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Popular Cheap Wines From the 1970’s When Boone’s Farm Ruled Full Guide of 2023

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What cheap wine was popular in the 1970sYou’re sitting with your wine-loving friend cracking open that bottle of Mateus Rosé you loved so much in the 70s. The label sparks a flood of memories as you pour – nights filled with laughter and love set to a soundtrack of ABBA and Fleetwood Mac.

Your friend teases you for being nostalgic, but you know the truth.

That cheap wine shaped who you are today.

So sip and smile as we revisit the carefree days of Boone’s Farm and other iconic cheap wines that ruled the 70s.

The party may have ended, but their spirit lives on through you.

Key Takeaways

  • Mateus Rosé, Blue Nun, and Riunite Lambrusco were among the most popular cheap wines in the 1970s.
  • Large-scale production and clever marketing made them widely available during this time.
  • They influenced wine culture by rejecting elitism and making wine more accessible to the masses.
  • Some brands like Mateus Rosé and Riunite Lambrusco remained popular for decades after initially gaining popularity in the 1970s.

The Rise of Cheap Wine

The Rise of Cheap Wine
By easing aside your notions of class and culture, you’ll discover unearthed in the 1970s a fine lineage of cheap, sweet wines. Mateus Rosé and Blue Nun awakened new wine drinkers with their alluring marketing gimmicks and branding, while Riunite charmed its way onto tables thanks to a catchy slogan about friendship.

Marketing Gimmicks

You’d be hard pressed to forget those clever marketing slogans that helped catapult cheap table wines like Blue Nun and Mateus Rosé to popularity back then. Their catchy taglines and eye-catching labels catered to baby boomers eager to explore new experiences.

Whether sponsoring concerts or plastering posters everywhere, savvy promotions positioned these wines as carefree fun, invoking feelings of joy and freedom. While criticized as gimmicky now, those marketing ploys were the secret sauce that turned once obscure European vintages into 1970s icons.

New Wine Drinkers

There’s a reason so many young people started drinking wine in the ’70s – everyone was doing it! Millennial appeal to affordable options like Mateus and Franzia gave them a taste of adulthood. Flavor preferences were secondary to cultural impact; drinking wine meant you had arrived.

Top Cheap Wine Brands

Top Cheap Wine Brands
Mateus Rosé from Portugal, with its distinctive flask-shaped bottle, along with Blue Nun from Germany, and Riunite Lambrusco from Italy, were among the most popular bargain wines of that era. Their widespread appeal came not only from low prices but also from savvy marketing of these fun, fruity wines to the masses.

Mateus Rosé

During the ’70s, Mateus Rosé became a pop culture phenomenon, with 1 million cases sold annually in Britain alone.

  • Trademarked carnival-shaped bottle with cork
  • Sweet, light, and fruity taste
  • Low price and wide availability
  • Massive marketing campaigns in print/TV/radio

Ferreira’s distinctive bottle and label cleverly rode the disco era’s aesthetics into history. This accessibly priced Portuguese rosé embodied the free-wheeling spirit of the times.

Blue Nun

Before Blue Nun was fermenting in your glass, Mateus Rosé had already wooed wine-drinkers with its fruited freshness. Could Blue Nun caress your palate like a gentle vintage classic? In the 1970s, wine often needed marketing more than subtlety.

Blue Nun’s label conjured tradition, but the sweet Liebfraumilch inside was no European treasure. Yet Blue Nun seduced a generation, dancing its saccharine two-step into America’s heart. Perhaps today your tastes have matured beyond Blue Nun’s cloying grasp. However, her populist flavor opened doors for Rieslings everywhere.


You’ll agree that Riunite, marketed as the un-cola of wine, exemplified the craving for fun, frivolous libations in the ’70s. Awash in that groovy Lambrusco, folks partied the night away like disco was still king.

With its foxy TV ads promising a good time, this sweet, fizzy red seduced a generation. Now a whiff of that fruity bouquet transports Generation Xers back to the days of bellbottoms and 8-tracks. Riunite’s marketing, Riunite, Matilda Bay, vintage treasures, Charles Shaw, bum wine.

