As someone who’s always exhausted from school yet hates skipping parties or concerts, I perpetuate this cycle of hangovers, eye bags, and no sleep like it’s nothing. Chai or iced coffee in the morning + PBR at nightfall = a winning combination.

When I heard of a wine containing cold brew, I was already in my car to the liquor store. Apothic Brew wine, a deep red that has hints of coffee, is roughly $15, which is reasonable considering the top-notch ingredients and California label. 

The Initial Taste Test

Mackenzie Patel

I was skeptical of the claims that Apothic Brew tasted like real coffee. After all, nothing can replicate a steaming cup of Dunkin' like real coffee beans, right? I was partially right and partially wrong, since the initial observations of smell and aftertaste did remind me of coffee.

However, the actual wine tasted like a classy red, the full-bodied flavor reminding me more of chocolate than coffee. I'd liken it to a coffee stout, the wine taking on a sweeter (rather than malty) mien. It was dry, the intense liquid making my mouth pucker like when I was a kid drinking wine out of a kitty cup. (My family is very German, and yeah, drinking wine was normal growing up.)

The smell of coffee was spot on, although it was stronger than the taste (which was that of a regular red wine). The tinge of sweetness made a second glass inevitable, and my mom and I sang "Africa" by Toto in the backyard while clinking.

What’s Actually In It?

Mackenzie Patel

According to the Apothic website, this cold brew wine contains coffee, red fruit, and toasted oak, although it was definitely the first ingredient that appeared the most. It contains “less caffeine than a standard cup of decaf,” which ruled out day-drinking for me, but which also answered a question I had been trying to solve: What effects will a mixed depressant (alcohol) and stimulant (coffee) have on the body?

After a few glasses, I was feeling the normal wine high (i.e. a lil’ sleepy and a lot chatty with purple-stained lips). This “rich and smooth blend” contains 13.5 percent alcohol, which surprisingly had less effect on me than the 11.2 percent oatmeal stout I had at a brewery later that night...

Where Can I Get This Alcoholic, Coffee Gold?

Mackenzie Patel

I purchased Apothic Brew at Total Wine at 9 am on a Thursday morning, which is a new high for me. It’s also sold at Aldi, Publix, CVS, Dollar General (who knew?), The Barrel Room, and a slew of other places (input your zip code here). I thought Apothic Brew was a “specialty” wine, but I guess nothing’s special when everyone around you is a wino.

Final Thoughts

Mackenzie Patel

This wine is a 10/10 for me since my palette craves rich, silky, and tipsy-induced beverages. While the cold brew flavoring wasn’t a central ingredient, the warm hints and sultry smell made the wine more than enjoyable. I felt classy, all those nights of keg stands and drinking water from a paper plate (there were no more cups) melted away. Dare I say it? I felt like an adult.