Category Archives: Depressants

Psychological Effects of Their Work on Slaughterhouse Workers

Good comment from Kim, one of our excellent commenters. It’s not related to the murder case, but it shows you Delphi may not be the idyllic small Indiana town that everyone thinks it is. There is a very high percentage of RSO’s for such a small town, apparently related to the slaughterhouse in town. Slaughterhouse employees in turn develop psychological effects that would be at odds with the image of a peaceful and easy-going small town.

So beneath the cozy image, there does seem to be a very dark undercurrent running under the town of Delphi.

Kim: This is an article cited from another site about Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) and meat-packing plants. It may not be relevant to the crime, but it paints a grittier picture of the Delphi area.

Originally Posted by Blighted Star

No, you read right the first time. Those 54 RSO’s are are all linked to the very small town of Delphi, population 3,000. Check the other “known addresses” on most of them & you’ll see “Indiana Packers Co-op” (or something like it) on over 40 out of the 54 – because the abattoir up the road from the high bridge seems to have a hiring program for RSO’s. They’ve got men designated “sexually violent offenders” working on their kill floor & it doesn’t seem to occur to them that in that particular field of employment, it’s not necessarily a good thing to hire people who might be enjoying their work.

Holy crap!

This excerpt is taken from:

Killing for a Living: Psychological and Physiological Effects of Alienation of Food Production on Slaughterhouse Workers

By Anna Dorovskikh University of Colorado at Boulder

http://scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/view…xt=honr_theses

In Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing, the study by Rachel M. MacNair describes Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress as a from of post-traumatic stress disorder with symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse, panic, depression, paranoia, dissociation, anxiety, and depression stemming from the act of killing.

One study found that slaughterhouse workers, especially those responsible for the direct delivery of the act of killing and participating in the process of slaughter on a daily basis, may be susceptible to PITS as form of PTSD (Dillard, 2008).

One of the symptoms of PITS is having recurring dreams of violent acts, and there are several reports of workers being taken to the mental hospital for treatment of severe cases (Dillard, 2008). Certain jobs like having the responsibility to be the first to kill the animal may have stronger effects on the worker than other jobs. Oftentimes substance abuse of drugs such as methamphetamine (Schlosser, 2002) and alcohol is very common amongst slaughter employees as a coping mechanisms of the emotional toll (Dillard, 2008).

A former hog-sticker (worker who stabs hogs to bleed to death) said, “A lot of the slaughterhouse hog killers have problems with alcohol. They have to drink, they have no other way of dealing with killing live, kicking animals all day long. If you stop and think about it, you’re killing several thousand beings a day” (Dillard, p. 397, 2008).

Another employee explains that slaughter workers can’t care about animals they’re killing.

“The worst thing, even worse than the physical danger, is the emotional toll of the job. If you work in that stick pit for any period of time, you develop an attitude that lets you kill things but doesn’t let you care. You may look a hog in the eye that’s walking around down in the blood pit with you, and think, God, that really isn’t a bad-looking animal. You may want to pet it. Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them by beating beat them to death with a pipe.

Use of a pipe to kill hogs came up quite a few times reading through literature and general websites. Another employee interviewed said: “It’s called `piping.’ All the drivers use pipes to kill hogs that can’t go through the chutes. Or if you get a hog that refuses to go in the chutes and is stopping production, you beat him to death. Then push him off to the side and hang him up later” (Eisnitz, p. 53, 2009).

Some employees even report killing animals for fun without feeling any remorse, suggesting that they are suffering psychological damage to the point of developing abnormal cruelty. Mental changes of this sort would generate concern amongst the general population (Dillard, 2008).

Several studies on empathy amongst farmers in animal agriculture show that slaughterhouse workers and farmers exhibit lower levels of empathy towards animals than the general population. Desensitization was not an uncommon factor amongst the employees of this sector (Dillard, 2008).

A study done on butchers working in the slaughterhouse and retail meatpacking business revealed that as butchers work in a negative environment almost every single day, they displayed the highest levels of somatization and anger hostility among the general occupation of butchery. Once factors like age and education were accounted for, this study of 82 male butchers found higher rates of work accidents, injuries, physical disorders, use of alcohol and drugs, as well as a higher employee turnover (Emhan et al. 2012).

