“Why is there canned wine in our fridge?” he asked, in a tone that was equal parts disgust and bemusement, with just a hint of “I know you are responsible.” The last time I had heard that tone was when after picking out our first Christmas tree as a married couple -– his first Christmas tree ever -– he inquired if Christmas trees “usually came with this many spiders?”
No. No they do not usually come with “this many” (meaning hundreds of) spiders.
My husband isn't a snob, but lines must be drawn somewhere. For Christmas trees, that line is spiders; for wine, the line is cans. This canned wine had gone too far, and he hadn't even noticed that it was coffee flavored.
The source of Sean's distress.
YUP. COFFEE WINE. IN A CAN. My gut reaction was a kind of upset gurgling sound, but my first verbal reaction was “WHY THOUGH.”
Friends Fun Wine
has created two coffee flavored “wine products” and the result is confusing. When I went to the company’s Facebook page to gain some clarity, I was met with this poetic proclamation:
It’s a coffee illusion.
It’s a wine revolution.
It’s the world’s first Coffee Wine.
Well. That’s not super helpful; you basically just repeated the words "coffee" and "wine" a whole bunch of times. Also I've had coffee flavored wine before and I hated it a lot.
I guess the goal here is Four Loco for the older set. You know, the testimonials would be something like:
"Finally! A wine that won’t slow me down and make me sleepy. I can throw back 3 of these cans and listen to Jimmy Buffet all night long!” – Cheryl, 53, Sarasota.
Or something like that.
HOWEVER. This “coffee wine” contains no coffee and no caffeine; I guess that’s the “coffee illusion” they were referring to.
I found this enigmatic slogan on their cans.
What, I ask you, is the point? Why would you do this to wine if not for a more caffeinated consciousness? Is it for the flavor? Is it so people like me will procure some out of curiosity and write a silly article like this, promoting its existence to people who would otherwise never hear of Friends Fun Wine?
Yeah. It’s probably that last one. Alright, let's do this thing.
Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino
This is quite sweet, but we all knew it would be. What we didn't know is that I wouldn't spit it out. I'll admit that I was expecting the absolute worst, so that probably helps. If someone had really hyped this up to me as "the new drink of summer" I would be a little mad right now. But because all I have to go on is gagging sounds
from various press outlets
and "it's a coffee illusion," this isn't as bad as it could be.
There are hints of cream and a lot of synthetic vanilla, and of course some coffee. The coffee flavor tastes more like coffee candy than coffee that you would drink; the overall effect is that of someone melting Nips in an already sweet white wine.
Cabernet Coffee Espresso
This is not as sweet as the chardonnay flavor, but still very sweet. The cab one does taste more of wine, though it reminded me more of a white zin than a cab, and has hints of chocolate, but was ultimately too sweet for me to finish. Oh, and more Nips.
“Juice” is the second ingredient in both varieties and, judging from the flavor, that juice is white grape. Whatever that juice is, there is more of it than wine, which accounts for the low ABV of 6%, allowing Friends Fun Wine to promote this product as a “non-caffeinated, low alcohol, low calorie drink.”
It certainly is.
I'm pleased to report that these were not as bad as media outlets predict them to be. I would not drink them again, and did not particularly enjoy them, but I wasn't repulsed by them like I was that Ice Cream Cellars stuff. So if you like really sweet wine, very little alcohol, and Nips candies, try Friends Fun Coffee Wine!
You'll like it maybe! Or my name isn't Cloife.
My new name, brought to you by coffee.
Friends Fun Coffee Wine is available for purchase for $1.99 a can.