Wine Lovers: Is This Gauche?

‘Oenophile’ is an ok term, or, in plain English, ‘one who enjoys wine’.

There is a fascinating site containing reviews of some of these “wines”; no Arbor Mist though…

“Fruit-forward wines” is actually a thing and a semi-respectable one. Semi-respectable only because many hardcore oenophiles prefer well-aged wines that have may a variety of particular qualities, but those usually don’t include fruityness. Fruit flavors in wine tends to break down with age. It’s just a little bit like fans of smoky, phenolic Islay malts looking down on appreciators of rich, caramely Speyside malts :).

But fruit-forward in a decent youngish wine is nothing at all like flavored/fortified wines, which is really an entirely different category. The term I recall is ‘wine cooler’, but I’m not sure if that is still the standard. At any rate nothing wrong with liking them( I have a friend who only drinks only those ). But I would never give them for a gift unless I was sure it is something that person prefers.

Great point; there is nothing wrong with giving someone some vin primeur/nouveau. I say this having bought a couple of bottles for myself a few weeks ago. As for being cheap, well it wasn’t expensive, but what else would you expect from an unaged wine.

Yep. I looked up after I missed the edit. I apologise if any one took it wrong. I think ‘hoity-toity’ is what I was aiming for.

In general, I don’t let my personal tastes, especially in food and drinks influence my choice of gifts as not everyone may share my preferences. If I were to give someone wine, which I have, I’d ask others or the person directly what their preferences are and choose appropriate to my budget.

We had some really close family friends that lived near an A&W and loved their root beer. Whenever they’d visit, which wasn’t too often (we’d usually go their place), they’d bring a gallon of A&W Root Beer syrup. No one in your family liked it and other then serving it to our friends when they’d visit, we never drank any of it. And after a few months would toss it, waiting for our friends next visit and the next gallon. Thankfully the A&W eventually closed and the root beer run stopped.

Thanks, all. You’ve confirmed what my gut instinct told me. I guess Arbor Mist makes for a nice wine cooler, at best. I guess you can tell I am not a big drinker. It really does nothing for me. While I may enjoy a glass of a white zinfandel once or twice a year, I wouldn’t miss it if I skip it. Wine coolers and the like are just fine for me.

Just to fill in another blank - many of my wine aficionado friends also like the occasional Sangria, which is a punch made of Red Wine with fresh fruit in it. You can also buy bottles of it cheaply. The difference is that it does not have added sweetener.

I have to admit that I never heard of it, either. That same Wikipedia article says that it’s mad in Canandaigua, NY. That’s the heart of the Finger Lakes wine district! Sacrilege! It you want a “fruity” wine from that area, go buy yourself some Widmer’s Lake Niagra wine!

The fact that they add high fructose corn syrup makes this pretty suspect. I know that some vintners add some sugar to blends prior to fermentation, but this appears to be after any fermentation. even Elizabethans wouldn’t call “sugar and sack” a 'wine."


We’re far from wine snobs, typically only buying bottles under $10 at Costco. There’s low correlation between the quality of wine and the cost (PDF cite). We buy cheap, enjoy the good bottles, and dump the ones we don’t like. It’s cheaper than gambling on expensive bottles–get four or so cheap bottles of wine for the price of one expensive bottle and even if only one is good, you’re not at a loss of enjoyment.

But Arbor Mist is not something we’d touch. And too sugary to make a good drain cleaner.

My advice for gifting wine (or any other gift, for that matter): buy something you’d think they like, but wouldn’t buy for themselves. That shows thoughtfulness and care.

Not to disparage the Finger Lakes, which does produce some excellent wines, but it generally produces more, um, basic wines than other regions. Manischewitz Concord Grape is produced from grapes grown up there. They ship lots of fruit/juice to contract wineries to make fruity wines.

Yeah, but Manischewitz, Mogen David, and Barry* wines, while sweet and fruity, are that way naturally, not from added sugar. There’s a difference.

And, as you say, there are plenty of credible and even award-winning wines produced there from small places like Bully Hill. Just because they grow grapes used in things like Manischevitz is no reason to run the area down.

*They’re a commercial winery, but they also make (or made) sacramental wine for Christian services that’s syrupy sweet (although not through addition of sugar). That’s just to show there’s no religious bias. Apparently when God makes you a minister, He takes away your sense of wine discrimination.

Manischewitz wines are made with added sugar. I believe all their wines are Kosher and all have added sugar or corn syrup.

Ah, yes, the sweet, cloying, fruity taste of Manischewitz wine complementing the gefilte fish and horseradish sauce… such are the memories of Passover…

I’m surprised. I thought it came by that sweetness naturally. Live ‘n’ learn
But other labrusca wines produced in the region , like Niagara, Diamond, Catawba, etc. do come by their sweetness naturally.

I once made a kit wine that was designed to end up like Arbor Mist (I got the kit for free as a door prize). I added a ton of sugar, used a champagne yeast, then fermented it down to dry. It was close to 20% ABV and was not too difficulty to drink.

Besides Grape, MD 20/20 comes in Orange Jubilee, Banana Red, Blue Raspberry (“BLING BLING”), Electric Melon, Dragon Fruit, Peaches and Cream, Purple Rain, and Strawberry-Kiwi. One may naturally be a tiny bit suspicious that they might be adding something.

Arbor Mist would be a fine gift for anyone, even people who don’t drink wine at all, but it is especially appropriate for people who spend even a moment’s thought judging the quality of the gifts they are given.

It’s not actual wine, is it? Like Sunny D is not actual orange juice. Send it if you must, but if I was expecting a bottle of Chanel No. 5 and got a Walmart body spray called ‘our version of Chanel No. 5’, I would be somewhat disappointed. Baby’s First Wine Cooler, I call Arbor Mist.

Yeah, but MD20/20 isn’t your straight Mogen David Wine, sand I don’t count it as such

If you’re not a big wine drinker and lean towards the sweeter stuff you should definitely try some Moscato wines. It won’t get you any wine connoisseur credibility but at least you won’t be made fun of for drinking Arbor Mist and wine coolers.