Well Marketed Wines: Like a Gateway Drug


While in my grocery store today, I passed this wine display.  And I found it to be BRILLIANT.  Who wouldn’t be intrigued to taste wine that has flavors of chocolate, caramel or coffee?  Even newbie eonophiles would be compelled to see if they can discern the nuances of these rich flavors.  I see Apothic brought into my restaurant all the time as a BYOB Wine.  I purchased a bottle of the Apothic Dark 2015 to assist me in pulling all my Christmas decorations out of their boxes.

img_4847The pros:  What a great introduction for someone to red wine.  Its super-purple opaque color and glass staining show its immense concentration.  Its got plenty of ripe dark fruit– Blueberry, blackberry and Cassis.  It has oak flavors of vanilla and smoky leather.  It lives up to its claim of dark chocolate and, espeically, coffee.  It has tannins but they are surrounded by richness.  Some folks describe their favorite wines to be those with very little tannins.  This would be a nice jump into something a little more mouth drying.  It is inexpensive, so many people can afford it.

The cons:  I have to assume this wine has been deeply massaged (added sugar, grape juice, additives, etc) to make sure it obtains the richness and flavor profile the “company” desired.  I am having a hard time saying “winemaker” although I’m sure they have one.   This is  a large production wine.  Alcohol is listed at 14%.  A velvet hammer.  My issue with a wine like this is that it doesn’t leave me wanting more.   I compare it to a  too rich dessert that has to be pushed away with some left on the plate.  But for someone else it could be an easy-to-drink guzzler.

Apothic Dark is a blend of Petite Syrah, Cabernet Syrah, Petite Verdot and Teroldego.  The grapes can come from anywhere in California.

The Apothic Winery website is like a hybrid between a video game and a website.  They are definitely catering to young wine drinkers!!  You can have your palm read ( if you have an updated Browser) or you can learn about Apothic cocktails.  The Apothic Dark cocktail contains Apothic Dark wine, Bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon bitters and ginger beer, stirred and garnished with a cinnamon stick.  Very pretty to look at, but I haven’t tried it!  Inferno is another Apothic wine on the website, but not one I saw in the store.  It is aged in used whiskey barrels for 60 days “layering the wine with maple and spice notes.”  Interesting or weird??

Would I serve this to my  wine educated friends?  No.  But it is a great introduction to the world of red wine.  It is marketing genius.  Bold and beautiful label.   Easy to pronounce. Clear indication of what to expect in the bottle.  And it’s about $10.  Savvy marketing!!

There is a wine for every glass and I like to help you find it.

4 thoughts on “Well Marketed Wines: Like a Gateway Drug

  1. Have to comment.
    I was slightly disappointed in Apothic Dark, as I thought it would be more enjoyable than Apothic Red. However, I still feel The Red is my “go to” red wine. Fully aerated – 12 pours back and forth – I cannot find a rich red that I prefer. I realize that we are all different and blessed with different senses of taste and smell. But, as a base, I have thoroughly enjoyed Chateaus Lafite ’59 and ’61, Latour ’61 and ’64, Margaux ’64. (Would that we could have discussed these together in the 90s.) Since I cannot afford these gems any longer I have had to find other reds. Apothic is it. Have tried to find something that pleases me as much for $20-40. No luck and why keep trying when I am more that satisfied with A. Red. How do they achieve it? I don’t care. Soak it in tobacco, add chocolate shavings, coffee grounds, grape juice, orange juice. Whatever, I find it as enjoyable as any sturdy reds I have found in many years. Every small sip that I savor to make the glass last longer.
    We really love your blog and appreciate the work you put in on those labor of love. Keep up the amazing work. Can’t say how pleased I am that my neighbor of the past is a famous blogger. Guess I have to laugh at myself as after 50 years of wine drinking I am not a wine educated person. But I still hope we are friends.


    1. Never thought back in the day I would blog about wine. But I love a bargain…so I’m always looking for a wine gem! I’ll give the Apothic Red a whirl. And in the meantime, thank you so much for your comments, Fred. It really helps my motivation to taste and report!!! Warm Hugs! Give your wife a hug from me!!!


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