taylor CA Cellars' Port." Now, we also added the fresh, seasonal fruit and several bottles of various rums, but that Taylor's wa what I started with.

                                                                  Many years later, I discovered real Port, and the rest was history.


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                    Bill, did Taylor California Cellars (TCC) ever make Port? Are you sure it wasn't Taylor New York Port? TTBOMK, all the fortifieds, the sparkling wines and the labrusca table wines (e.g.: Lake Country Red) came out of Taylor in Hammondsport (TNY); the vinifera semi-generic table wines (e.g.: Chablis) came out of California.

                                                                    But -- quite right -- once you try Taylor's Porto (TFY), the rest is history!


                                                                  2. Up North here in Canada, I think commons one would be:

                                                                    Baby Duck (Sweet carbonated red wine),
                                                                    Baby Canadian Champagne (the white equivalent),
                                                                    Carlo Rossi
                                                                    Bambino Spumante
                                                                    Schloss Laderheim
                                                                    Berry Jack
                                                                    Royal Red

                                                                    and for those with more worldly palates

                                                                    Piat D'or

                                                                    1. I've come back to this thread several times just to recall experiences that had mercifully vacated my cerebral hard drive. Don't think Aldo Cella has been mentioned yet...time to cellabrate!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd4Zc-...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Sam Spade

                                                                        Ah, that Aldo Chella - he was no "slave to fashion." Actually, I do not recall any of those Chella ads. May not have made their way down to New Orleans.



                                                                      2. General question to posters on this thread: What is the American "Table Wine"? Or in other words what is the commonest standard choice of Americans today? I guess I'm looking for how far we've come as a community.

                                                                        Just wondering

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                          The most common American Wine consumed by Americans, or just the most common wine period consumed by Americans (regardless of origin). I would have to think one of the most common would be Yellow Tail Shiraz.

                                                                          Note: I am not American, nor a Yellow Tail fan, it just seems that it is everywhere in the mass markets in the States (just like in Canada!)

                                                                          1. re: newJJD

                                                                            Just looking at other shopping baskets at my local Costco (really good selection, except for white Burgs), I see more wines below the Yellow Tail level.

                                                                            I cannot tell most of the labels, as I'm usually looking down several checkout aisles, but do not even think they carry Yellow Tail. If so, it's gotta' be away from the main gondolas.

                                                                            I'll try and get a handle on what I see going out of that store.


                                                                          2. re: Chinon00

                                                                            It seems that every larger store I go to has so much chardonnay that it out numbers all other options 2 to 1.

                                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                                              In 2007, the per capita wine consumption in the US was 2.47 gallons. Source: http://www.wineinstitute.org/resource...

                                                                              In 1991, WHITE wine constituted 49 percent of US wine sales, and ROSÉ & BLUSH wine accounted for 34 percent of the wine sold in the US. RED wine was only 17 percent of wine sales in the US. By 2007, things had changed dramatically: WHITE wine sales held fairly steady, at 42 percent of wines sold in the US. Sales of ROSÉ & BLUSH wine plummeted to only 15 percent of the market. RED wines, OTOH, topped the market at 43 percent! However, Chardonnay (19%), Cabernet Sauvignon (11%), Merlot (10%), and White Zinfandel (8%) accounted for a 48% share of market in U.S. food stores. Source: http://www.wineinstitute.org/resource...

                                                                              In terms of California ONLY, Chardonnay is the most widely planted wine grape -- in 2007, there were 94,282 acres planted to Chardonnay in California. The next most widely planted WHITE variety was Colombard, with 28,649 acres, and third is Sauvignon Blanc with 15,367 acres. These are the only three varieties which exceed 10,000 acres of plantings in the state.

                                                                              Chardonnay accounts for 51 percent of all WHITE wine grapes planted in the California, or 19.9 percent of the total of ALL California wine grapes.

                                                                              Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted RED variety in California with 75,622 acres, followed by Zinfandel at 51,649 acres, and Merlot with 49.781 acres. Three other varieties exceed 10,000 acres in plantings. Source: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_b...

