Apothic Red Review: From Industry Disruptor to Household Staple

Overview

In 2010, Apothic Wines entered California’s wine market to make a bold statement. Rich, flavorful wine at an accessible price was the goal, and the young brand came out swinging with their signature Apothic Red. Apothic, which is made under California wine exporter E.J. Gallo, immediately won consumers over their singular product, a surprisingly delicious red blend.

Wine connoisseurs with sophisticated palettes tend to overlook red blends, primarily because the mix of four or more grape varieties prevent you from identifying the individual flavors in each varietal. However, modern winemakers looking for a new world style product will tell you that a red blend is one of the best options for producing a truly customized flavor. The more grape varieties you add, the more you can fine-tune the profile of the wine to pick only the best attributes of each grape.

Apothic’s method was a simple and smart one. Take four grapes with intense flavor, and create something bold and fruity, with a sweet finish that will please anyone’s palette. Apothic Red is made up of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, some of the most popular wines purchased around the country. What results is a luscious, full-bodied wine with the darkness of a Zinfandel, the spiciness of Merlot and Syrah and wonderful structure of the Cabernet? The fruit is front and center, calling forward dark cherry, plum, and a warm vanilla finish.

Apothic’s Instant Success

What made this wine a winner right of the gate was it’s versatility and mass appeal. It’s a smooth wine that’s easy to drink and easy to love. It’s that bottle that you go to time and again if you’re entertaining or buying a hostess gift because you know it will be well-received. The Apothic Red will also hold its own when paired with any type of food. The bold flavors and sharp kick lent by the Syrah will complement spicy, rich food, while the lingering sweetness can stand up against sugary desserts and fresh fruits. The fruit-forward flavors become even more luscious when blended with brandy in a chilled sangria. There is simply nothing this wine cannot do.

Consumers in North America will find this bottle priced anywhere from $7.00 to $12.00, unbeatable value for the price. Granted, this bottle is exactly what it promises to be, great value for tasty table wine. Frequent wine drinkers and enthusiasts can enjoy Apothic Red as well but are likely to find it a bit flat in flavor compared to more robust or spicy reds. And while not an inherently sweet wine, the high fruit content may deter fans of extremely dry wines. That said, any fan of a smooth, fruity Cabernet find something to love about this bottle.

You can find Apothic Red, including many other unique bottles in the Apothic Line like a cold-brew infused red blend, at almost any wine and spirits store near you. Total Wine & More, Target, Amazon and 7-11 are just a few of the national retailers selling this line. Its accessibility is one of the things that has made Apothic Red a house-hold staple, and it should absolutely be part of your next shopping list.

Apothic’s Young History

Founded less than ten years ago, Apothic’s winemaker Debbie Juergenson has created a collection of wine blends that that pays homage to California’s native grapes. Focusing on big, bold flavors, modern twists and unique characteristics, each Apothic wine is completely distinct from the other.

The brand’s name draws inspiration from the “Apotheca” a place where was produced and stored in early 13th century Europe. Despite the decidedly old world inspiration, this brand produces a wholly modern, revitalized product that still manages to honor early winemaking and flavor.

Wine Blends

Nearly every wine in Apothic’s collection is a blend, and for wine novices and experts alike, the term “blend” can be vague and confusing. When a wine is marked as a blend, it simply means that the wine is not made from any one particular grape variety. Now, you may see a bottle marked “Cabernet Sauvignon” or “Pinot Noir” and notice on the back that it has other grapes blended in as well. What’s the difference? In this case, the Cabernet or Pinot Noir grape is the predominate grape and flavor, with other grapes added in small quantities for structure or balance. In fact, in California, the law only requires the wine to contain 75% of the grape variety listed on the bottle.

In an Apothic Red, there is no one distinguishing grape, but rather a combination of four that offers a completely different flavor than anyone grape could provide. The blend of Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot found in the Apothic Red is distinctly Californian in taste and style. The soft tannins and lush fruit in the Merlot help to smooth out the robustness of the Cabernet, and Syrah adds a distinct body to the wine. What results is a fruity punch with little to no acidity, showcasing the best that California fruit has to offer?

Explore All Apothic Blends

Apothic is now predominately known for its unique red blends, though the brand has added a rosé and white to the collection in recent years. One of the newest, and arguably the most daring, bottle is the Apothic Brew, a red blend infused with cold brew coffee, which offers a smokey jolt any coffee-lover will appreciate. Those who tend to prefer something a bit stronger will enjoy Apothic Inferno, a red aged 60 days in whiskey barrels for a noticeably spicy finish of maple and vanilla. If you’re loyal to the classic Apothic Red though, you may only want to venture as far as the Apothic Crush or Apothic Dark. The crush is a slightly sweeter take on the original with notes of caramel and chocolate, while the Dark variation incorporates deep dark fruits like blackberry with hints of coffee.

More Red Blends

Apothic is a wonderful place to start exploring the world of red blends, and once you discover the combinations and flavors that please your palette, you can venture into more exotic wines from around the globe. Try any of these delicious blends, combining the unique flavors and styles of the winemaker, region and their history.

Happy Canyon Vineyard 2015 Piocho Red, $32Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec

Bottle & Price Grapes Characteristics
Happy Canyon Vineyard 2015 Piocho Red, $32 Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec A Bordeaux-style red blend with notes of black plum and olive. Smooth tannins, mineral, earthy undertones. Oaky finish.
Quest 2016 Proprietary Red, $29 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petit Syrah Rich aromas of caramel, chocolate, and cassis. A fruity finish and lighter, milk chocolate taste to linger. Chalky tannins and strong vanilla flavor.
Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla 2017, $22 Syrah, Sangiovese, Grenache Dark and intense. Floral notes, with black plum and cola. Fruit-forward with dense tannins.
Conundrum Red Blend 2017, $18 Petit Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel Medium body, floral notes, and dark red fruit. Round tannins balance high acidity of the fruit.
Avalon Red Blend 2015, $12 Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petit Syrah Bold, jammy, fruit-forward blackberry and cherry. Black pepper finish with supple tannins.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Apothic red wine last after opening?

Like any other average red wine, the Apothic Red wine can handle 6 more days after opened without compromising its quality. To ensure its preservation, keep it closed correctly with its cork, and store the bottle in a cool and dark place.

What does Apothic red pair with?

The Apothic red wine is a great companion for a nice dish of pasta with red sauce or a BBQ.

Which lasts longer red or white wine?

For its level of sugar, fortified wines are the wine variety that lasts longer after opened, with a life expectancy of one month. But generally, any other wine can last up to 6 days. Red wines and white wines don’t differ very much when it comes to its preservation. Both of them can be drunk between 1 and 6 days after opening.

Conclusion

Apothic Red is winemaker’s gold. This drinkable, smooth, fruity wine will appeal to all, compliment any meal and impress any guest. It’s a wonderful introduction into California blends and may open your palate to new flavors and smells. Try it on its own to start, and then pair with grilled meat and something sweet to finish. This is a bottle best shared with friends and loved ones, but be sure to stock away a couple just for yourself, it’s that good.

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Lauren Staehle

Lauren is a Washington, DC native who spends her free time traveling eating and of course, drinking her way through the city. She works in marketing for government travel during the day, and at night writes for various travel and food sites as well as her own blog. So far, her favorite destinations have been Ios, Greece and Paris, France where she enjoyed some of the best bottles of vino around and she looks forward to traversing more of the globe with friends and family.

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