beverages for economical drunkards
March 11, 2003 9:24 AM   Subscribe

The Top Five Wino Wines "Don't drink too much of any of these or you might find yourself at the local middle school sniffing bicycle seats." Ranked by Worst Taste, Getting Wasted, and Warmth. (via coudalpartners)
posted by azimuth (36 comments total)
One time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I asked a convenience store clerk if they carried Mad Dog. He didn't know what Mad Dog was, but meanwhile there was this toothless bum at the end of the counter, grinning and giving me a thumbs up. "Yeah, Yeah, I know what Mad Dog is, all right," the bum seemed to be saying.

Later that night, I bought a sandwich for this other homeless guy named Wes. There was a mixup and he got my sandwich instead of his, but he would not give me my sandwich. I told him, "I'm not gonna take it from you like a thief. There's no honor in that. Now give me my mother f***ing sandwich."

Evidently homeless people didn't grow up indoors or something. He tried to stab me with this little knife of his. It looked like a nail file attachment on a set of toenail clippers. Whatever it was, it hurt.
posted by son_of_minya at 9:36 AM on March 11, 2003

I have vague memories of a party once which, for some reason, featured consumption of Thunderbird where beer should have been.
True facts I (vaguely) remember:
1) Should be chilled as close to freezing as possible (i beleive this brings some of the weirder chemicals to the surface and you can get 'em out of the way quicker).
2) after three hours of consumption, causes 22-year-old college students to start throwing bottles in the street.
3) Tastes worse than yo ucan ever imagine.

"What's the Word? Thunderbird"
"What's the price?" "99 twice"

Also the subject of a great (though ultimately misleading) song by the Gories. (sorry, self-link).
posted by chandy72 at 9:43 AM on March 11, 2003

No Boone's?
posted by COBRA! at 9:45 AM on March 11, 2003

Boone's Farm is nice, COBRA!, but those of us who are a little older may remember Annie Green Springs a bit more fondly.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:54 AM on March 11, 2003

chandy72 - You were in the Gories?
posted by drobot at 9:57 AM on March 11, 2003

This brings back unpleasant memories of hurling in an empty Indiana train station. Thunderbird plus the sweet bloom of youth equals a particularly hellish sort of inebriation.
posted by kozad at 10:01 AM on March 11, 2003

Boone's Farm was our drink of choice in High School. Ahh, the fond memories of the effervescent strawberry burning down my throat.
posted by archimago at 10:02 AM on March 11, 2003

One of the low points of my undergrad education involved a drinking session wherein a friend of mine had two bottles of Mad Dog and I had two of Boone's. After about an hour, he was on the floor and I was just feeling kind of bloated.

So I guess maybe the "getting wasted" factor is what holds Boone's back...
posted by COBRA! at 10:03 AM on March 11, 2003

I once bought a bottle of Kiwi Lime Flavored Mad Dog from a convenience store near my freinds place in New Hampshire. I knocked back that solo, along with a goodly amount of my friends beer. Then we fired up his six foot Graffix. We shared all our goodies with my pal's pet ferret who became disoriented and spent a lot of the evening racing up and down my pant leg. My other memories are vague. I recall barbecuing chicken on a porch roof in high wind. I was also told later that while I carried on detailed conversations well into the evening, I seemed to have lost motor control of my limbs, which baffled my compatriots.

Sweet, sweet youth.

Also, if bum wine ain't your thing. The high gravity malt liquors provides a similar sensation,a sort of cerebral snadblasting, if you will..
posted by jonmc at 10:09 AM on March 11, 2003

If I remember correctly, Boone's (at least Strawberry Hill) packs much less punch (7.5% vs. 18%) compared to the true "wino" wines. Also, it is a bit more expensive (in the $3.00 range).

On a side note...For those that prefer schnapps to wine, may I suggest Hiram Walker's recently discontinued "Blue Raspberry Sourballs" brand. I have been able to find it locally for around $5.00 a liter. It is godawful stuff, but actually a better bargain buzz than even Thunderbird or MD 20/20 when you do the alcohol-to-price mathematics.
posted by woj at 10:10 AM on March 11, 2003

posted by timeistight at 10:14 AM on March 11, 2003

"What's the Word? Thunderbird"
"What's the price?" "99 twice"

Even if it's no longer accurate, it's:

What's the price? 55 Twice!
Say it again? A dollar ten!

But Kountry Kwencher from Boone's is the best sleazy wine. Even if it ain't nearly as tasty as a trashcan full of grain punch.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:15 AM on March 11, 2003

I can't decide what's worse. This lineup of five or going to someone's house who has stocked up on boxes of Franzia in their fridge.
posted by djspicerack at 10:19 AM on March 11, 2003

I wasn't in the Gories (but I was, in the Dirtbombs, a post-Gories band with Mick Collins), though I wrote the linked record review.
Sorry ofr any confusion. I'll get off my ego box now.
posted by chandy72 at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2003

i've sampled 3 of the 5 listed and maddog was always my favorite. (wild irish rose is just nasty and cisco is like drinking cough syrup, but the really nasty, pukey kind)

i started drinking maddog in college cause i couldn't stand beer at the time. drank it so much it became my nickname.

strawberry was my favorite but that was hard to find. so i usually stuck to the red grape wine.
posted by goddam at 10:29 AM on March 11, 2003

It was under unhappy circumstances that the Gallo brothers inherited the family vineyard. In 1933, their father murdered their mother and then killed himself. Ernest and Julio, in their early twenties, took on the responsibility of raising their teenaged brother, Joseph.

