I was born too late for all the great wine fads--the days of Mateus, Lancers and Riunite, when, my friends tell me, wine drinking was more fun than a barrique of monkeys. Now, I don't necessarily trust everything my aging friends say. In fact, sometimes they sound a little like those Woodstock types who sat all week in the rain and remember it as the best time of their lives. Still, I tried to pay attention when they told me how they missed these wines, which were so famous they went by only one name. Say what you will about these bottles (and after finally tasting them a few weeks ago I can't say a lot), they united our nation as few (wine) movements ever have.
These wines were so popular at one time that virtually everyone in America was buying them. They were poured everywhere. They were boffo with backyard barbecues. They were fabulous with fondues. All that they ever promised was pleasure, and their ad campaigns seemed content to leave it pretty much at that:
"Enjoy the flavor that made Lancers a legend."