Coffee and wine: are there any beverages that are as well-loved or popular? A well-made cup of coffee is the perfect start to your day, while a rich and full-bodied glass of wine is a relaxing way to wind down in the evening.
But what if you could combine the best of both worlds? Wine enthusiasts and coffee lovers alike are buzzing over this new and innovative beverage.
If the idea of coffee and a glass of wine combined sounds unlikely, we get it. Sure, we love experimenting with different flavored coffees, and we’re always looking for ways to make our morning cup of joe taste better, but coffee-infused wine?
But trust us, it’s worth a look.
Coffee wine is a newly emerging drink that combines the rich, bold flavor of coffee with the smooth, fruity flavors of a bottle of wine. It’s still pretty rare to find coffee wine in stores, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a new drink to enjoy.
What is Coffee Wine?
Coffee wine is exactly what it sounds like: a wine that’s been flavored with coffee. It combines all the best flavor notes from both coffee and wine into one rich and full-bodied experience.
This can be done in a few different ways, but the most common is to add ground coffee beans during the fermentation process, creating a kind of cold brew wine. The result is a wine that has a slightly coffee-like taste and smell.
When it comes to the wine industry, coffee-infused wines are still the new kid on the block, meaning there are only a few wineries that have come out with their own coffee-based label.
Coffee wines are not commonly found in grocery stores, so you’ll have better luck looking online and in specialty stores. That said, it’s quickly growing in popularity, so don’t be surprised to see more and more offerings in the future.
What Does Coffee Wine Taste Like?
Coffee-infused red wine is aromatic and rich, with all the hallmark flavors you’d come to expect from a bottle of wine, like red or black cherry.
It’s definitely a dry wine, with a silky mouthfeel and a bold coffee aroma. Who knew that these two flavors could work so well together?
How is Coffee Wine Made?
There are two different ways to make coffee wine, and here’s where it gets a bit confusing. Search for “coffee wine” online and the results will turn up both coffee wine and coffee-infused wine, and they’re not the same thing.
Coffee wine is made from fermenting coffee beans and contains no fruit, while coffee-infused wine (like the commercially available Apothic Brew) does contain fruit and is made by adding coffee beans to red wine.
For coffee wine, it all starts with a sweetened cold brew made with water, sugar, and coffee beans. Once the cold brew mixture is ready, then yeast and special enzymes are added to begin the fermentation process.
After being aged in oak barrels for a few months, the coffee wine is ready! All in all, the entire process takes about 4 to 6 months, but allowing it to age longer will yield better results.
Coffee-infused wines, on the other hand, are made by adding coffee to already-fermented wine, in order to add the coffee flavor and create a richer, more full-bodied flavor profile.
Can You Make Coffee Wine at Home?
Yes! Just like any type of wine with a unique base, like rice wine, strawberry wine, or cherry wine, coffee wine is created through a fermentation procedure, which can be done at a large scale in a professional winery, or in small batches at home.
There are many home winemakers around the world, each with their own unique processes, but there are a few essentials that every winemaker needs to create delicious wine.
If you can get your hands on some Pasteur or Sauterne dry yeast, yeast nutrient, and tannin, you’ll be on the right track to start fermenting your own coffee wine.
Is Coffee Wine High in Caffeine?
We know what you’re thinking: combining caffeine with alcohol can’t be a good idea, can it? Well, no, but the good news is that coffee wine, despite having the rich, bold taste of coffee, isn’t highly caffeinated.
For example, in 2018 Apothic Wines released their coffee wine offering, Apothic Brew, which contains even less caffeine than a cup of decaf (about 10 mg).
You’re unlikely to get any of the jitters, or any of the health benefits associated with coffee since there’s very little caffeine to speak of. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, red wine contains antioxidants that “may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart.”
So as long as it’s consumed responsibly and in moderation, drinking your daily glass of cold-brew wine could be good for you!
Coffee-Infused Wine Food Pairings
Wine made with coffee is a fantastic drink that can easily be enjoyed on its own, but its unique taste gives it lots of potential for delicious food pairings.
It can be paired with a variety of foods, but it is especially complementary to rich, fatty dishes.
Some people even enjoy drinking it as an after-dinner drink, and since it’s got a delicious coffee flavor, it makes for an excellent dessert type of wine (it pairs especially well with chocolate desserts).
Soft cheeses are also a natural pairing to the deep, rich coffee and black cherry flavor.
Whether you’re a wine lover looking for something new or a coffee lover who wants to take their java obsession into the evening, coffee wine is the solution.
With all the bold flavors of cold brew and the complexity of wine, it’s sure to delight wine enthusiasts who love to try new flavor profiles.
Whether you try your hand at fermenting your own or simply pick up a bottle at your local grocery store or coffee shop, it’s a drink that should be on everyone’s “to-try” list.