Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein Ch. 8: The Bird is the Word
Greetings fellow bumwine enthusiasts, and welcome back for week two of Drankenstein’s Bumwine Chronicles! If you’ve been following along, you know last week was something of a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake. That’s not gonna stop me though, not by a long shot. I promised four weeks, and four weeks is what you’re getting. This is really where I should have started though, with the basics. Classics are classics for a reason, am I right?
An American classic (it actually says so on the bottle) and hobo favorite since the 1950’s, Thunderbird is a fortified wine produced by E&J Gallo Winery. If you’re a Sanford and Son fan (and if you’re not, why are you here?), you may be familiar with one of their other fine (but sadly discontinued) products: Ripple. They also make Night Train Express, the inspiration for probably the fourth best Guns n’ Roses song.
Thunderbird is available in a variety of strengths, 13%-18% ABV depending on your state. It comes in two main bottle sizes, you can get a flask for about $2 or the giant bottle I have here for $4. There are, for the sake of argument, non bumwines you can get for $4 a bottle, but you’re kidding yourself if you think those are going to taste any better. So you might as well get one you don’t need a corkscrew for-nothing tips off the cops like you struggling with a brown bag and a Swiss army knife on the street corner at 3am.
As you can see, I’ve chosen the classic white wine for this evening. This is a Thunderbird best served chilled, with some nice fish sticks, or maybe Long John Silver’s if you’ve got some money to throw around. And really, that’s what Drankenstein is all about…saving you money on booze so you can treat yourself to that three-piece combo with extra hushpuppies. You’re welcome. In addition to the “plain” variety, there’s also some sort of weird citrus blend, but there’s something about it I don’t trust. Read the labels carefully, if you get the wrong one don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now, on to the taste test! I’ve been putting this part off and at this point I’m about a third of the way through the bottle, on my way to half. I try to focus these articles on things I’m drinking for the first time, but what can I say? I’ve had a ton of Thunderbird. Although not as much as its longtime shelf buddy Wild Irish Rose, which I may be covering soon. But still, I’ve had a lot.
As you might infer from the above statements, I fully endorse the ‘Bird. If you’re headed to the corner store with a pocketful of misappropriated laundry quarters, you really can’t go wrong here. Doubly so if you’re maybe not a bold and adventurous drinker, and are perhaps too timid for some of my previous offerings. This stuff tastes great especially when super-cold, and I would imagine most casual winos would be incapable of distinguishing it from some fancy $5 Australian wine they picked up at Trader Joe’s. But don’t take my word for it: just listen to 70’s rock icons and level ten beardsmiths ZZ Topp!
Well, that’s all for this week kids. I’m gonna go finish off this bottle and relax with the ladyfriend, I suggest you go grab your drank of choice and do the same. We’ve still got two more weeks of exciting Bumwine Chronicles left, and I was eying up the shelf pretty hard in the store today. So come back next week, when I may end up doing something incredibly ill-advised. All I’m gonna say is that I saw a wine that looks like orange juice.