Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Apothic Red Winemaker's Blend

This is my first noob review, so bear with me, as I simply just enjoy wine, and am not obsessed with it.

I'm going to start off by saying that I love red wine.  My palette has a distinct preference for all things bitter, dry, sour, vinegary (just to note, vinegary should not apply to wine, and if it does, get thee a new bottle!!) - anything along those lines.  However, I am far from a wine "snob"...I could not sit here and dissect a glass of wine down to fruity vs. floral vs. chocolate vs. leather (lol leather...) notes.  If it tastes good to me, I'll drink it.  

I figured I could take a moment to share what I am drinking right now.  My usual go-to "cheap" wine is Yellow Tail Shiraz or Shiraz-Cabernet.  Cabernet Sauvignon if there is no Shiraz.  If we had a Trader Joe's where I live, I would absolutely try their $2 wine in a heartbeat, and probably love it.  To sum it up - I'm not that picky.  Spicy dry wine = good wine.  Disclaimer: Personal Opinion.

The other night, I decided to try something different.  I was browsing the Chianti section at my local booze market.  I have never tried Chianti, and spotted a nice bottle, with an attractive black and red label.

Apothic Red: Winemaker's Blend
"Apothic Red: Winemaker's Blend".  I assumed without looking closely that it was a blend of Chianti because of the shelf it was on, with other reds.  I opened it up, let it breathe for a bit.  I poured a glass and tasted it.  Not bad.  Not super super dry, how I usually like...but not too bad, either.  It had a slight sweetness to it without it being too sweet.  The first sips were more like the wine I know; then I noticed a certain "watery" taste (as stated before, I am no where near a wine expert).  Merlot!!  I don't know why but Merlot and I never got along.  I tried to like it, I really did, but it just has certain characteristics that I can't enjoy.  I know it sounds weird to relate a "watered-down" flavor with red wine, but all Merlot I've ever tried seem that way to me.  The Merlot didn't ruin it for me, though.  

I finally looked at the back label.  No Chianti!  Oh well, I'll try that some other time.  This wine was a blend of 3 reds:  Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot.  Syrah and Shiraz are pretty much identical (same grapes, different regions and winemaking processes) except for a few differences that I only know because Google just told me - Syrah tends to be less "spicy" and offer a more "smoky" flavor, while Shiraz seems to have a bit more of a "peppery" bite to it.  I like them both (although I think I like Shiraz more.)  As for the Zin, I will admit, I've never had the red variety.  The only Zinfandel I've had was of the white "Sutter Home"  variety.  Since it was a blend of the 3 it was hard to guess what the Zinfandel would taste like on its own.  I guess I will have to get a bottle to find out.  

Anyways to wrap it up, at $9.99 a bottle this wine was pretty good.  The bottle is pretty slick but I'm not sure I'll buy it again because of the Merlot factor.  If you enjoy any of those 3 wines, I recommend this blend!  


  1. What a coincidence! I also tried this wine around the holidays on the recommendation of my liquor store guy. I liked the label too with the pretty script A. (confession-labels usually influence my choices LOL) Another red blend that I liked was Dreaming Tree (Dave Matthews) although that was $17 and I usually only spend $10ish. My usual "go to" for red wine is zinfindel, especially lodi old vine zins. Full-bodied and smooth, not too sweet. Gnarly Head has a good one for about $10

    1. I am convinced that I need to try Zinfandel, haha.