Distilled: Street wine taste test

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From the May 29, 2014 edition

For this column I usually try to find a beer or booze that’s interesting and/or appetizing. This is a wholly different approach, as I knew I was getting myself into something, to quote Martin Hart, that “sounds god-fucking awful…”

Why have a street wine taste test? Why not (and because readers are probably amused by my suffering)?

I don’t know how many of you have tried these fruity, sweet-fortified wines. For those who have, you’re well aware of the special kind of dreck it is. Also, I’m sorry. For those who haven’t, heed this warning: Stay away.

My first experience with street wine came back when I didn’t know how to drink — and was a poor student — and thought, “It can’t be that bad.” I was wrong. Returning to this hooch wasn’t something I was looking forward to, but so be it.

First was Wild Irish Rose, the street wine I most commonly see. (In fact, a few were harder to find that I thought, so I’ll have to go off those traumatic memories — shudder. And I wasn’t willing to make more than three stops searching for this stuff.)

Anyway, the Rose comes in a couple of “varietals” — all are disgusting. I tried the Red and the Wild Fruit, possibly the most depressing thing I’ve drank in … forever. Both were overly sweet — possibly radioactively mutated — twisted attempts at “wine.”

Next up, MD 20/20 (aka Mad Dog), which comes in a host of colorsusing the term “flavors” seems inappropriate. I went for green (Kiwi-Lime, I believe, as I repressed most of this), and it was like someone put 30 packets of Kool-Aid and a pound of sugar in grocery store Kamchatka. I’m certain I got a cavity, and possibly diabetes.

Finally, I wrapped up with Boone’s Farm — I couldn’t track down Night Train, Cisco or Thunderbird — and by this point, I prayed for death. Boone’s Farm is best described as a less-boozy/syrupy stand-in for Cisco, a vomit-inducing version of sizzurp if memory serves, and neither should ever be consumed, not even by your worst enemy.

Photo by Meghan Ralston