If you know the answer is “Thunderbird,” you are very well-versed in wine lore. Or fairly antique, but let’s don’t go there.
I was doing an interview today and the old ads for Thunderbird wine came up in conversation. The jingle went something along the lines of: What’s the word? Thunderbird. How’s it sold? Good and cold. What’s the price? Thirty twice. (60 cents a bottle, at least at one point.)
The topic under discussion was how far wine has progressed in the United States. Back in the ’60s, Thunderbird, a fortified, low-end wine, was a best-seller. So you can imagine how the 1976 Paris tasting in which a California red and white took home top honors in their respective categories came as such a shock to Old World wine authorities.
You can still buy Thunderbird today, although I wouldn’t really recommend it. And I’m guessing you wouldn’t be able to get a movie star to endorse it, either. Back in the day, though, James Mason shilled for Thunderbird. Here’s an ad I found on the Internet that I thought was kind of fun.
Although maybe not so much for Mason. I get the vibe he’s not 100 percent thrilled with this particular gig.