August 2, 2006

What Do You Remember About Sly Fox Wine?

Two Bottles, Please!We got an email from a gentleman named Terry who is looking for a for details for a brand of wine called "Sly Fox." We've got our compatriots over at Cheap Fun Wines doing some research, and we've been doing some digging of our own, but we thought we'd ask you, oh handsome and brilliant reader, if you know anything about it. Here's an excerpt from Terry's email:

I am looking for a product of growing up in the 60's and what a time/era it was. Back then we could get a wine called "Sly Fox" that was absolutely great!

In trying to relive the less harmful times of the 60's I started looking for it but I feel the company who made it is out of business. I have had a few Internet hits on it but it was mainly people who remember it like me but alas no product to find.

Do you know of Sly Fox and if it is available? If not do you know of a similar substitute? I guess it fell into a category of the Boons Farm,Thunderbird, Richardson "fortified wines".

We've found a site that calls it nasty stuff in a green glass bottle, a reference on another site called Bum wines, and even a poem that refers to it, but we can't find any particulars. If any of our loyal readers (or maybe your parents) know anything about Sly Fox wine and possible substitutes, please add a comment below or email us at news at

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at August 2, 2006 7:15 AM
Recent Comments

Drank a ton of Sly Fox while in college in Hampton, Va. From what I recall there were 4 or 5 flavors and you could only find it from D.C. down through North Carolina. It was cheap and we drank a lot of that "schoolboy scotch"!!

Posted by: Jeff at May 18, 2017 8:47 PM

As othets have reported,I drank a bottle of Sly Fox one evening .. I was in my early 20s living in Norfolk, VA. The next morning I had the worst hangover ever in my entire life, and I smelled like a wino derelict. I have a friend who was in the Navy at that time who also reports the same horrible after effects.

Posted by: Korbo at March 11, 2017 6:41 PM

I remember drinking Sly Fox wine in Norfolk when stationed at Naval Air Station Norfolk, VA., 1960-1962. I don't think it was all that bad, at least, not back then, when I was 19 years old!

Posted by: William A. Corley at December 22, 2015 12:19 AM

I remember that fox smiling at you on the bottle...only flavor I tasted was grape...think it sold for 59 cents a gallon in the Richmond Va. area....I remember a couple of my friends having a very rough time with that stuff...Late 60's early 70's were the times....

Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2014 11:11 AM

I am very interested in obtaining an original bottle of Sly Fox wine (empty or full)! I would greatly appreciate any information about how or where I can obtain one!

Thank you for your help!



Posted by: Missy Besednjak at September 7, 2013 11:28 AM

I remember Sly Fox Wine from NAS Oceana, Va Beach. (1966-1969) When pay day was a day or two off and desperation set in loose change came out and 89 cents got a jug (about a gallon) of sly Fox. I think it was a grape wine claiming to be from the Catawba grape family. These were slip skin grapes that were the native grapes growing alone the east coast from New Jersey to Va. (Concord grapes are a slip skin.) Bad wine that stained anything it came in contact with. But it was CHEAP.

Posted by: Lew Moyer at August 24, 2013 8:18 PM

Use to drink SLY FOX when stationed at Ft Story, VA, (Virginia Beach). Use to give a horrible hangover!

Posted by: GI at Fort Story at October 15, 2012 2:53 PM

I"ve been researching sly fox wine myself. In the early seventies my father and some fellow Viet Nam brothers decided to start a motorcycle club. One of the brothers had recently been to New York and experienced a wine called "sly Fox". Anyway, the brothers struggled to come up with a name for their new MC...hence...the club SLY FOX MC SOUTHERN MI was originated. The members have all retired and they still hold an annual reunion. I was fortunate to attend this year and fucking thrilled to get every retired members blessing to start "SLY FOX MC" back up. We will be patched and riding in the spring of 2013 and we will make the original members of FOX proud!

Posted by: Lee Camp at August 22, 2012 4:38 PM

I was stationed in Fort Eustis in 1969-70 and Sly Fox was the beverage of choice toward the end of the month when cash low. Must've been fond of Apple because that's the only flavor I remember. Also seem to recall a happy looking cartoon fox on the label, winking at you. Or maybe I just dreamed that part.

Posted by: getbent at May 26, 2012 4:34 PM

I remember buying Sly Fox Wines while attending Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 1967/68.

VERY CHEAP - and the favorite at our apartment was Sly Fox Banana flavored...!

We used to warn our comrades that were making 'Wine/Beer' runs to the grocery store (one could legally putchase at 18 then) to look for Sly Fox - and to beware of French imitations!

Posted by: Bob at April 5, 2011 2:53 PM

I remember Sly Fox from the 1950's in rural Virginia near Lynchburg. Awful stuff, but at that age I would drink anything.