Usually fully aware of the kills that go on every single day, the workers either become very distressed and leave the job or they become numb and begin to display signs of apathy. Some even begin to enjoy the infliction of pain (Helle 2012). Some become less empathetic under conditions of stress as well. See this example:

“This is kind of hard to talk about. You’re under all this stress, all this pressure. And it really sounds mean, but I’ve taken prods and stuck them in their (hogs’) eyes and held them there.” (Eisnitz, p. 53, 2009).

Lower empathy in slaughterhouse workers may be responsible for higher crime rates in neighborhoods where such facilities are located including homicides carried out in a manner of animal slaughtering practices (Dillard, 2008). Amy Fitzgerald, a sociologist investigating the effects of slaughterhouses on communities tested a “Sinclair effect,” a theory Upton Sinclair proposed more than 100 years ago, noting that slaughterhouses had negative effects on workers and communities through increases in crime and unemployment rates.

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Filed under Agricutlure, Alcohol, Animals, Anxiety Disorders, Crime, Depressants, Depression, Domestic, Intoxicants, Labor, Mental Illness, Midwest, Mood Disorders, Pigs, Psychology, Psychopathology, Regional, Serial Killers, Social Problems, Sociology, Speed, Stimulants, USA

Jim Beam

Of course I drink whiskey. I’m a real man. Wine and beer is for pussies and fags.

Anyway, I drink all sorts of brands and I even drink Scotch. They mostly taste all the same. I don’t buy the expensive stuff because I can’t afford it. But I found some Jim Beam on sale at a great price and I couldn’t pass it up.

I must say, this stuff is a cut above everything I have drunk so far. Wow. This Jim Beam whiskey is really good! Damn.

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Three Drinks a Day

That is what I drink. Is that considered to be acceptable, or is it too much? I am hearing different things.

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“The Fine American Art of Making Bourbon,” by Alpha Unit

Liquor is big business – international conglomerate-style big business. Your favorite American whiskey could be controlled by people in office buildings halfway around the world. But those people rightly saw something enormously valuable when they purchased that brand. Americans are superbly skilled at making whiskey. And bourbon is signature American whiskey, as American as anything gets.

By law, bourbon must be at least 51% corn. But bourbon isn’t really about corn. It’s about trees – oak trees, in particular. If the whiskey isn’t aged in new charred oak barrels, it isn’t bourbon. For whiskey barrels, white oak, native to North America, is the gold standard.

White oak (Quercus alba) grows up and down the eastern half of the United States. It has always been plentiful in the Central Mississippi River Valley, notably Missouri Ozark country, and in the Ohio Valley, where the Ohio River makes its way westward through Appalachia. When they select white oak, log buyers for the bourbon industry are interested in the location of the trees, the age of the trees, and what growing conditions the trees were in. But it’s white oak they want because it is the most leak-resistant of the oaks.

To digress a bit about trees in general: Sapwood is new wood that acts as a conduit for water and sap distribution. As sapwood matures its pores begin to fill with organic material such as resin, and it becomes drier and stronger to form heartwood – the central, strong pillar of the tree. The sap-conducting pores of white oak are naturally plugged with a water repellent (tyloses), making white oak heartwood virtually impervious to liquids – and a distiller’s dream.

Once loggers fell the trees, truck drivers transport the logs to sawmills where workers turn them into lumber. The companies that make whiskey barrels want white oak lumber to be quarter sawn, or cut at a 90-degree angle to the growth rings. This means less twisting, warping, and cupping, as well as even greater leak resistance.

Log buyers only want wood that is straight and knot-free, with good tannin content. The grain has to be tight and predicable. The selected lumber is seasoned for a number of months, and once cured, it’s ready to be turned into whiskey barrels at a cooperage facility.

A worker will cut each board into sections, creating the staves that will make up the body of the barrel. He narrows the staves at their ends and hollows them slightly on the inside, which will create that characteristic barrel shape. Once milled, the staves are placed inside a metal hoop that will act as an assembly jig. The hoop is lined with as many staves as it takes (usually about 32) to minimize gapping between the pieces.

Now it’s time to bend the pieces. In the traditional method, the staves go through a steam tunnel that moistens them into a flexible state. Held by the metal hoop and other temporary metal rings, the wood curves into the form of a barrel. Now that it’s moistened, the wood is going to expand, creating enough friction and pressure to meld the staves into a liquid-tight container that won’t need any glue, nails, or screws. The heads – the top and bottom of the barrel – will be added later.

