“Hidden” wines–maybe not all that hidden

‘brary web diva points to a new blog about wine, from a former library worker. One of the first posts at that blog discusses the many “hidden” Gallo wines.

As a wine drinker (and as one whose family home was eventually purchased by Gallo to make part of a parking lot, allowing my parents to move to a nicer place), I’ve been aware of the Gallo-created regional brands such as Anapamu for some time, and certainly aware that Gallo–and especially Gallo of Sonoma–makes a lot of excellent wine, along with some cheap stuff (the really cheap stuff such as Carlo Rossi never saying Gallo on the label). Gallo’s also picked up a surprising number of well-established wineries through the years, including Mirassou.

I also knew one “trick” to identify some, but by no means all, Gallo brands that don’t say Gallo: UPC codes starting with 85000. (“Modesto on the label” is a particularly bad way to locate the best Gallo wines, since most of them have Healdsburg on the label, that being the headquarters for Gallo of Sonoma.)

Turns out there’s a much easier trick. Gallo’s not trying to hide its brands. This page leads to descriptions of all Gallo-owned wines, broken down by category.

So, for example, Gallo doesn’t hide the fact that Burlwood and Copperidge (and Liberty Creek) are hotel/restaurant brands; you may have been poured Copperidge at Midwinter receptions (or at Embassy Suites, for example). Nor do they hide the fact that they import Black Swan, Ecco Domani, Red Bicyclette and others. And in the premium category (other than the ones with Gallo on the label, some of which are world-class wines), there are the ones I knew about–Rancho Zabaco/Dancing Bull, Anapamu, Marcelina–and a couple I didn’t realize Gallo had acquired (e.g., Louis M. Martini).

Yes, the page also lists the cheap stuff…but only ones that are more-or-less varietal wines, not the fortified and fruit stuff. So you’ll find Carlo Rossi and Peter Vella, but not Thunderbird. (Ripple? Gone. Not missed.)

One Response to ““Hidden” wines–maybe not all that hidden”

  1. stacy says:

    wait – without ripple there’d be no champipple! so that’s one bad thing about ripple being gone…