                                                                              * * * * *

                                                                              The average price of a 750 ml bottle of wine sold in the US rose 3.2 percent, from $5.47 in 2005 to $5.88 in 2007. That said, the over-$15 table wine segment led all others in sales growth in 2007, rising 15.7 percent in dollar sales and 14.2 percent in case volume. This was also the only price segment that trended upward from 2006 when the category grew 12.1 percent in sales. The $12 to $14.99 segment also had double-digit growth rates, rising 16.1 percent in sales in the full year 2007 and 14.5 percent by volume.

                                                                              Wines priced between $9 and $11.99 also rose considerably, growing 10.1 percent by dollar sales and 8.6 percent by case volume in 2007.

                                                                              The $6 to $8.99 segment grew 3 percent in dollar sales and 3.1 percent by case volume for the full year 2007, while the $3 to $5.99 segment grew 4.4 percent by dollar sales and 3.7 percent by volume.

                                                                              The only price segment that showed negative growth was the ultra-value $2.99 and below category, which dropped 0.5 percent in dollar sales and lost 1 percent in case volume sales.

                                                                              Source: http://www.winebusiness.com/Reference...

                                                                              * * * * *


                                                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                                                "In 2007, the per capita wine consumption in the US was 2.47 gallons."

                                                                                Jason, was that per week? If not, then I am skewing the numbers in a very bad way! Maybe the Wine Institute needs to remove my consumption to get the "real" stats...


                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  Per capita consumption is approx. one 12/750ml case per year! With what you and I drink, we're making up for an awful lot of slackers! ;^)

                                                                                  1. re: zin1953


                                                                                    I think that it is time they pulled their own weight. No, wait, that would mean less for me and for you and the price would likely climb some more. Maybe we should just work in silence.

                                                                                    Thanks for the info.


                                                                                    PS any luck finding that restaurant industry report on higher profits when prices on wine are lowered? I'm still looking. Maybe I dreamed of it...

                                                                            2. You gotta love white zin, if only because if Sutter Home hadn't invented it we wouldn't have the really nice old vines zin we can get today, they'd all have been ripped out in the early 80's for more chardonnay.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. just curious, is there a good white zinfandel? why not? is it because it is out of fashion so that making a good one isn't "worth it"?

                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  I went on a personal search for a quality white zin a few years back. The only one that I recall approaching a decent "wine" (none of the others that I tasted were unpleasant, they just lacked certain inherent wine characteristics as I see it) was Deloach. It had crisp acidity and was good overall as an aperitif wine for me.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Yes. There is.

                                                                                    I agree with DeLoach. Storybrook Mountain makes a wine they call "Zin Gris," that's quite good; so is Buehler's White Zinfandel. And if I can include rosé in the mix, I'd recommend Pedroncelli Zinfandel Rosé.

                                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                                      Pedroncelli's Zinfandel Rose has been one of my favorites for 25 years (or more)! Just recently found a shop in Gulfport, MS that stocks it, so no more long periods of abstinence.

                                                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                                                        So is "white zinfandel" considered a white wine or a rose or neither? Is it a white wine with a pink hue? I always considered it a non-wine drinker's rose sort of.


                                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                          The thread title says it all for me. I could never get wrapped around white zin, but I do credit its popularity for introducing a lot of people to wine who otherwise might never have bothered. And the previously mentioned advantage of saving some old growth zin vines is certainly valid.

                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                            One way to define a wine is how it's fermented. In approximately 98 percent of all V. vinifera grapes, the juice is colorless; the only pigmentation is found in the skins. (Some 2 percent of vinifera re called "teinturier" because their juice DOES contain pigmments.) Thus, in order to make a red wine red, if you will, one has to fement the colorless juice with the skins, in order for the pigment contained inthe skins to color the juice.

                                                                                            White wines are (almost always) fermented without the skins, as there is not only no pigment to acquire from skins, but you don't want the tannins found in the skins in most white wines either!

                                                                                            There are two ways to make rosé -- you start out by making red wine (i.e.: fermenting ON the skins to pick up color). After 8-24 hours or so -- after the juice has acquired the "proper" amount of color (as decided by the winemaker) -- the winemaker will either 1) drain a small amount of juice off (say 20 percent), transferring that juice to another tank to finish its fermentation as only juice, while the first tank continues to ferment with 80 percent of the juice on 100 percent of the skins; or 2) drain the entire tank, transferring ALL the juice into another tank to finish fermentation by itself (no more contact with the skins). In the first instance, the winemaker ends up with two wines, a red and a rosé; in the second, the winemaker has only rosé. This method is often described as "saignée," as the juice is "bled off" the skins.

