Coffee wine is not a great idea

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Credit: Courtesy Apothic

Caffeine and alcohol is the classic, cheap combination of stimulants that America loves. Jack and Coke. Vodka and Red Bull. Coffee and whiskey. Four Loko and... just Four Loko, really. So it makes sense that we would eventually get to cold brew-infused wine. In theory, it has all the refreshing caffeine of a cold brew with the gentle buzz of red wine. In practice, well, no. But I didn't know that before trying Apothic's new cold brew wine Apothic Brew. I had hoped that the cold brew-infused red blend might be actually kind of good.

Apothic, a brand that I've purchased to bring to dinner parties, was kind enough to send along a couple bottles of their new offering (suggested retail value: $18). Because we sit next to the staff of Food & Wine, including Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle, a kind and knkowledgeable person who agreed to join in our taste testing of this questionable wine. The wine, which we served at room temperature, was not a taste test winner.

"This wine should not be," Isle said after a sip. And yeah, you can see why. Part of the problem is that the tempteratures were kind of weird. It was the right temperature to drink red wine, but all wrong for cold brew. I wanted the wine to either be much hotter or much colder, maybe served over ice with a slice of lemon. It could be a good sangria? Or a granita? But that's not exactly what you want to hear about an $18 wine.

"I'm a masochist and I like this more than the rest of you," declared our Senior Food & Drink editor Kat Kinsman. You may too! But for the rest of us, perhaps it's best to follow Ray Isle's tasting notes: "I would recommend this wine to be shot out of a cannon into an empty lake." There you go.