Eugene Weekly : Uncorked : 5.19.11


Uncorked 2011:

Ich Bin Ein Pfalzer
Giving German wines a go at •S Wine

In Vino Veritas, So Why So Sniffy?
Wise words for the would-be wine fan

The Grape American Acetic NyQuil Taste Test

At The End of The Bottle
Local entrepreneurs make interesting uses of corks

Wike A Hike, But Dwunker
Oregon combines wine/hiking for the tourists


Photos by Todd Cooper

The Grape American Acetic NyQuil Taste Test
By Dante Zu¿iga-West

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise ã Proverbs 20:1

Aconnoisseur evaluates a work of art on the basis of aesthetic conclusions. Judgments are informed by intuition, but must be grounded in a true understanding of the art form being evaluated. Wine is an art form. I am not a connoisseur. However, I am willing to bet that I have spent enough time with wine ã possibly a great deal more time than you ã that I can speak knowingly on its behalf.

On the fundamental basis of experiential practice, the fine tuning of insight and a regimented system of analysis, I have attempted to attribute authorship, validate legitimacy and appraise value to a series of wines that most people consider infamous, juvenilely lowbrow or just plain bummy. These findings have been collected and organized into a catalogue raisonné placed below:


Winery: Mogen David (aka “Mad Dog 20/20”)

Vintage: circa April 2011

Wine Name: “Banana Red”

Wine Category: American “Fortified” Wine

Grape blend: Red bananas, gummy bears, cough syrup

Region: Westfield, New York

Alcohol: 13 percent

Review: This refined spirit contains an element of the strawberry candies your grandmother used to buy you at the supermarket. A chewy “nouveau” style taste, similar to the gummy flavor of cherry NyQuil, is the most prevalent feature of MD 20/20 Banana Red. Citrusy yet cloudy, this wine is a must-have for those looking to partake in the temperate (i.e., societally underrated) day drunk.


Winery: Mogen David (aka “Mad Dog 20/20”)

Vintage: circa January 2011 (a fine year indeed)

Wine Name: “Orange Jubilee”

Wine Category: Slurpy w/alcohol

Grape Blend: Orange

Region: Westfield,
New York

Alcohol: 13 percent

Review: The complex jamlike and lean taste of this wine may nudge one to more appropriately nickname it “Mad Dog Orange Julius.” The distinctly lemony orange temperance is reminiscent of a poorly made daiquiri mixed by your alcoholic aunt at a summer get-together. Lively and mouth filling, this is a drink that must be had on a hot day with cheap meat.


Winery: Carlo Rossi Vineyards

Vintage: circa May 2011 (shortly after we smoked Osama)

Wine Name: “Chablis”

Wine Category: Holy Communion

Grape Blend: Old world, French, pear, collegiate

Region: Modesto, California

Alcohol: 9.5 percent

Review: This fruity, flowery and overripe concoction is the staple of American art schools and religious ceremonies alike. The perfumed, raisiny, thin-bodied mix of ingredients ensures both a rite of passage and a heady hangover no matter who you are. Carlo Rossis Chablis is best served slightly chilled, through the plastic hose of a camel pack. Most importantly, this wine comes in excess of quantity over quality, making it all the more difficult (yet rewarding) to sneak into your dorm room.


Winery: E&J Gallo Winery

Vintage: Ha!

Wine Name: “Thunderbird”

Wine Category: American Classic

Grape Blend: Sour, deadly, poisonous

Region: Modesto, California

Alcohol: 17.5 percent

Review: The acetic and warm taste of Thunderbird is astringent in its nature. A cross between paint thinner and stale urine, this austere blend of god-knows-what is a sure way to make sure that you forget about whatever it is that just happened to you. This wine has legs, an unmistakable balance that is beyond words. Though not meaty, one would be incorrect in thinking that such a fine drink lacks brawn.


Winery: Boones Farm

Vintage: 2011 (I guess)

Wine Name: “Strawberry Hill”

Wine Category: High-school panty-dropper

Grape blend: Flavored citrus wine

Region: Modesto, California

Alcohol: 7.5 percent

Review: This fruity, vibrant wine has a signature strawberry flavor that is sure to achieve its desired effect ã the fumbling beginnings of sexual interaction, most likely taking place in the backseat of a vehicle parked someplace secluded. With an angular taste reminiscent of flavored soda water, this herbaceous blend boasts an aromatic bouquet and an alcohol content that is slightly higher than the other Boones Farm flavors.


Winery: Night Train Limited

Vintage: 2011 A.D.

Wine Name: Night Train Express

Wine Category: FML

Grape blend: NyQuil

Region: Modesto, CA

Alcohol: 17.5 percent

Review: The rich, ponderous and tarry taste of Night Train Express is not for everyone. It is a very special breed of beverage, and in fact, one would have to be in a very special place to enjoy this wine ã somewhere between divorce and job loss. The Express is a pruney wine, best served very cold so as to help the human body receive its cloying taste. Youd be surprised what the human body can adapt to; this grapey spirit is definitely testament to that.