Charring the interior is the next step. Barrels pass over a gas-burning conveyor belt that shoots flames into each barrel to toast or char the insides. This essentially cooks the wood, extracting its flavors so that the whiskey can absorb them in aging.

Charring breaks down the chemical bonds in the wood fibers, creating smaller molecules that will impart flavor to the whiskey. Heating lignin, for example, creates vanillin, the characteristic vanilla fragrance of good bourbon. Charring releases a lot of other volatile compounds in oak, including lactone, which adds a coconut note to the whiskey. It also caramelizes wood sugars that are going to leach into the maturing spirits.

In addition to imparting flavor and color to the spirits, char removes sulphur compounds and other impurities, making the whiskey less harsh and more mellow. Barrels are custom-charred to the specifications of each distiller.

The freshly charred barrels are extinguished with water and cooled. A worker replaces the assembly jig with stronger, galvanized hoops that are riveted in place; the new hoops will hold the barrel into its curvature. Grooves are carved into each barrel to slot the heads in place, and an opening is punctured into the center of the barrel and fitted with a stopper, or bung. The barrel is tested for water-tightness, and if it passes the test, it is shipped to the distillery to mature whiskey.

To be labeled straight bourbon, the whiskey has to be aged at least two years. But if you want to know the perfect age for bourbon, there is no answer. Bourbon connoisseurs will tell you that age is more about maturity and ripeness than a specific time frame – which makes whiskey production as much an art as science. It ultimately depends on the person tasting the bourbon.

Consumers generally believe that older is better. But not always. Some distillers and tasters prefer bourbon in the 8- to 10-year-old range; others like certain bourbons to be between 12 and 15 years old. One bartender says that after 12 years, bourbon tends to take on stronger oak notes, masking some of the “subtle intricacies” she enjoys. Another says he rarely picks the oldest in any selection, saying that many times the wood tannins have started to skew the flavor.

One thing almost everyone agrees on is that the whiskey has to be aged, period. You can drink “baby bourbon” that hasn’t been matured, if you insist, but it is nothing at all like bourbon. It definitely has its fans, but a lot of people who have tried it will tell you that it’s awful. “White dog,” or raw whiskey, is named for its high-alcohol “bite.” As writer Reid Mitenbuler otherwise stated:

My bourbon-appreciating father once artfully compared drinking white whiskey to getting stabbed in the mouth with a screwdriver that’s been used to pry open a gas can.

Bourbon is not only aged to be smoother, it is diluted with water and usually chill-filtered before being bottled. Bourbon contains vegetable solids, proteins, fats, and esters that will cause cloudiness when the bourbon is chilled. This cloudiness, or “flocking,” is due to these particulates settling out of suspension. Distillers filter bourbon because some customers notice this cloudiness in chilled bourbon and return the bottle or decide not to purchase the brand again, thinking there is something wrong with it.

But bourbon enthusiasts sometimes prefer unfiltered bourbon. To them, these solids and oils add extra flavor and a rich, buttery mouth feel. Some bottles even have a bit of charcoal sediment at the bottom. To many bourbon drinkers, this is the best part of the bottle.

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Filed under Alcohol, Alpha Unit, Guest Posts, Intoxicants, Labor, Law, Regional, USA

11 Worst Things the Creator of GhettoWine.com Has Done In the Name of Hobo Wine

LOL.

Too funny. Good writing too, both of em.

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Get Her Drunk! Give Her Drugs! Have Sex with Her! Yay!

That is, I get loaded or drunk on dope or booze with women and then I fuck them. Of course the women and girls are willing participants, but feminuts say it’s rape anyway. Anyway, intoxicated sex is a blast, and I recommend it to all discerning degenerates. I have gotten high on a lot of drugs with women and then had sex with them, mostly marijuana and cocaine, and pills. The only pills were tranks like Xanax. They are ok for sex as they relax you.

I’ve never done psychedelics, Ecstasy or PCP and had sex. It sounds a bit frightening. I don’t do speed. I’ve never done narcotics and had sex, but that sounds like a bad idea anyway, and the only narcotics I ever took were pills, and I hardly ever used them. Narcotics kill sex anyway.

Don’t dose women. That’s as sleazy as it gets, and it’s quite illegal these days.

Do I feed women drinks to get them drunk? I dunno? As I usually drink along with them, I guess not. Don’t feed women drinks to get them drunk.If you want to get her drunk, I understand, but you may as well drink along with her. It’s only fair.

