The company’s introduction of Thunderbird wine would change that. In 1957, the Gallos developed the brand, a concoction of inexpensive fortified white wine with added citrus flavors.
It was named after the Ford sports car and was aimed directly at “the misery market,” according to “Blood and Wine,” Ellen Hawkes’s unauthorized biography of the family. By the end of 1957, Ms. Hawkes reported, Gallo was making 32 million gallons of Thunderbird.
I've always been a Nightrain man myself, but this Friday night I think we should all pay tribute to Ernesto by pouring out a little Thunderbird -- and drinking the rest.