Coffee Wine?

Mar 20, 2015

Coffee: a beverage enjoyed by millions of people everyday (especially in the morning.)  According to the National Coffee Association, 61% of Americans drink coffee at least once a day.  

Wine: an alcoholic beverage enjoyed by millions of people.  In fact according to Gallup, 35% of Americans drink wine.

These fan favorite beverages are usually not enjoyed together, but that has changed.   Last year coffee eine from Friends Fun Wine was introduced as a new coffee flavored wine that combine a blend of vino, “espresso coffee and a hint of other flavors like chocolate and vanilla.”

Combining coffee and wine may be new to me, but when visiting with some local Illinois winemakers I was shocked to learn Adam Bugos has been making coffee wine since 2010.

His inspiration for coffee wine was dreamt up in 2010 at a wine party when a guest wanted coffee while everyone else was drinking wine. The comment "why can't you make coffee wine" was made. He decided to start experimenting to find the perfect combination of coffee and wine.   He started his recipe with fresh pressed apple cider.   According to Bugos, after apple cider ferments, it tends to not have much flavor; you can taste the different types of yeast that you have added or any other flavors that you may have combined with the juice.   He says the apple cider makes the perfect filler for coffee wine. He added very course fresh ground coffee into the batch. After 4 weeks, his first experiment with coffee wine was ready for tasting.   While he said this first batch smelled like coffee, it didn’t have the flavor he was looking for.   He needed to find something to concentrate the flavor.   The solution: adding instant coffee.

Before bottling his coffee wine Bugos made his regular morning coffee and sweetened it to his normal standard. He then took a sugar reading of that coffee, and sweetened the batch of wine to the exact same sweetness.   His guest’s wish was granted- coffee wine was created.  

Bugos says the "Sweet Coffee" wine is a great conversation wine with 11% alcohol content.   He compares the taste to “cold fermented coffee.” He also mentioned that the coffee wine has been used in cake recipes and people love the results.     His wine has won two awards, 2nd place at the Western Illinois Wine Competition and a bronze medal at the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition.

While I love the ingenuity of combining these beloved beverages, I am going to leave my coffee for the mornings and my wine for dinner.    Or maybe I will just bake a cake with some coffee wine.

What about you?  

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