If a woman gets drunk and has sex, it’s rape and she’s not responsible, say feminuts. That can only be possible if women are children. So are women children? I guess women are children.

I would like to point out that a lot of females have sexual inhibitions, and they deliberately drink themselves to get themselves loosened up enough for sex. I have been a party to such self-dosing on many an occasion. Taking the feminut theory logically, I guess these women are raping themselves by getting themselves drunk, but even when women rape themselves, I guess men are still guilty.

After all, feminists insist that women are eternal children, objects who have no agency. I agree that women are objects, but I do not agree that they have no agency.

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IQ and Income: IQ Is Not Destiny

Rowlii writes: How can you be broke if there is a correlation between IQ and income? Do you count on lower IQ (like me) to finance your blog?

Come to France! The welfare state will take care of you.

More seriously, I love your blog.

I know a number of very high genius IQ people (over 140) who have no money at all and are low income if not in poverty. IQ is not everything, and even a genius IQ without EQ or emotional stability is almost worthless.

That said, a number of the very high IQ people I know are on disability. Two are on disability for mental illness, one has mental illness listed as one of the things wrong with him, and two more are on disability for a physical reason. I know another very high IQ person who has mental illness but is not on disability. 75% of the mental illnesses are mood disorders. Two have been hospitalized a number of times, and one has been hospitalized a few times.

One is chronically psychotic or nearly psychotic and is on anti-psychotic meds, and the other has been psychotic on occasion. Another has such profound Major Depression that they are barely function. One has listed an anxiety disorder as part of their disability. 2/3% are on psychiatric drugs, and the rest need to be but won’t take the pills. Only one of these people is even partly employed, and he works very part-time under the table. The highest income is $25,000/yr from disability and renting a couple of rooms in a house they own.

A friend of mine from high school has a genius IQ (the same score I have), and to my knowledge, he has never made any money. Last I heard he was living in Santa Cruz with some alcoholic older woman. He sent me a letter a while back asking for money because his car had broken down and he needed $2,500 to fix it. He was a heavy drug user and dealer for quite a few years, but in recent years, it was just pot. He had been arrested for dealing drugs.

He also had a tendency to go on wild alcoholic benders in which he sometimes did insane things. He sometimes got hospitalized when he went on these benders. He also acted very strange for many years. People said it was the drugs, but I knew him back in 7th grade before he had taken any drugs and he was actually even weirder then. He’d always been weird. He has all sorts of funny mannerisms and strange ways of talking.

My Mom has a genius IQ (150), and she spent her life as a housewife. She did hold a number of jobs later in life while still married. One of those was a paralegal, but she wasn’t very happy there. In recent years, she has worked at jobs like tax preparer and secretary at a community college.

I know someone with a near genius IQ (139) who has worked at menial jobs their whole life and never made much money. He was also an alcoholic for many years. He had something wrong with his leg due to the smoking and drinking but he refused to go to the doctor for whatever reason. It got much worse and the leg had to be amputated halfway up. This person has been an alcoholic for decades and they have also suffered from Major Depression for 35 years which was never treated or treated only with alcohol.

I recently met a woman with an IQ of 156. She was mostly a stay at home Mom of a seven year old girl. She lived off her husband’s income. For employment, she was trying to get a publishing business off the ground, but she wasn’t getting anywhere.

There are some people I have known who were very smart, but if I don’t know their IQ scores, I can’t list them. It’s not ok to discuss IQ pretty much ever in our society, so I do not know the IQ scores.

I do know a few people with genius IQ’s who have been fairly successful in life. Two out of three were females, and oddly enough, all had IQ’s of 143. One had made money in the stock market. Another worked for some oil company in Texas, but I am not sure what she did there. the man went to law school and become an attorney. Last I heard he was into real estate development, buying and selling mini shopping malls or whatever you call them.

Come to think of it, most of the very high or genius IQ people I have known in life have hardly been successful at all, and the only three I know who were even somewhat successful are listed above. Not including the near-genius, nine listed above or 75% have made little money in life, and five or 42% are on disability. Four out of 12 or 1/3 have serious mental illnesses. Five or 42% are on psychiatric meds, and two more or 16% need to be. That leaves us with 58% who are either on psychiatric drugs or need to be. 71% of the psychiatric conditions were mood disorders. Three or 25% have been hospitalized for psychiatric conditions. Only three or 25% have even been moderately successful, and only one or 8% could be thought of as quite successful.