With the money their father had left, they invested in a winery. At the time, the young men had no idea how to make wine, Julio checked out some books on winemaking from the public library, and they were on their way. In the 1950s, Ernest discovered that poor blacks were, buying large quantities of 40- proof port and mixing it with lemon juice. He decided to develop a wine suited to those tastes. The result was Thunderbird. The wine earned the company a great deal of money (2.5 million cases were sold in the first year), but it also earned Gallo an unwanted reputation as a producer of cheap wine.

Drinking that mess, their delight
When they gets drunk, start fighting all night
Knocking down windows and tearin out doors
Drinkin' half a gallon and callin' for more

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

note: spo-dee-O-dee is substituted for the word motherfucker as used in the wino folk song original.
posted by y2karl at 10:32 AM on March 11, 2003

My unremitting secondary-through-post-graduate research provides independent confirmation of chandy72 and Jonmc's observations on the enhancement of human bottle throwing and roof climbing by each of these wizarldly elixirs.

I'll tell you friends, I haven't read anything in the past few years that made me want to start drinking again as much as this one. Judging from the deep warm fuzzy feeling that I got from the picture at the top of the page, it begs the question: why can't buzzv learn?
posted by buzzv at 10:39 AM on March 11, 2003

If bum wines are too high class for you, this Guide to 40's might be useful...
posted by andrewraff at 10:52 AM on March 11, 2003

Reminds me of the 'Wine box tasting' Appendix to 'The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco'.
'..this can't go on.'
posted by asok at 10:53 AM on March 11, 2003

Back in my undergrad days in Mississippi we used to chant:

What's da woyd? Thunderboyd!
What's da price? Dollar, twice!
What's da reaction? Sa-tis-fac-tion!

I seem to recall quitting drinking T-bird after we discovered that a layer of what appeared to be sand would settle out of the "beverage" if it was left to sit and warm up. It also had a strange effect on your eyes (as in blindness)
posted by Pollomacho at 11:01 AM on March 11, 2003

The first time I saw a bottle of Kiwi Lime Mad Dog, my immediate thought was, "Hey! Re-Animator fluid!"
posted by azimuth at 11:04 AM on March 11, 2003

The Electric Flag's "Wine" is a thinly veiled (although very well executed cover of that Stick McGhee number.

And I may be nuts, but in On The Road dosen't a musician (Slim Gaillard?) introduce Sal Paradise to a routine of a shot of white port, followed by a shot of bourbon, followed by another shot of white port and call it "Drinkin' wine spodiodi."

Also, we're of course missing the infamous "Ripple" (Googling brought me nothing), a favorite of Redd Foxx's Fred Sanford who would mix it with ginger ale to make Champipple.

And of course Tommy James and The Shondells had a fondness for other fruity vintages.

I did however, on my last trip to the liquor store, see a six pack of Pink Champale. Who the hell drinks that anymore? Musta been sitting there since the Ford administration.
posted by jonmc at 11:06 AM on March 11, 2003

I wasn't in the Gories (but I was, in the Dirtbombs, a post-Gories band with Mick Collins), though I wrote the linked record review. Sorry for any confusion. I'll get off my ego box now.

The Dirtbombs rock. They're a favorite on my solo mountain bike rides - along with the Detroit Cobras. As for malt liquor, yikes. Old E was a favorite in my youth. Two 40 dogs and you were flyin' with the angels.
posted by rotifer at 12:05 PM on March 11, 2003

chandy72 - Nah, that's cool. Just asking.
posted by drobot at 12:23 PM on March 11, 2003

Wow. Mountain biking with malt liquor -- and they call bungee jumping an extreme sport!
I couldn't find link, but the hands-down winner for "Most Vile Malt Liquor" was the short-lived Colt 45 Menthol Malt Liquor. Sweardagawd. One sip and you right back on the Budweiser and Marlboro Reds. -- bellch! --
posted by chandy72 at 12:25 PM on March 11, 2003

I rode the night train through much of college. And I still graduated. Nyah.
posted by ook at 12:31 PM on March 11, 2003

Townes Van Zandt also paid tribute to Thunderbird.
posted by maurice at 12:47 PM on March 11, 2003

Mix Richard's Wild Irish Rose with Vernor's Ginger Ale 50/50 - this is actually drinkable, although I wouldn't recommend a lot. Note - Vernor's IS ginger ale - if you can't get it where you live, you're out of luck.

40s - Mickey's is the only malt liquor I've ever had that didn't taste awful - it's best in the small 12 oz "Big Mouth" bottles. Also Little Kings Cream Ale is nice - again, it's best in the 7 oz bottles.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:35 PM on March 11, 2003

jonmc, great links. They had a rating for my old favorite, Crazy Horse.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:50 PM on March 11, 2003

pyramid termite: As mentioned here before, Vernor's is OK, but it can't hold a candle to Blenheim, which is available online.
posted by liam at 3:25 PM on March 11, 2003

buckfast !
I dont know why migs or evan haven't posted on this subject yet.
The main one for the troops is the fearsome (and i really mean fearsome) special brew
who you will be meeting shortly after you drink it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:00 PM on March 11, 2003

Long ago some buddies and I tried Iceman Malt Liquor; it was about $2.50 for a six pack of 16-ounce cans. Rusty cans. Mmm-good.

For a while my regular beer was Olympia, priced to move at under $5.00 a 12-pack. Their slogan was "It's the water." Either "It's water" or "It's the price" would've been more accurate. Sadly, the brewery is closing.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 PM on March 11, 2003

40ozmaltliquor dot com.

I was partial to double-deuces of Colt 45.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:34 PM on March 11, 2003

Colt 45 = rocket fuel. Almost-instant bedspin generator.
posted by Vidiot at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2003

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