Way back in the 1960s and 1970s, E & J Gallo Winery produced cheap fortified wines called the Ripple Wine. A lot of people liked these wines and it became very popular at that time for its alcohol content was high and a lot of people liked the buzz that it provided. However, despite its infamy, a lot of those who had first tasted the wine contained in the rippled bottle still consider this as one of their favorite wines.
A lot of critics would not even consider this real ‘wine’ for it had a lot of sugar, had artificial flavorings, and of course, its alcohol content granted the buzz only found on 20% proof alcoholic beverages.
But despite all of that, the poorer consumers still bought a lot of these wines and its popularity peaked by the 70s ripple Polska. A lot of drunks on the street considered this an ‘essential’ fluid and because of that, it gained its reputation as the ‘bum’ wine of the streets. Those teenagers below 18 years of age also considered these their favorites as well for they could afford to buy them and would ask the bums to buy it for them.
As the alcohol content was considered really high for a ‘wine’ the makers masked the strong fumes with an assortment of strange flavors like Pagan, Champipple, Ripple Red. The Champiple was an interesting blend of flavors too; it was a combination of champagne and artificially flavored wine. In fact, to really think about it, these were the precedents to the wine coolers that are so popular today.
These are not high-end wines, and they are not designed to be eaten with red meats or white meats either. They did not taste well; in fact, they were strange in flavor, and very strong. None of these wines carried the tones or deep flavors of the high-end wines and champagnes. But they did serve their purpose quite well, they were cheap and they could give the buzz.
Now, even if the Ripple wine is not really a recognized wine, it still has a place in history. There are some bottles which are still sealed and sold in auction houses and they were the precursor of the wine coolers.