In American stores, you can find food-like substances that call themselves “cheese food products” or “meat products” that contain some meat or dairy, processed beyond all recognition. Think Slim Jims or Velveeta. But diluted “wine products” lurk on shelves in those uncivilized places where people can’t buy food and booze in the same store. They look like bottles of wine and have wine-like labels…until you read the fine print and learn that they’re wine cut with sugar water and grape juice, and bottled in the idyllic wine country of Bayonne, N.J.
Here in New York State, Home of The Consumerist, grocery and discount stores aren’t allowed to sell wine. So some stores carry the next best thing: cheap table wines blended with water, sugar, and grape juice to form an entirely legal but rather crappy product. A blogger for CNN’s Eatocracy tried to make coq au vin with a bottle of wine product, and it ended up as more of a sugary bruise-colored mess.
“‘[W]ine product” isn’t actually wine,” he wrote. “It’s cheap table wine diluted with water, sugar, juice concentrate and desperation.”
New York’s definition of wine products is designed more for wine coolers, stating:
[A] “wine product” is defined as a beverage containing wine with added juice, flavoring, water, citric acid, sugar and carbon dioxide, not containing more than six percent alcohol by volume (typically referred to as “wine coolers”).
But sometimes people want wine with their dinner without having to make a second stop or without leaving the world’s biggest Walmart. That’s when they take home these giant wine coolers.
Indefensible food: Wine product [CNN]
That Walmart wine is the wine equivalent of cheese food [All Over Albany]