Your input is appreciated regarding this wine, a friend of mine uses the terms cheap, fake, chemicals, low grade when referring to this wine. I couldn’t back these claims with anything online, and appreciate your input.
Well, most likely it isn’t fake, meaning that it is made from grapes and not some other fruit, but other than that, it all sounds correct. Most likely it contains far more chemicals than a high-quality red wine would and it certainly is cheap and very low grade.
And you won’t be able to back those claims, because there are no laws in the US requiring wineries to list additives on the label.
While it is cheap wine, Carlo Rossi is not fake. Among budget wines I would bet that it is some of the least doctored around. I would be very careful in bandying about chemicals used in wines. What is wine but a bunch of chemicals in an alcohol/aqueous solution? Yes, there might be additives in Carlo Rossi wines, and to be honest my impression of them is old if not quite ancient at this point, 12-15 years, but their reason d’etre is consistency. The original wines, Paisano, Chianti, and Burgundy, I think, were designed to appeal to immigrant palates, as was the case with so many of the original bulk producers. As such, high acid, moderate tannin, moderate body, moderate color, neutral oak, a hint of sweetness, were and are characteristics of these wines. Most additions to bulk wines are to lower/balance acids, add/balance tannins, add body, add oak and/or oak flavors, and add color and sweetness.
The truth is that no one outside of Gallo can definitively talk about the manufacturing process of the Carlo Rossi wines, and that’s about all we can really say about it. That they are manufactured, instead of artisanally made, or manufactured, because what is the difference. Semantics.
At less than $3 a bottle we should be happy that wine drinkers of much more modest means than ourselves have something consistent to enjoy, and we should remain cognizant of the reality that there must be a difference in production to allow for the difference in pricing between Carlo Rossi and whatever you normally drink.
I agree with these takes. From a regulatory perspective, you can make a reasonable assumption that they’re not gonna risk the FDA’s ire by labeling something as “wine” that doesn’t contain any actual wine. In theory, sure, but in practice, extremely unlikely.
McDonald’s fries are highly engineered, but that doesn’t make them fake or objectively wrong. (I realize that’s not a perfect metaphor, but it’s close)
I have only had Carlo Rossi wines at some weddings or other large group events. They were potable, functional, and unoffensive, which more than I can say for dozens of end cap wines that cost significantly more.
It is without a doubt real wine, but I believe many people believe it to be some of the worst wine ever made. Kind’ve an insult to the word “wine.”
My grandmother always had a jug of Paisano in the kitchen. A glass or two nightly was “good for the heart.”
Some would call it a top of the line wine
E40 - Carlos Rossi
It’s been a while since I’ve had any wines from Gallo, Carlo Rossi or otherwise, but I’ve always respected what they do. Their low end wines are basic, more or less drinkable, and quite cheap. If someone put a gun to my head and made me choose between a glass of Carlo Rossi or, let’s say Caymus, I’d go for the Carlo Rossi in a heartbeat.
I just want to know how they make those wines maintain the same aromas and flavors, with no noticeable oxidation, for something like five days after being opened. I have literally never had a high-quality wine that does that for me.
My impression is also old, maybe approaching ancient, 50 - 60 years; it could be literally half a century since my last glass. I remember that Paisano was almost sickeningly sweet, ‘Burgundy’ less so, and the ‘Chianti’ quite drinkable.
If you like red wine and it is within your budget to drink something more expensive than Carlo Rossi, you can dramatically increase your pleasure in the wine you consume. As others have mentioned, there are scandalously almost no regulations as to what chemicals can be put into ‘wine’, but IMO it is not in the interests of the Gallo Winery, who produces the Carlo Rossi wines, to put anything much more than cheap grapes, perhaps a touch of acid, and a healthy dose of sulfur in these bottles.
I’ve posted in the past about ‘drinking large formats with Dad’, which were usually Carlo Rossi or Franzia. He loves Paisano, and at 90, maybe your grandmother was right about the health benefit. And as the label says,
“100% grape wine”, so appears to be ‘real wine’. Cheers!
Carlo Rossi is also marketed to the Asian markets and in my experience is an altogether different wine. I would put on par with the Louis martini bottlings. This is probably 10 years ago
Gallo, who owns Carlo Rossi and many other brands has some of the highest quality standards in the wine industry. They will not do or add anything to their wine that is illegal or even unethical.
Their goal, which they always hit, is to have the most preferred wine by consumers in EVERY category where they have a brand. This means the most consumer preferred jug wine compared to competition, preferred box wine, 750 wine in each price category (Frei Bros., Clos du Bois etc etc).
They will test the daylights out of a wine to ensure it beats the competition (Constellation Brands, Trinchero Family Estates, The Wine Group etc) in every wine category.
Their R+D on vines, effects of sunlight vs canopies, disease etc is also second to none.
All this doesn’t mean they are the nicest corporation in the US. They can be ruthless in pursuit of land, brands and ultimately sales. Also they can be very tough on suppliers, trust me I know.
Gallo knows that their wine may be a stepping stone for many consumers. That is why they constantly look for new brands or opportunities to attract new consumers. Apothic Red Wine is a good example of Gallo creating a brand to attract new consumers.
“Perv’n, swerving, running all up into the curb’n, if I get one more DUI then its curtains?!”. E40 commenting on his pleasure of drinking that Rossi Rine. He even says to not mistaken it for Chablis unless your already high.
Seriously though, its a real wine. Most likely Central Valley 12 tons/acre bulk juice that is also a source for all of your “Californian” red wine at $3.99 to $10.99 a bottle.
I haven’t drunk these wines for decades but I bet they have a fair amount of residual sugar, which can hide lots of SO2 etc.
If you want a pounding headache the next day consume.