Every so often, a meme takes over the internet that we can’t quite explain. But when it comes to Josh Cellars wine, there’s a very simple story. Josh wine is a brand of wine that was first created in 2007 by New York native Joseph Carr to honor his father, Josh. But the wine’s unique name has turned it from a mid-price decent wine into an internet joke.
We can all remember the Josh wine ads and commercials on television from the early to mid-2000s, but thanks to a Twitter user on Jan. 7, 2024, the hilarity behind the Josh wine brand has been reinvigorated. So we explain the Josh wine meme, its origin, and everything else you need to know about how Josh wine became an iconic internet joke.
The Josh wine meme can be explained from its origin in a series of tweets.
Basically, when Twitter user Rashad Eason tried to bring some positive attention to Josh Cellars wine, the plan backfired. They tweeted, “I’m not gonna keep telling y’all to grow up and leave that Stella and Barefoot alone,” with a picture of Josh wine, encouraging people to spend just a little more to get a more decent wine than Stella Rosa and Barefoot wines.
However, Twitter user @Zujabes clapped back with, “For non-wine drinkers, this is like someone driving a Hyundai making fun of a Kia driver.” What they mean is that while Josh might have a slightly fancier label and a slightly higher price point, it’s not really much better than the cheapest go-to wines. When someone asked for the makeup equivalent, tweeter @VidaFoxx clarified, “It’s like Wet & Wild trying to insult ELF.”
All of these are apt comparisons, which led to a lengthy debate on Twitter about the quality of these various low-priced wines. Another user insisted that “Josh is actually a great wine that’s cheap,” while someone else said it’s the “best Chardonnay [they’ve] ever had.” Perhaps they need to try some new wines.
Josh wine’s revamped publicity inspired a series of memes that the company seems to love.
All of this talk of Josh wine has revamped the public’s interest in the brand. Just as a little bit of history, Joseph created the wine to honor his father, Josh, a military veteran, lumberjack, volunteer firefighter, and family man. “The values my dad instilled in me are reflected in every bottle of Josh Cellars that we painstakingly make,” Joseph said to PR News Wire. “Producing delicious wines takes a lot of hard work, but Dad wouldn’t have it any other way.”
But the memes are simply funny, making light of wine named after a person. “It’s Josh o’clock somewhere” garnered over 30,000 likes on Twitter, and a penguin waiter carrying the bottle of wine with the quote, “Your Josh, Sir,” gathered over 70,000. In fact, the Josh website encourages its customers to make hot chocolate with wine in it, aka “Hot Joshlate.”
People are enthused by it simply because Josh is such a simple name for a person, let alone a wine. We’re used to varietals named after places or families with foreign names, but “Josh” is just such a basic name for a wine that’s supposed to marry quality with affordability. But Josh Cellars are clearly enjoying the free publicity. They shared their own memes on Instagram with the caption, “Live Laugh Josh,” joining in the fun.
A bottle of the Josh Legacy Red Blend is priced at $17.99.
Throughout the years, Josh Cellars has gained popularity and a reputation for quality at an affordable price. While $17.99 is a much higher price tag than a wine such as Barefoot, often under $10, Josh Cellars still keeps their wine at a manageable price for the average wine consumer.
While Josh Cellars began with just one varietal back in 2007, they’ve now expanded to a catalog of 21 different bottles, including red, white, and bubbly. Their new Seaswept wine is just $15.99, and is a Pinot Grigio mixed with Sauvignon Blanc to invoke beachy vibes. And while it might all be jokes and memes to the internet, Rashad told TODAY.com, “There are more wines out there that are quality and a decent price point that don’t taste like pure juice.”