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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Follow-up on Mateus

A fellow erstwhile Jerseyite of my age caught my discussion of the pink "stuff" a while back, and he reminded me the other day that I didn't tell the full story of Mateus, the Portuguese rosé that we used to guzzle down at the Jersey Shore when we were too young to know better.

I left out two details. First of all, the Mateus bottle made an excellent candle holder, particularly after it had been used for several different candles and had all sorts of drippings down its side. The Italian restaurants used to do the same thing with those cheesy chianti bottles that came with a basket around them, but for a teenybopper crash pad, only Mateus would do. (O.k., maybe Lancers, which was the equivalent of Mateus, but just those two.)

The other angle that I missed on the Mateus story was the fact that it often accompanied some lovely hashish. Jersey was full of hash in the early to mid-seventies, and where there was Mateus, you had a good chance of finding some "blond." Ah, the nights we'd spend partaking and listening to record albums. We took turns -- everybody would get to play an album side, and explain why they picked that one. Somewhere toward midnight, the Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell would fall away, and Let it Bleed or Sticky Fingers would get cranked up.

Some Mateus could get spilled.

Comments (1)

We were talking about trying to track down a bottle of Mateus to see how it's held up over the years, but our bud the wine expert says it's not available in the Portland market. Anybody seen it anywhere near here?

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 30, 2006 03:00 PM

Jack, I know you won't answer, but I remember many nights with brother Gary doing a few bottles of Mateus. But perish the thought, we never thought about hash!!!

Posted by: Jim Golden at July 30, 2006 06:07 PM

You got my heart, you got my soul, you got the silver you got the gold. Ahhhhhh! memories!

Posted by: Patti at July 30, 2006 07:10 PM

What was that about a boomer's lament a few days ago?

Posted by: UR Jake Morgendorffer at July 30, 2006 08:07 PM

Okay, I've held back my Portugese wine story but as long as we're sharing: I graduated a semester early from a boarding school in Exeter, New Hampshire, and me and another American kid from Arabia went into Boston, and hired someone to buy us wine. We ordered Mateus since that was probably the only kind we could think of right then. I also see an obaque bottle in my memory but I believe it came in the bottle you have pictured. Anyway we ended up at a Boston Bruins hockey game and this was the days of Bobby Orr. At one point walking down the street I saw a curved park bench and did a slow-motion flip-cartwheel type move over it just for comic effect, which really wasn't necessary since we were already laughing. It was winter, and we turned our collars to the cold and damp. Boarding school was over, I was 17, and by Spring I'd be hitchhiking by myself around America.

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 30, 2006 11:20 PM

I used to hang out with a guy who attempted to drink a gallon of a fine "Purple" "The Pride of Cucamonga" (Pardon the spelling if not correct). As he was valiantly down to about a quarter left in the bottle, he slipped and fell on the railroad tracks we were walking on and the bottle smashed under him. He was wearing white jeans and and they were splattered with the fine purple vintage. We staggered to his house, threw his jeans into the washer poured about three times the amount of detergent called for and broke his mom's washer. Guess who Jacko!

Posted by: Jim Golden at July 31, 2006 09:59 AM

Reminds me of the guy who was carrying his wine in his pants pocket. He was so buzzed that he fell on the ground. The bottle broke and a stream of red poured down his pants. Whereupon he said, "I hope that's blood!"

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 31, 2006 12:04 PM

Too funny!

Posted by: Jim Golden at July 31, 2006 12:32 PM

Down in the South about the same time (1970-71?) the big thing was Liebframilch (spelling?). We liked to pour it into our boda bags, and go down to the outdoor concerts in Overton Park at "the shell". We'd partake of various things and then go in for the concert. At the time, the security guards didn't seem hip to the fact that boda bags could hold wine. My boda bag also often held my Dad's homemade elderberry wine.

Posted by: Lily at July 31, 2006 06:38 PM

From Wikipedia: "Liebfraumilch is a sweet white German wine. The name is a German word literally meaning "milk of our blessed mother" and derived from "liebe Frau" which translates to "beloved woman/lady"... The generic label Liebfraumilch is used to market low quality vintages from anywhere in the Rheinhessen/Nahe area. It is unknown in Germany and exclusively used for exports."

Yes...Blue Nun! Maybe we can have a tasting party: Blue Nun, Mateus, Lancers...maybe even a little Red Lady 21!

Posted by: Frank Dufay at August 1, 2006 06:21 AM

Me and my crew leaned towards MD 20-20, Bali Hai, Tiger Rose and a few other fine vintages!

Posted by: Jim Golden at August 1, 2006 06:35 AM

how do you pronounce that stuff? is it mat-ee-us? ma-toos? mate-us?

Posted by: Gullyborg at August 1, 2006 01:40 PM

The only way I've ever heard is "ma-TOOSE."

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 1, 2006 05:33 PM

Thats right Jack'O its Ma-Toose. Being married to a portuguese/Brazilian, I know. By the way check out "Newark Speaks.com for current news on your former habitat.

Posted by: Jim Golden at August 1, 2006 07:08 PM

Thanks, my Frank, I'd forgotten about Blue Nun... Urp.

But, "Red Lady 21"? That must have been an East Coast thing. At any rate, I never met her in Hawaii.

Jim, MD 20-20? That one I do remember, by reputation only, of course. I do believe that dog still lives on today.

Mateus *was* classy -- I mean, look at the bottle. Wow. And yes, made a great candle holder with real ambiance. Before we ever used the word "ambiance".

I don't remember it tasting very good, though. None of the wine I drank back then did, however. It really would be interesting to taste some now, what would we think?

Posted by: Anne Dufay at August 1, 2006 08:42 PM

Hey did you have an curfew and or a legal age to drink statue back then?

Posted by: wendy samuelsen at August 2, 2006 11:04 AM

in my day it was Boone's Farm. If we felt like "the good stuff", we got the Andre's. I think it was Andre's. Pink Duck. Something like that. I still don't drink wine.

Posted by: pril at August 2, 2006 01:38 PM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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