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"Wine Product": Is it a strange and horrible new phenomenon?

cimui | Jun 22, 2009 07:04 PM

Over the weekend, we had an impromptu party when a bunch of our buddies dropped by unexpectedly. After they all left, we discovered a mysterious bottle left behind on the counter labeled:

"Chateau Diana
"California Merlot"
... and then in small, faint lettering: "wine product"

It looks like wine, it's in a nice-looking green bottle with all the usual insignias intended to convey class. Not knowing the true nature of the beast (we stopped reading at California Merlot), we opened it to have with dinner, tonight... Aye carumba. It was *dreadful*, really one of the most offputting comestibles that has crossed my lips in years.

The ingredients include "French table wine", water, sugar, juice concentrate and other things that shouldn't be in wine.

My long-winded question is this: How long have such abominations been around for... and really, WHY? I've been a wine lush for many years and never even seen this stuff in stores. Wine coolers are a different ballgame since they aren't packaged and marketed like wines to unsuspecting consumers. This "wine product" evidently has pretensions of being wine, complete as it is with the back label description of the "winemakers" who went to California "with a dream of starting their own family winery." I don't consider myself a purist at all, but this stuff just seems so deeply wrong in so many ways!

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