                                                                                            A TRUE blanc de noir is a white wine made from black grapes. So the earliest White Zinfandels were produced with no skin contact whatsoever (one of the reasons Sutter Home used to bottle their White Zin in green glass). The only pigment picked up by the juice came for those cells in the grape skins that were torn during pressing. In other words, as classified by fermentation, they are WHITE wines.

                                                                                            In reality, however, the juice is often left with the skins for a relatively short period of time. Maybe fermentation has begun; maybe it has not. This is to obtain a more vibrant color. Whether it's a rosé or a a white is splitting hairs . . .


                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                          Not a "white Zinfandel," per se, but Beckman (and some others) does a nice Rose of Grenache from the Central Coast.


                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            back in the 70's Sutter Home white zin used to quite good and totally unlike the soda of today. Also, Cary Gott at Montevina made a really nice white zin.

                                                                                            1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                              Bob Trinchero at Sutter Home made dry white Zinfandel starting in 1972, then in 1975 accidentally invented the sweet version.


                                                                                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                Montviña was indeed very good, as was DeLoach and William Wheeler (back in the 1980s) . . .

                                                                                            2. I've really enjoyed this thread, but last night I realized I had forgotten an icon of the cheap wine era.

                                                                                              Italian Swiss Colony!!!

                                                                                              They had a winery right at the north end of the Sonoma Valley near Asti. You could pull in there any Sunday afternoon and there were tons of bikers there slogging down one of the fifty or so offerings they poured. Everything from Emerald Chablis to some coffee flavored concoction.

                                                                                              Bonus points for anyone who remembers their tag line from the tv commercials...it was spoken by an old guy in liederhosen, I think...

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: dd992emo

                                                                                                His favorite closing phrase was "That little old winemaker...Me!" His voice was performed by Jim Backus.

                                                                                                1. re: dd992emo

                                                                                                  Which reminds me of the Orson Welles Paul Mason commercials. We'll sell no wine before it's time. And here's the funny outakes:

                                                                                                2. I hated wine until I started working in restaurants and had mandatory tastings... It could be due to the fact that in HS and college my only exposure was Arbor Mist (blech, I don't even know if that qualifies) and handles of Carlo Rossi.

                                                                                                  1. Kool-Aide has more appeal than WZ. I think I can remember Carlo Rossi in the gallon jug version and Boones Farm for $2.

                                                                                                    1. First wine: An apple wine called Jug, which came in--you guessed it--a jug.

                                                                                                      Other early (college, mid-late '70s) wines included Brotherhood Rosario (from America's oldest winery, which is near my hometown and held massive wine-tasting parties where you could get plastered free for about two or three hours), Carlo Rossi Paisano, Mateus & Lancers rosé, Inglenook jug zinfandel and cabernet, Almaden jugs, and an occasional Gallo Hearty Burgundy.

                                                                                                      My first really good wine was a late '70s Firestone cab--a fantastic wine that I bought relatively randomly (appealing label, right price) at West Village Wines, a small shop that I only later learned specialized in quality California wines. Still does today.

                                                                                                      1. I've heard of Ripple and Mad Dog 20/20 but let us not forget about Boone's Farm. We drank it in college back in the early 70's and now, a hundred years later, I am back in college and drinking Boone's Farm. It's really good, tasty, and still under three bucks a bottle. A new flavor is Sangria and that is my favorite.
                                                                                                        However, two husbands can't be wrong; they say I turn on them when I drink wine. The big sally's!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: cinderr

                                                                                                          Is there actual wine in Boone's Farm?

                                                                                                          EDIT: Per Wiki, it's now a malt beverage and contains zero wine.

                                                                                                        2. Wow, long thread. Nobody has mentioned the boom in Portuguese roses sparked by Lancers/Mateus. I think the importers scoured Portugal looking for whatever they could find to get in on the trend before it went south. TJs had a somewhat drinkable one in a 1-liter bottle that I bought a number of. Tried quite a few others, brands all forgotten (along with much of what was happening back then, as per Robin Williams).

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Akitist

                                                                                                            I seem to recall that Mateus Rose was big in my college days (the 50's), didn't it have a crockery bottle? Wikipedia says Saddam Hussein may have stockpiled it in his cellar.

