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Cheap wines from the 70's/80's


"A Boy Named Sue"
Ya know Mad Dog 20/20, Ripple, etc. What was your go to cheap wine? I say that (wine) very loosely.

Tickled Pink seems to be in the very back corner of my brain.
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Needs milk and a bidet!
Staff member
Apparently 2 Buck Chuck is a new thing from Trader Joe’s that popped up in 2002 but I distinctly remember my dad buying cheep wine when I was a kid and calling it 2 Buck Chuck. But he used it in a broad sense to cover any cheap wine. This would have been the early 90’s.

I’m not old enough to have bought anything in the 70’s or 80’s but I remember my brother sneaking in Boone’s farm and MD 20/20. When I used to go camping we sometimes got MD 20/20 just for giggles.
I agree that Mateus was upscale, date wine, not what we are talking about here. They still have it, at least in Portugal.

I would say that Boone's farm was a different animal, too. It was not so cheap and not so much the kind of rot gut we should be talking about here. When it first came out, it was actually not so bad. As time went on it became lower quality, but lower alcohol, too, as I recall. Sort of like a wine cooler of its day, including various added flavoring such as strawberry.

I think we are really talking about something to choke down specifically in order to get drunk. Preferably something with some alcohol content.

Ripple springs right to mind. I could not get that down even back in the day, and for me we are talking late 60s as well as 70s. I grew up in Northern Virginia and Virginia Dare was sold in every 7-11 and a winos go to, as I saw it. Super sweet, high alcohol, and hideous. It did not taste any better on the way back up.

As an in-between kind of wine, a step up from the truly hideous and Mateus, we used to get Italian Swiss Colony Vin Rose, by the quart and one-half or maybe is was a 1/2 gallon jug. Seems like we drank an ocean of that stuff. Not immediately gab inducing, but nothing anyone was going to serve guests at a dinner party.

I do not think I sever saw any actual Sneaky Pete, but I think it existed.


Fussy Evil Genius
I recall trying the grape MD 20/20 for the first time, back when I was in high school. It wasn't good at all. I knew that much. Still, I liked it. I didn't like any of the other flavors at all, but the grape sat quite well with me. Something about it was familiar. I started wondering whether I had been a wino in another life.

Then, one day while drinking that stuff in college, I had an epiphany. All of a sudden, years and years of taking communion flashed through my mind. I had put 2 and 2 together and recalled that the "MD" stood for Mogen David, the same folks that made the communion wine I grew up with. Small world.

I had a college friend that was all about Thunderbird. That stuff was not for me.
I rarely drink, and when I do it isn't much. I've was gifted 2 jugs of homemade scuppernong wine that should last me for years. :D

I remember asking my Dad about Ripple while we were watching Sanford & Son reruns.


Stumpy in cold weather
Staff member

Excellent calls, Doc4! I forget when white zinfindal came around.

I kind of like that rough style of Chianti. Nostalgia, perhaps.

There are actually good Lambruscos in the world. I have had some in recent years.

Blue Nun--something kind of like reisling! If I recall, low alcohol.
Lancer's was like a carbonated Mateus. Another "date wine."

Night Train, another one I never actually saw, was the equivalent of Thunderbird.

Wild Irish Rose was something in between. Actually, the way I remember it, Wild Irish Rose started out as a wino/bum wine. Apparently even know it is available in a 13% version and an 18% one. But then there was a televsion ad campaign that touted it as something regular couples could enjoy.

Cisco is apparently another wino wine. I had never seen or heard of it.
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Fussy Evil Genius
A gallon mug of Gallo Burgundy always was the base of my sangria (that I've not made for close to 20 years).
You are good, Doc4! I had completely forgotten about Asti Spumante.

That jug of Italian Swiss Colony Chianti is the same shape, color, and size jug we used to get of the ISC vin Rose! I wonder what size it is. I am sure it came in other flavors, including that chianti, and we probably got those other flavors from time to time. But the vin rose seemed most palatable. If I think hard enough about it, I can almost taste it. When I Googled ISC vin rose, the bottles did not look quite right to me. But the bottle in that video clip sure does.

"I do not remember the name of the village. I do not even remember the name of the girl. But the wine, by God, was ISC vin rose!" Does not quite have the same ring as Chambertin! :)
I can recall Black Tower, Lonesome Charlie and Baby Duck. My sister in law enjoyed these so frequently that I never had a hankering for anything wine. I'd love to slip one of these vintage treasures into my wife's game night.
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