Review: NV Apothic Brew Red Wine Infused with Coffee
I’m not going to lie: I’ve been dreading pulling the cork on this since the day it arrived. But finally it had to be done, and I forced myself to experience what the marriage of red wine (reportedly Rhone style grapes, but Apothic doesn’t say) and cold brew coffee is like.
Apothic is no stranger to unique wine concoctions, and was a pioneer in whiskey barrel finishing. Apothic Brew — not a finish, but a literal blend of wine and coffee — is something else entirely. The nose is almost entirely driven by the coffee element, a chocolate mocha note that nearly wipes the wine character away. A slight, raisiny fruit note is there if you go hunting for it, but it’s fleeting, as is to be expected because, you know, coffee.
The palate is much more approachable than I’d expected. Here the red wine’s acidity makes an immediate impact, though any particulars of its character are impossible to pick out, as the coffee immediately overwhelms it. It’s actually pretty good coffee, nutty and heavy with those cocoa notes, not at all bitter as the wine serves to brighten it all up with a bit of fruit — a unique but not unpalatable spin on putting a little sugar or honey into your cup o’ joe. I was ready to absolutely hate Apothic Brew, but it grew on me, and faster than I expected. That said, given the way it acquits itself, it’s better perhaps to think of the product as coffee flavored with wine, rather than the other way around.
Don’t shoot me, but it’s worth a sip for novelty’s sake, if nothing else.
B / $15 / apothic.com