The bread and butter of making it through any tough week is coffee and wine. As a student, I regularly turn to coffee to get things done (aka plowing through papers, problem sets, and late night study sessions). For downtime, I turn to wine — the weekend counterpart of coffee. Nothing beats popping the cork while getting ready to go out with friends, starting off a night of binge-watching "The Office," or simply recovering from the week.

But now, you can have coffee and wine at the same time. Napa Valley's Molinari Private Reserve and Wild Card Roasters have joined forces to create a beverage paralleled by none: wine-infused coffee. The beans sell for $19.95 per half pound bag, that is if you're able to order one before they sell out. Unfortunately, this coffee will not get you drunk, but it does make the perfect library companion (just like these quiet snacks).

After learning about this unique brew, I knew it wasn't something I could go without trying. Since this coffee is almost always out of stock, I decided the only option was to attempt making it myself. Infusing wine into coffee didn't seem too hard to figure out, and I felt up to the challenge. 

The Coffee and Wine Situation

cocktail, juice, red wine, ice, liquor, alcohol, wine
Alex Frank

For my at home rendition, I decided to experiment with both coffee beans and coffee grounds. My friend kindly donated some of his Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend Whole Bean Coffee to the cause, and I used the Folger's Classic Roast Ground Coffee I rely on for my morning (and afternoon, and evening) caffeine boost.

For the wine, I used a bottle of 5 Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. This bougie bottle can be found at your local Rite Aid for $2.99, but any type of red could work as well.

mocha, cappuccino, espresso, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

Molinari Private Reserve's website advises brewing their beans in a french press or drip pot, so I used a friend's French press for best results. If you don't know how to use a French press (I didn't either) you can learn how to here. For the beans, I also used a grinder and paper towels for drying. 

The Process

chocolate, relish, mocha, cappuccino, cereal, espresso, coffee
Aly Sebold

I took two Tupperware containers, roughly 12x6x3 in dimension (smaller would also work), and added enough coffee beans or grounds to make two cups of coffee. I did not use precise measurements (and vastly over measured), but a cup of strong coffee usually calls for 1-2 tablespoons of grounds or 2-3 tablespoons of beans. I poured enough wine to immerse the grounds/beans, snapped on the lid, and let the infusing begin. 

Ten days later, I invited two self-proclaimed coffee and wine enthusiasts like myself to help with the tasting. We started by brewing a few cups of regular coffee to acclimate our taste buds. We quickly realized 9:30 p.m. was probably not the best time to sample three cups of coffee, but it was too late to turn back. The regular coffee was followed by the infused grounds, and then the wine-infused beans. 

The Outcome

Aly Sebold

Wine-infused grounds are not part of Molinari Private Reserve's coffee experience, but I figured I'd experiment. At first, the wine completely overpowered the coffee flavor, but after a few sips, the coffee notes emerged. Feelings on the overall experience were mixed. My one friend, who likes bitter, dark wines, enjoyed the infused grounds. My other friend, who is partial to coffee, thought it was watery and "smelled like soy sauce." Personally, I think using a higher coffee-to-water ratio would have vastly improved the taste. It resembled drinking hot wine to me at first, but once the coffee notes surfaced, it was much more enjoyable. 

The wine-infused coffee beans were my sincere attempt to emulate Molinari Private Reserve's product. The coffee flavor was much richer and profound compared to the grounds. My friends described this brew as "tantalizing on the tongue," and the infused beans were unanimously considered to be the better option.

The Lowdown 

It took two and a half years for Molinari to perfect their brew, so I consider this attempt a decent first try. The grounds were a complete wash, but the beans had real potential.

If you're looking to recreate this yourself, I suggest using less water than you would when making a normal cup of coffee for a bolder taste. Decreasing the amount of time the coffee beans were left in the wine may also improve the outcome. Of course, there's always the option of buying the real deal yourself