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Whiskey for Pain

Anybody else do this? Well, that’s my excuse anyway. But I’m only doing it for pain! Not to get loaded or anything like that.

Whiskey is supposed to be a good painkiller. A long time ago, before they had painkillers, they used to give patients whiskey before surgery.

Dr. Lindsay prescribed three whiskeys a night for pain, but it’s to be used for medical reasons only.

Mix? Damn right I do. Hell if I drink firewater straight. Do you think I’m nuts? Mine is Diet Pepsi. All of the other diet drinks are junk because they have that horrid aspartame in them that tastes like poison. Serious. I drink that stuff and I feel like I have been poisoned for the whole rest of the day. Come to think of it, I probably was poisoned. I always get a vibe like there is something nasty evil about that stuff. It reminds me of PCP. Pure raw chemical taste, metallic in the case of PCP. You know anything that tastes like gasoline when you inhale it has got to be bad for you.

Diet Pepsi is the only one that has Sucralose, which I have actually come to tolerate if not enjoy. Mixed with whiskey and Pepsi, it’s not a problem at all.

Diet because if you drink soft drinks, you have to drink diet. The real stuff is so bad for you! Not to mention all the cavities. I cut out most of the sugar, and I hardly get one cavity anymore. Soft drinks are also very bad for weight gain, etc. I am convinced that they give a lot of people metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes.

Brand? I do drink cheap stuff, but I do not like it too much. If it says “blended” on it, it’s cheap junk. Canadian blended whiskey is a bit junky.

Kentucky Bourbon is very good. In order to be called that they have to make it to strict exact standards. Jim Beam is fine, but it’s a bit expensive.

Right now I am on Scotch. It’s called Clan McGregor, and I rather like it. What I found fascinating was that Scotch tasted completely different from bourbon or blended whiskey! Amazing. I thought they would all taste the same. Scotch also has to be made in Scotland according to strict rules in order to be called that. There probably isn’t any cheap junk Scotch. If it’s Scotch, it is probably pretty good. There are a lot of cheap whiskeys though, and a lot of them are not so great.

I usually drink stuff that is somewhat above the bottom of the barrel cheap stuff. Evan Williams is a good whiskey that is a cut above the cheap stuff. Fireball is nice too. Not sure about Black Velvet. I thought it was just fine until I tried Jim Beam. It was only then that I realized how crappy Black Velvet was. Seagram’s is just fine.

I really enjoy this switch to the hard stuff. Real men drink the hard stuff. Slobs drink beer, and effetes drink wine. All you beer and wine drinking sissies need to move on up to the hard stuff now!

What are you waiting for?

Die with your boots on, dammit!

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Great Cheap Wines, Part 2

Repost from the old site:

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some great cheap wines, mostly for $5 or less for 750ml or $10 or less for 1.5m. We will continue to look at more wines in this post.

I live on a really low income that is just above the poverty line, so I really can’t afford to spend much on wine. Nevertheless, I like my wine to taste good! A lot of cheap wines taste bad. So, this series is for those who don’t want to spend much money on wine but want something tasty enough so you don’t want to spit it back into the glass when you drink it.

Frei Brothers Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Frei Brothers Vineyards, Modesto, California, – Not so good, with black cherry, blackberries and vanilla predominating. This is another bad one from 2004, like the Mondavi Merlot below. Same bitter, nasty, biting aftertaste. Not a good wine at all, just avoid it.

Fish Eye Merlot 2004, Fish Eye Winery, Ripon, California – Great. Fruity with shades of plums. Smooth, goes down real easy with a great finish. All the Fish Eyes I have tried so far have been great.

Cook’s Brut Champagne, Cook’s Champagne Cellars, Madera, California – Very bad, crisp and fruity with pear and apple. This champagne is truly horrible. It’s also very cheap and none of the others were affordable at all.

Riunite Lambrosco Emilia, Cantine Riunite, Campegne, Italy – I’m not supposed to like it but I do. Many people trash this wine because it tastes a bit like a soft drink or sparkling grape juice. So what! A great wine for those who don’t like wine. Keep in mind it’s only 8% alcohol. Soft and fruity.

Barefoot Merlot 2003, Barefoot Cellars, Napa, California – Great. Chocolate and raspberry flavors with a bit of anise. This wine is delicious, and is often cheap or on sale. Everything Barefoot makes is good.

Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Merlot 2004, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Not so good. This wine is pretty bad, I must say. I don’t know if this was a bad year or what for Mondavi (it was not for their White Zins) but this wine is bitter, with a nasty aftertaste.

Avoid at all costs. Woodbridge is one of Robert Mondavi’s cheaper lines, and the wines in these lines are simply not aged as long as more expensive wines, but still, many cheaper wines in this category are still quite good.

Woodbridge Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2005, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Great, fruity, flowery, light and sweet. Keep in mind that the snobs hate White Zinfandel because it is considered to be “not a real wine”.

That is, it’s the sort of wine that non-wine-drinkers would like. Snobs/connoisseurs think it is more soft drink or Koolaid than wine. Who cares! It tastes great!

Woodbridge Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2004, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Another great White Zin from Mondavi. Strawberry and apple, light and sweet.

Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Zinfandel 2004 – Great Zinfandel! It has that fascinating peppery flavor unique to Zinfandels, along with black cherry and blackberry. Zinfandels do well in California’s warm climate. It got a good review on Cork Reviews here.

Turning Leaf Pinot Noir 2005, Turning Leaf Wineries, Modesto, California – Good stuff. Black cherry, berry and spice. Pinot Noirs are kind of funny wines – they seem a bit sour, so you may or may not like them. But I enjoyed this wine.

Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Turning Leaf Wineries, Modesto, California – Everything Turning Leaf makes is good. A deep fruity taste with spice, vanilla and oak.

Bolla Merlot De Venieze 2005, Fratella Bolla SPA, South Pietro, Verona, Italy – Very good. I like these Venetian wines. Cherry, cranberry and plum flavors predominate.

Chateau Ste Michelle Colombia Valley Merlot 2002, Chateau Ste. Michelle Wineries, Patterson, Washington – Fantastic. Buy it. Raspberry flavors aged for 16 months in barrels.

Lindemann Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Lindemann Wines, Karadoc, Victoria, Australia – Everything they make is good. If you can find it on sale, grab it. There are some great wines coming out of Southeast Australia these days.

Canyon Road Merlot 2004, Canyon Road Winery, Geyserville, California – An excellent wine, plum and red cherry with some vanilla. Creamy, smooth finish.

Beringer Stone Cellars Merlot 2004, Stone Cellars, Napa, California – excellent, smooth, even looks gorgeous in the glass. Fruity, blueberry with plum and blackberry. A good wine.

Beringer Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Stone Cellars, Napa, California – Great, smooth and rich, nice palate. Plum and berry and a long finish. Beringer Stone Cellars is making some really great cheap wines.

Beringer White Zinfandel 2005, Beringer Vineyards, Napa, California – Bright and crisp with strawberry and flowers. Another great White Zin.

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Great Cheap Wines

Repost from the old site:

In this post, I will review some great cheap wines. Since I live on $14,000/yr, it’s essential that the wines I buy be inexpensive. The general dividing line here is $5 and under for 750 ml and $10 and under for 1.5 liters. I am not a wine connoisseur, but I do drink a couple of glasses of red wine every night.

After a while, if you have any refined palate at all, you develop a taste for what tastes good and what does not. This post is intended for the unsophisticated wine drinker, not the connoisseur. The person that is simply looking for good cheap red wines that taste good and don’t bite back at you when you drink them.

Please note that in addition to the wines below, I also tried many wines that simply did not make the cut. Most of them, but not all, were cheaper. For a long time I drank these wines. They are quite cheap – you can often get a 1.5 ml bottle for $6 or $7. I include Gallo, Forestville and Inglenook, amongst others, in this category.

If this is all you drink, these wines seem fine, especially compared to bottom of the barrel jug. But once you start moving a few grades above these, you quickly lose a taste for those wines, and at the moment, I have moved on.

I drink 2 glasses of wine a night. If you do the same, the wines below will cost you about $2.50 a day, a reasonable expense in the US for one of life’s grandest pleasures, even for those barely above the poverty line.

Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, Mendocino County, CA: The flavor is black cherry, a bit of vanilla, chocolate and spice. Not bad. A northern California wine from an area along the Russian River where a lot of wines are being grown lately.

Concha y Toro Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot 2004: An excellent wine from Chile’s Central Valley. Those who have tried a Cabernet-Merlot combination may wish to try this one out. Combinations of these two wines is particularly common in Chile.

