San Angeloans buy more Franzia House Favorites boxed wines than any other wine. Carlo Rossi jug wines are another top seller.
A brand of the E.&J. Gallo Winery, Carlo Rossi fits into the niche of a dependable, affordable table wine. It is named after Charles Rossi, a salesman for Gallo who married into the Gallo family. Charlie Rossi appeared in television ads for the brand in the 1970s.
The Carlo Rossi brand covers wines of all types. The common denominator is they come in glass jugs and they are inexpensive. Carlo Rossi wines may not win blind taste tests, but they are drinkable, and even wine enthusiasts probably can find at least one they would drink with a simple meal.
Carlo Rossi wines include Chablis, Paisano, Sangria, Chardonnay, Blush, Rhine, Vin Rosé, White Zinfandel, Chianti, Burgundy, Carbernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. They come in 4-liter jugs ($9) and 1.5-liter jugs ($5).
The glass wine jugs have a cult following of their own. Creative people use empty jugs in ingenious ways to make things ranging from bookshelves to chandeliers to a sound system. Visit the Carlo Rossi website (http://www.carlorossi.com) to see some of these creations, download the specs, even watch a video on how to make one yourself.
Gallo is the largest family-owned winery in the United States. The winery and its wide assortment of labels may bring out the snob in some, but the Gallos are one of the major reasons California and Sonoma County are considered today among the premier wine regions in the world.