01 April 2007

April Fools Wine Reviews

In honor of the holiday, here's some of the weirdest wine reviews you'll ever read. For the record, I've never tried any of these beverages nor do I ever wish to. I've had some homebrewed wines before, some bordering on decent, others... I remember one offered at a pig roast that was served from a quart-size canning jar. It was a white wine colored to the shade of tea due to its aging in old whiskey barrels. While some wines are made in a similar fashion with great results, this one smelled like gasoline from an arm's length, and I politely declined.

Warning: none of the links below are suitable for those with weak stomachs or those easily offended by foul language.

Move over Robert Parker, here comes Bum Wines, a site that reviews the likes of Mad Dog 20/20 and Thunderbird (What's the word? Thunderbird!). With all due respect for the plight of the homeless in today's society, you've got to be pretty desperate to drink these wines. And you've got to be damned stupid to actually try them and build a website around the tasting notes. (By the way, the reputation of these wines has probably set back the acceptance of screwcaps on decent wine by several decades.) The knowledge that these are made by major wine conglomerates is disturbing.

Pruno is the name given to a variety of "wines" made in prison. The ingredients vary, and the end result is almost never pleasant, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Follow that link for a version that is based off oranges and ketchup and other unpleasantness. Here's a separate account of someone making prison wine using the "moldy bread in a dirty sock" method.

Though I haven't observed it directly, apparently prison-style winemaking is popular in college dorms by students who are 1) desperate for cheap booze, 2) have no sense of taste or smell, and 3) haven't figured out the more reliable and safer methods of befriending someone over 21, joining a fraternity, or simply going to parties. I read one account that included a picture of a fermenting bag of apples and rice, suspended in a slurry of God-knows-what.

1 comment:

fredric koeppel said...

Night Train is (not to wax too scholarly) a perry wine, that is, it's made from pears, not grapes. And it's fortified in some way, to pump up the alcohol content; i mean, all those poor homeless alcoholics need more alcohol, don't they.
The wine manager for the local distributor that handles Wild Irish Rose told me that they sell more "Wild I" than all their fine wines put together.