Casarsa Merlot Delle Venezie (Venetian Merlot) 2003: A great Italian wine grown just outside Venice, in a major wine-growing region of Italy. The Italians and French make some superb cheap wines.

Purple Moon Shiraz 2004, Purple Moon Winery, Manteca, CA: A great, very fruity wine. It got a good review here. Three more reviews are here, two positive and one negative. A wine from the Central Valley of California.

Estrella Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Estrella River Winery, Napa, CA: A very good wine. Napa Valley is of course the very famous wine-growing region in California.

Milla Vineyards Sunset Red Table Wine 2005, Milla Vineyards, Fresno, CA: A nice wine but it is quite sweet. It’s not Port or Sherry, but it’s not totally dissimilar to Kosher Grape Wine. I like dry wines myself, but this wine was quite good. If you like a sweet table wine, you will enjoy this. This wine normally sold for around $7 a bottle but I got it on sale for under $5. Another wine from California’s Central Valley.

Chateau Lasgoity White Zinfandel 2005, Chateau Lasgoity Vineyards, Madera, CA: Noticing that it was bottled in a very nondescript (one might even say, cheap-appearing) label, I was not optimistic about this wine. I was delightfully surprised. This is one of the best White Zins I have ever had. No bite, bitterness or aftertaste at all. Yet another California Central Valley wine.

****
Milla Vineyards Ruby Cabernet 2004, Milla Vineyards, Fresno, CA: A really, really great wine! Ruby is a new wine variety, with a very heavy taste of cherry. According to Wikipedia, Ruby Cabernets are not well regarded, since they supposedly “have not yet been able to produce quality wines”. Once again, this wine normally sells for around $7 a bottle or so but I was very fortunate to be able to pick it up for under $5.

Perhaps I am not a connoisseur, but I loved this wine! I went back to the store and bought about 1/2 the bottles in stock and recommended it to the checkers at the counter, something I usually don’t do. A great wine for people who are not big wine fans. I can’t recommend this wine highly enough. I wish I had a case!
*****

PKNT Merlot 2003: Another superb wine from Chile’s Central Valley. Plum and berry flavors predominate here. PKNT stands for “picante” or spicy. It means to spice up your life. These wines are being aggressively marketed with an expensive advertising campaign. Check the website for more.

Echo Falls Merlot, grown at Mission Bell Winery, Madera, CA; bottled at Echo Falls Winery, Woodbridge, CA: An excellent wine. The flavors are currant and raspberry, with hints of oak, spice and herbs. Mission Bell Winery is part of Canandaigua Wine Company in Madera, CA. This is yet another Central Valley wine. The Central Valley is an up and coming wine-growing region in California.

French Market Merlot Vin De Pays D’Oc 2003 Red Table Wine: An absolutely delicious smooth, fruity French wine. The French make some of the best wines around, and this is another example. Cherry, strawberry and plum flavors predominate here. However, to be honest, this wine has garnered at least one terrible review on the Internet.

Kedem Cream Red Concord, Royal Wine Corp, Bayonne, NJ: A creamy, smooth red grape wine. Another Kosher Jewish grape wine but this one is particularly good. Great if you like sweet wines. This wine is grown in upstate New York.

L’Authentique Red Table Wine , La Caumette, France: Another great, fruity, cheap French table wine. When it comes to low-end wines, the French seem to make some of the best. Review here. This wine is a Bordeaux, though you it won’t tell you on the label.

Delicato Shiraz 2003, Delicato Family Vineyards, Manteca, CA: A great wine from another California Central Valley winemaker. This wine has a strong blackberry flavor. It won Best Shiraz in California for three years at the California State Fair. That’s an amazing feat for such an affordable wine. Review here. Yet another California Central Valley wine.

*****
Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Merlot 2003, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, CA: I swear, this is the smoothest Merlot I have ever had. Every Robert Mondavi wine I have ever drunk was just great, and smooth is the word, including his great White Zinfandel. No bite, no aftertaste, no bitterness.

A wine for people who non-wine drinkers. I usually can’t afford his wines but lately some of them have been down to $5 for 750 ml and $10 for 1.5 liter. Yet another California Central Valley wine, this time from around the Lodi region.
*****

Archeo Sicilia Nero d’Avola 2003, Ruggero di Tasso: A berry flavor with meshed with the soft tannins of the oak barrels it was stored in. This is a superb Italian wine. The Italians, like the French, make some of the best cheap wines around. This wine is from southwestern Sicily. Review here.

 

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