Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein Ch. 9: Name That Flavor
Welcome to another chapter in the Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein, beamed directly into your compubox from our top secret lab nestled in an undisclosed Cleveland underpass. We’ve had a crack team of Hobologists working around the clock these past few weeks in order to present you with the very best vintages the drifter lifestyle has to offer. The third entry in our award-winning Bumwine Chronicles likely needs no introduction, Wild Irish Rose is a bumwine of some esteem. You could consider it the Pepsi to Thunderbird‘s Coca-Cola. But did you know, gentle reader, that in addition to the standard white and red varieties, there is also “Wild Fruit with Ginseng”? No, no you didn’t! Who would know about something like this? Drankenstein, that’s who.
Bottled in Canandaigua, NY, Richard’s Wild Irish Rose is produced under the parent company Constellation Brands. Constellation is also responsible for gateway bumwine Arbor Mist, as well as Corona beer and Black Velvet whiskey. All told they have some 200 different products under their banner, and there is a definite sense of quantity over quality.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love the Rose. Even after all these years there is one night I can point to as “The Drunkest I’ve Ever Been”, and it was because my hetero life-mate and fellow Nerd Occurrence staffer Aaron (aka Baron VonSteinhoist) decided we should each have our own bottle of Wild Irish Rose. And as always we’re talking 750ml bottles here, not the kids’ size. Even after clinging to a spinning couch in a cold sweat for the next several hours, I’ve always come back to my precious Wild Irish Rose Red.
Tonight, however, flavor preferences have been set aside in the ongoing quest to bring you drinks you’ve never even seen. Tonight, I am rocking a giant bottle of the ambiguously titled “Wild Fruit” flavor, complete with added ginseng. Even under the best of flavor circumstances, the Rose is no joke, weighing in at a hefty 18% ABV. That makes a 750ml bottle equivalent to just over one and a half cans of Four Loko. Do the math here, that’s like six Lokos worth of modestly priced drank!
So what exactly is “Wild Fruit”, you may be wondering? Well, halfway through the bottle I still feel like I’m the wrong person to ask. It’s every bit as hard to define as it sounds. It’s drinkable, but less so as I go on. The “fruit” flavor in question is something like a 50/50 blend of heavy fruit cocktail syrup mixed with Snapple, then accidentally lost under a bed and left to ferment for several months. I imagine it’s better than your higher-end prison wines, but probably not by much.
The inherent wildness of the fruit aside, I can’t even begin to fathom why they would bother putting ginseng in this stuff. I mean, it’s not really targeted towards your more energetic or health-conscious crowds. Maybe if you’ve got a bumfight going on later and you need to maintain your focus but also be incredibly wrecked for some reason, then this might be something you’d want. Otherwise, as both your doctor and a scientist, I’d have to advise against it.
To summarize, my final verdict here is be wary of any wine not presented in one of the two standard and acceptable colors. If red’s your thing, Wild Irish Rose is probably a good choice. White wine enthusiasts may be better served by Thunderbird, however. However unsavory the stuff I’m drinking right now might be, white Rose is the Devil’s work. If you choose to ignore Drankenstein’s well-meaning advice and consume any liquid essentially marked “assorted flavors”, well…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Make sure to come back next week for the exciting and mysterious conclusion of our four-part Bumwine Chronicles! I will accept no excuses! In the meantime, feel free to leave your feedback in the appropriately marked boxes below, as well as any suggestions for future drinks, or contact information should I be in receipt of any literary prizes your organization may be awarding.