                                                                                                            It's easy to make fun of White Zin, but it's great for hot summer picnics.

                                                                                                            1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                                              I thought Mateus was a "half moon" with a long neck (for lack of a better description) and Lancers was the straight sided crock style ... but given that time frame who knows?

                                                                                                          2. Time to come clean:

                                                                                                            I think it was Gallo that sold this awful gallon-jug stuff called "Rhine Wine." It was slightly petillant (sp?) and sweet. A hangover in a bottle. It was 1977.

                                                                                                            I recall a party where I served Mateus rose because it was in a "real" bottle. It was 1978.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                              The California boom in producing good wines st\arted in the late 60s. By the early 70s Gallo and Rossi were both producing some good jug wines, in part spurred by overproduction of varietals. The production of crap - MD 20 20, Thunderbird and other fortified wines, and of Boone's Farm and other sweet "wines" - continued; but there were alternatives.

                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                Ah, Boone's Farm. Vintage August. Fruit extract, ethanol and water. What could be better?

                                                                                                                Actually, I liked Annie Greensprings better - lower acidity.

                                                                                                                Brings back memories.

                                                                                                                Anyone recall Bali Hi? There was both a red and then a white with pineapple - probably juices from Dole?


                                                                                                            2. Resurrecting this old thread. My wife has an old wassail recipe that calls for Gallo Rose wine. This recipe dates from the 1970s. What would this group recommend as a 2013 substitute for Gallo Rose?

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                                                                                                              1. re: rdcuff

                                                                                                                Gallo Rosé.

                                                                                                                Now available under these various labels: Carlo Rossi Vin Rosé, Livingston Cellars Red Rosé, or Livingston Cellars Blush Chablis.

                                                                                                                OR . . . any other generic rosé wine from a large California winery.

                                                                                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                  I remember gallon jugs of grenache rosé, not sure if it was Gallo or someone else.

                                                                                                              2. I'm not sure I ever tasted the stuff, but in the 70s I had a prune Ripple T-shirt.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                  Would the Prune Ripple be created for the senior citizen market?

                                                                                                                2. Lancer's Rose. Actually, my first introduction to real wine was when I was 19 and had dinner at a professor's house (in Copenhagen). He had a great cellar and since I was there as one of his students and to be quiet while his other guests talked, I got to taste some wonderful second and third growth Bordeauxs from the 50s and 60s. When I got back to school in California I found I couldn't drink the stuff that everyone else was drinking so I developed a taste for Zinfandel (this was 1973 so there was no such thing as white zinfandel yet) and Cabernet. No more Annie Green Springs for me. It was probably the reason I over imbibed in Scotch as well.

                                                                                                                  1. Beringer White Zin, but I remember my parents drinking Lancers in both the green and red bottles and I really wanted to indulge in whatever was in those bottles.

                                                                                                                    Before Beringer, I was diggin' Malt Duck. <hanging head in shame>

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                      Ever indulge in Red Mountain? Around $0.98/gal iirc.

                                                                                                                      1. re: PolarBear

                                                                                                                        I have not, but I have had Bully Hill "Love My Goat" wine and well... yeah. ;)

                                                                                                                    2. Back in the 1950's when I was in college (!) a common date was: the guy gets some chinese take-out and a bottle of Almaden grenache rose, then we'd go to a grassy hillside, spread out a blanket and watch the sun go down.

                                                                                                                      The rose wine went well with stuff like pork chow mein, egg rolls, and fried prawns.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                                        Graduate School in the mid 1970s--faculty member's grand contribution to post-seminar gatherings: CK Mondavi jug (red)--which was a Charles Krug product and Almoden (white.)

                                                                                                                        1. re: penthouse pup

                                                                                                                          Or, Charles Krug was a Cesare Mondavi product, as Cesare bought Charles Krug in 1943 (IIRC). Of course by the mid-1970s, Cesare had passed away, son Robert had left to start his own winery, and that left his other son Peter in charge . . .

                                                                                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                            Yes, you have it right (silly me, to forget) but that taste--slightly medicinal and the texture, thick and clinging, stays with me---yuck. Jason, do you recall a jug wine from California called Pride of Cucamonga? It wasn't so bad--probably a Zin/field blend. Another mid 1970's memory.