Posted by: Raymond at May 11, 2010 5:24 PM

I graduated from VA Tech in 1971 and remember some students drinking it. It was available in quarts for a low price (less than a dollar, but I forget the exact amount). Two memories: I had a glass once - when you held it to the light you could see pieces of grape skins floating in it - and it was so bad that every time you took a sip you winced.

Also I remember from looking at the label that it was made in Petersburg, VA (I suspect cheap wine concentrate, water and grain alcohol - I think it was 20%).

Also one winter saturday night in 1969 or 1970 someone was sneaking a bottle into Pritchard Hall and dropped it in the lobby and it broke. It wasn't cleaned up until monday and it stunk up the entire lobby.

Posted by: George at December 7, 2009 12:00 AM

I was in college in Richmond, Virginia when I first got introduced to Sly Fox. I could buy it for 99 cents for a gallon at Safeway. Definitely got you drunk for very little money. The worst thing about Sly Fox was the next day - gave one the worst farts a human being could emit and could clear a room in a matter of seconds

Posted by: CULLEN at November 21, 2008 9:16 PM

Oh, I remember Sly Fox well. When I was in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk in '65-'66, it was a popular addition to a 6-pak of Falstaff beer. I tasted the stuff once, and to me, it tasted like prune juice. Some guys got awfully messed up on that stuff.

Interestingly, in the book, "The Last Detail", Sly Fox wine is mentioned. That reference didn't make it to the movie version, though.

Posted by: Vern at August 14, 2008 1:33 PM

Yep, I remember Sly Fox wine. I first got to know the Sly Fox in 1962 in Norfolk, VA as a young submariner that couldn't afford any thing better for a cheeeep drunk. The other cheap brands were Golden Spur, Three Bears, Old Padre And some other brand that had a roster on the label. They didn't taste very good but they made the bar girls look better. I went back to the Portsmouth, VA area in 1969. They were still selling most of the stuff but my taste buds had gotten a little more particular by then. I bought a bottle and had about 2 swallows of it and put it out for the trash men. Suddenly my garbage cans and covers began coming back to my back yard like they were supposed to do any way. Every 2 months I would leave a bottle of cheap wine on the top of the trash cans and everyone was happy.

Posted by: John at December 29, 2007 2:58 PM

Oh ya...Hampton, Norfolk, Va Beach & Sly Fox. The best bang for the buck, it actually made your tounge purple. Another favorite amgonst us pop bottle deposit buyers was Boars Head Sweet Apple Wine. Does anyone remember the Boar???

Posted by: Julio at June 29, 2007 2:05 PM

Sly Fox! Yes, I remember it very well. As a teenager living on a military base during the early 60's. Fort Eustis, Virginia and we would put out nickles, dimes and quarters together and ask some soldier to buy it for us right outside the main gate. It was part of our rite of passage, becoming a man and all that. We thought it tasted great, but what did we know. I recall soaking a few of those labels off the bottles and putting them on my wall in my bedroom. As I understand, it's no longer in production... I now live in California, but when I went back to VA in the 80's, a liquor store worker told me that.

Posted by: eman at April 30, 2007 4:47 PM

As a '60's barroom musician in Norfolk Virginia, the most solid block of bars in the world, I remember the cartoon purple and blue Sly Fox Wine label. I covered a Harmony Bass guitar with the labels. I remember that the wine was a little cheaper than Thunderbird and MD 20/20 and was used in several "wine cocktails" sold in sailor bars, as liquor by the drink was illegal.

Posted by: KindlyRat at February 21, 2007 9:52 PM

SLY FOX-yes ,I remember(to a point)drinking it while in the Navy in Virginia Beach between 1967 & 70.I did not recall the green bottle & think it was available in quarts (or fifths)very cheap.The label had a cartoonish smiling(sly) fox & I think it called itself a "grape" wine. Terrible hangovers!

Posted by: John Hayes at October 25, 2006 5:37 PM

I clearly remember the wine known as SLY FOX.( Circa 1965-1972) It came in one gallon green bottles and sold for 89 cents a gallon. It was known to fool even the most experienced drinkers. The first taste was terrible ~ but then subsequent sips and swallows as I can remember actually tasted good or so it seems. Culmination usually was passing out or so messed up one could hardly move or respond to any sort of stimulii. We use to say even the garbage men would not venture to drink this stuff. It was for hippies and young people. Also we use to have a custom that whenever a partial jug of SLY FOX was discovered on the ground it was appropriate to search the surrounding area in a minimun of 200 plus meter radius looking for victims. It was rumored that upon tossing the jug the "OLE SLY FOX" could be heard a laughing ~ ~ I am quite surprised that so little information is recorded for historic purposes and trust that this true account be added to the record for posterity.

Written by a bonifide consumer of the "FOX"
September 11 , 2006

Posted by: Surfer4Panama at September 11, 2006 6:26 PM
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