Scientific evidence to support two common (and commonly beloved) beverages, coffee and wine, just seems to be mounting. For example, moderate red wine consumption can offer benefits for your gut and your brain and is packed with antioxidants (which you can also soak up, sans alcohol, in a relaxing vinotherapy bath sesh). Coffee isn’t so shabby on the antioxidant front either, and it also might have a positive effect on your memory. So, combining the two would give you double the boost, right? One California winemaker is hoping you’ll think just that.
Last year, a coffee roaster in Napa Valley partnered with a vineyard to create a wine-infused coffee. Now, Apothic Wines—a brand with a history of gimmicky yet crowd-pleasing small-batch blends, like Apothic Inferno, a whiskey-and-wine combo—is hoping to one-up them by combining the a.m. staple with the happy-hour go-to to create a cold-brew-infused red wine, called Apothic Brew. The brand notes on its website that the combo was inspired by the rampant popularity of cold-brew coffee.
“It’s an intriguing combination. Alcohol works on the GABA receptors, which help to relax you, but coffee stimulates adrenaline, which revs you up. This could work in your favor or do the opposite.” —Dana James, nutritionist
The limited-edition red blend, which hits store shelves in April, purportedly has flavor notes of red fruit, toasted oak and, yes, coffee (though it contains less caffeine than a cup of decaf coffee), Apothic reports. “I realized that many of the characteristics in cold brew coffee and red wine naturally complement each other,” Apothic winemaker Deb Juergenson says of creating the wine in a press release. “This led us to experiment with a few blends, eventually leading to the seamless creation of Apothic Brew, which brings together red fruit notes and subtle mocha essences of cold brew.”
While the flavors may blend seamlessly, there’s no evidence to support the health benefits doing so, too. What does a pro think? Nutritionist Dana James, MS, who founded the functional medicine nutritional practice Food Coach NY and LA, says, “I can see how [wine and coffee] compliment each other from a polyphenol and phytonutrient perspective, but it’s an intriguing combination. Alcohol works on the GABA receptors, which help to relax you, but coffee stimulates adrenaline, which revs you up. This could work in your favor or do the opposite.”
With the combined potential to increase your endurance and support brain health, imbibing a glass (or two, if I’m being honest here) of coffee-infused red wine is certainly tempting. And in James opinion, doing so is totally safe. “There’s no harm in trying it to see you like the taste and the effects on the mind,” she says. Although she personally might not want to try it: “I’m too culturally swayed. Coffee [is for the] a.m. and wine p.m.”
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