I’m a bit of an unreliable narrator when it comes to recounting my experiences between the ages of 18 and 22, but I’m fairly certain that some of the best times in college occurred with a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor in hand. Could I have ponied up for something better than $1.79 40s? Of course. But I’ll be damned if every basement party, porch-sitting session, or ill-conceived drinking game wasn’t enhanced by at least 25 percent after dipping into our seemingly endless supply of Hurricanes.
But that was then, and this is now. And as an older, wiser man with a decade of hindsight and a battle-tested liver, I can confidently say that drinking a 40-ounce container of anything is a pretty dumb idea, unless it’s water. This especially includes a 40-ounce container of red wine, which is the most dumb idea.
Here’s where the aptly named Forty Ounce Red comes in. The plummy gamay, which hails from Gaillac, France, just went on sale in 25 states. It’s the third offering from Forty Ounce Wines, the headline-grabbing winemaker that ruffled feathers earlier this year when it released its limited-edition rosé in a vessel better suited for warm Olde English. (It just so happened to be on the menu at the controversial, possibly racist Brooklyn bar Summerhill.)
Sipping a 40 of pink wine is one thing, since it’s considerably more drinkable and we’ve already figured out how to rosé everything else. Hell, the company’s first offering, Forty Ounce Muscadet, can be considered excusable for a hot summer day. But the standard red wine pour is five ounces. Do you really want to chug upwards of six glasses—the true size of Forty Ounce is one liter, or 33.82 fluid oz.—of a viscous vino? (Credit where it’s due: Gamay is a bit more medium-bodied than heavy-hitting reds like cabernet franc and syrah. But still.)
If you listen hard enough, frat brothers at a prestigious private university in the northeast will soon be playing Edward Fortyhands with this stuff. It will not end well, because six glasses of red wine in one sitting never ends well.
There were only 4,800 cases of Forty Ounce Red available nationwide upon its release over the weekend, so by the time you read this, it could very well be a rarer item than Wu-Tang Clan’s $2 million album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. Let’s hope it stays that way.