Changing Preferences

Changing Preferences
The 1970s saw a rise in the popularity of two varietals that have become classics: Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Though you may associate them more with classy bottles nowadays, back then these grapes were used to produce easy-drinking, inexpensive wines meant for the mass market.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Make no mistake – Cabernet Sauvignon’s reign as king began in earnest back then.

  1. Cabernet hit new peaks
  2. Bordeaux blends soared
  3. Napa Cabs resurged
  4. Vintages were stellar
  5. Wine labels captivated

The 1970s saw Cabernet Sauvignon cement its place as one of the most beloved red wine grapes. Its complex flavors were unmatched, with Bordeaux-style blends gaining popularity. Both old world and new world Cabernet really came into their own. The king had arrived.


You’d be surprised to learn that over 12 million cases of Chardonnay were sold in 1980, cementing its place as the go-to white wine during the 1970s wine revival. Chardonnay gained widespread appeal for its versatility – it could be unoaked with bright citrus notes or oaked with richer, smoky flavors.

Its smooth profile made it food-friendly, pairing well with seafood, chicken, and creamy dishes. While Sauvignon Blanc offered more acidity, Chardonnay delivered approachable oakiness at an affordable price point.

Style Flavor Notes
Unoaked Citrus, green apple, minerality
Oaked Vanilla, butter, toast, smoke

Impact on the Wine Industry

Impact on the Wine Industry
Blue Nun and Mateus Rosé were iconic cheap wines of the 1970s. This decade brought increases in production and technological innovations that shaped today’s global wine market.

Production Changes

The 1970s saw massive increases in wine production as winemakers scrambled to meet the demand for bargain bottles. Large-scale commercial winemaking emerged, focused on efficiency and high yields. New technologies like temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks enabled mass production of consistent, affordable wines.

Savvy marketers tapped into a lucrative new wine drinking demographic with eye-catching labels and memorable slogans. Behind the gimmicks, winemaking innovations laid the foundation for today’s global wine industry.

Technological Innovations

Improved equipment has helped you enjoy finer wines for less money. Technical advances like temperature controls and stainless steel fermentation allowed for high quality, affordable winemaking. And bag-in-box packaging brought decent table wine into your home without breaking the bank.

Meanwhile, new grape varieties emerged that produced tasty, easy-drinking wines. In the 1970s, innovation brought the affordable enjoyment of wine’s pleasures to dinner tables thanks to these developments.

The Legacy Today

The Legacy Today
Let’s dive right in and explore the cheap wines that defined the 1970s. You’ll be transported back to an era of hippie culture and disco beats, when wines like Mateus Rosé and Blue Nun flowed freely at parties across America.

Their sweetness appealed to new wine drinkers, and clever marketing cemented their popularity. However, don’t be fooled – these jug wines shaped the modern wine world in ways you might not expect.

Brands That Persisted

Amid changing tastes, Riunite Lambrusco remains one of the most widely recognized wines from the 1970s, selling over 7 million cases annually at its peak. Other enduring brands like Gallo’s Hearty Burgundy and Franzia’s popular boxed wines carry on the legacy.

Though tastes evolve, these nostalgic favorites maintain their place, speaking to their timelessness and ongoing popularity. Their endurance proves the indelible mark these labels have left on the wine world.

Influence on Wine Culture

You’d increasingly quaff lavish appellations to impress companions as enology evolved. Though cheap winemakers passionately pleasured plebeians’ palates previously, their past prowess profoundly propelled enophiles’ evolving epicurean explorations.

  1. Nostalgic reminiscing
  2. Snobbery snuffing
  3. Connoisseurship craving
  4. Terroir treasuring
  5. Vintner venerating

The erstwhile economical elixirs’ essence endured, elevating ensuing erudite enology.


You reminisce about the days when you used to buy jugs of sugary Strawberry Hill wine and drink straight from the bottle. While your tastes have matured over the years, you’ll always have a soft spot for those sweet wines that opened the door to your wine appreciation.

Today, you delight in sampling fine vintages, but you fondly recall the 1970s wines for bringing wine to the masses. The pop-top caps introduced a whole generation to the pleasures of wine. You smile, thankful that the innovations of the 1970s enabled anyone to enjoy wine’s deliciousness.

Even though tastes evolve, you respect those unpretentious early wines for creating today’s flourishing wine culture.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.