Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mogen David Blackberry

This is it, people. I didn't even know they still made this. But I turned a corner in the grocery and there it was.

Mogen David wine.

This is an important thing. Mogen David went on to become MD 20/20, but when it was this it was just kosher table wine. Kosher table wine that became well-known for sweetness and cheapness. And so became popular among poor folk. And so it became hobo-wine, back in the 30s and 40s.

This is the first bumwine. This is where it all began. This is the prequel to the legacy this entire blog lives to uphold-- or, well, experience. You have no idea what a treat this is for me: the label says that it's America's Classic Wine and in a way, it's right. Mogen David-- there's a legacy here and I'm so proud to bring it to you. Now let's see if it's as awful as its children.

As I Lay Dying is a hell of a book.
I should point out this actually our second bottle-- the first slipped out of the back and shattered on the sidewalk. The beer and scotch did not, and they hit it just as hard. I guess they just wanted to live more. Gee, I wonder why.

It looks a faaaaair bit like red wine, but not exactly. Like a lot of the MD brand, it seems close, but just a little off from how wine should. It's the uncanny valley effect, but applied to alcohol. We are most repulsed by something that seems not different, but wrong.
Man, what about Heavy Rain isn't creepy and off-putting? Well, except for the things that try to be.
There's a more purpley tinge here, which I think is because it's supposed to blackberry. But it still looks like it should be red wine. It's halfway between the two, and so, y;know, failure. So I guess it definitely fits into that part of its legacy well. Congrats Mogen David. You do not disappoint as far as disappointing utterly goes.

Not at all like wine. It smells really sweet, but there's no bitterness or acridity to the scent, which would normally be good. But wine's supposed to have a tinge or sourness to it, which is completely lacking from this. There's a really strong beer flavor to the odor, which I suspect is mostly the aroma of yeast. It does smell a little vegetative though, or a little fruity. Like sweet potatoes, I guess. What I'm saying is that this blackberry wine smells like neither blackberries nor wine.Yet another in the series of curious failures that make up Mogen David.
This is a Heaven's Gate joke.
 I can safely say that the creation of the first batch of Mogen David in 1933 was, while the definitive lowpoint, certainly a lowpoint of the Jewish community in 1933.
The Gutrotter welcomes its first celebrity follower.
It doesn't taste outright unpleasant, actually. It's definitely drinkable. But it mostly tastes like a generic "fruit" flavor. Not grapes, not blackberry. Like just, if you fermented generic "fruit juice," into not-very-good kosher table wine. (How do you make wine not kosher? Do you drain the juice out of the grapes inhumanely? Do you get horses to stamp it down? Do you have the juice agitated by shrimp?)

It doesn't taste wretched-- it's about twice as good as MD 20/20 but it's also only half as alcoholic. And let's face it, you're not spending 3.50 on wine so you can savor it.

Also, there's something vaguely eggy to it. So make of that what you will. What I make of it is a  flashing sign saying WHAT THE FUCK?

The back of the bottle suggests mixing it with something, and what we have is orange juice. Normally we would call this a screwdriver. But that's the name of a neo-nazi punk band and this is Kosher wine, so we're gonna call it a Jewdriver. And well, sorry jews because I think we just did the neo-nazis a favor on this one because it tastes bad.
Ya...ya just say bingo.
Mixing with orange juice just amplifies the generic fruit flavors, but it doesn't really change the wine that much. It tastes almost the same, just watered down and, well, bitter. Really, driving down to the cold hard core of the fact, this is what makes it even bumwine-ier. You can't hide it or bury it. It is Mogen David. Like the people it was made for, it endures and continues, it inspires an entire culture. Only, y'know, the equivalent here is Woody Allen marrying his daughter.

I just wanna say I'm proud of keeping the Jew jokes to a minimum here. That's why I've never reviewed Manischevitz: I don't trust myself. Also my friend Emma drank like half this bottle. What the fuck is wrong with her.


  1. Ha i drink this all the time. More palatable than MD or worse yet Irish Rose.

  2. This wine is actually more suitable to dri.k than others than, if you want to play grown up with the rest od the adults. Its more like grape juice, thus allowing for a straight face when sipping. Thumbs up and five stars on behalf of all the fake drinkers out there such as myself.

  3. Our family has used this stuff to make Blackberry Wine Gravy for our Thanksgiving Turkey.