First, I hope you this Apothic Red review. I’ve started doing a few of these reviews of mass marketed and mass produced wines, in large part because for my cheap wine club, this is my competition. The under $10 or so bottle purchases are the folks, that might step up to the $20 or so level, which is where wine clubs and other similar online sales models start to make more sense.
Really though, I wanted to do a Apothic Red Review, because the wine is literally EVERYWHERE. Our local Safeway: it’s on an end cap (literally the most valuable space in the store too, facing the front door with the milk directly behind it). Our local Target: same. Our local pharmacy: same.
They’ve got to be selling a ton of Apothic red and this is a really competitive marketplace, so I was interested in what this wine was, how good it was and who was actually making it.
Here’s my Apothic Red Wine Review:
Hi all, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. So I’ll hold this up so you can get a good look at it and this is obviously not a wine that we sell but I do think it’s a good idea to have some idea about what people are actually buying and this is an Apothic red.
So I’m sure you’ve seen these at grocery store, drug store, probably if you have a local wine shop, they probably have some too. They’re just so mass-marketed and mass-sold that it’s hard to get away from it.
So this is a, to quote the back, Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot dumped in together. So it is a red wine blend. A couple things, so this range of wines that are created to be sold. This is not created to teach about a vineyard. This is not created to tell you anything about a varietal. This is strictly a wine that’s made to get you to buy it based on the bottle and then, hopefully, if you like it, to get you to buy again and again and again and to make it easy for you to find vintage non-specific.
That’s why you have these kind of, in some ways, crazy kind of mix of grapes in there. You know, Zinfandel and Cabernet never get blended together and Merlot and Syrah almost never get blended together. If you talk about Cotes du Rhone, it’s only Rhone grapes that get blended together. This is kind of a mismatch of everything. So I think it’s worth a couple minutes, ’cause this may be the most successful wine on the market today, to kind of have a look and see what’s going on.
So first, the Apothic wine label is owned by EJ Gallo and Gallo is the kind of venerable Sonoma name and they do two things. Well, first they buy wineries that are successful and, two, they are create brands and this is a brand not a winery. So this is Debbie Juergenson and Debbie’s not somebody that I know personally nor have I met. She’s the head winemaker on the project and the one thing I will give Debbie … So, when you taste this wine, this was not for me, and that’s not for me because it has residual sugar. We do different part levels and so this is about twice as sweet as Yellowtail is just to kind of put it in perspective.
I don’t tend to like much residual sugar in my wine unless it’s Riesling and so a semi-sweet, I don’t know if you know, they’ll market it as dry. Semi-sweet to most people’s palettes, red, is something that is a little off-putting for me but it’s very in-tune with the current marketplace and it’s in-tune for two ways. So first, we’re moving towards sweeter wines, two, this is the fastest-growing type of wine, these non-vineyard, non-winery specific brands and, three, the alcohol percentage on this guy, it’s like 13.5% only which is kind of a lower alcohol figure.
So you get these kind of intense grapes from regions that probably would produce a much, much higher alcohol content. They probably pick them a little bit earlier but they leave a little bit of residual sugar which not only cuts down the alcohol content but tends to smooth out the tannins. So you get this kind of semi-sweet, smooth-drinking wine for under $10. Well, I think if I’m gonna be honest with them, they think they say it’s $14 but I haven’t yet seen it not on sale so let’s call it $10. And you get this wine that if you enjoy something with some sweetness to it, this is a home run and I think you can see that in the millions of bottles sold for the Apothic wine label.
So, my Apothic red wine review is quite simply, it’s not for me ’cause I don’t like residual sugar. If you do like residual sugar, Ms. Juergenson and the folks at EJ Gallo have hit this one out of the park. If you’ve ever had any chance to hear the folks from EJ Gallo speak, this is highly researched and this is kind of [inaudible 00:03:35], they have these kind of broad consumer profiles and this is a wine made to fit a consumer profile.
So if you’re looking for a semi-sweet bottle of red tonight, the Apothic is probably easy to find and it’s a good effort even if it’s not for me.
So, once again, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures obviously not something for a Wine of the Month Club from us but I think it’s interesting to see what people are interested and who’s to say I won’t run into a semi-sweet red that I like at some point. Have a good one.