Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christkindl Apple Punch (Aldi)


If warm alcohol is your thing, then here you go...
I love apples, and I love punch, yet I was not too keen on trying Christkindl’s holiday-inspired combination of both.  Why?  Because this is a wine concoction that is meant to be served warm, and for some reason, warm alcohol just doesn’t seem too appetizing to me.  Of course, you can be a rebel and enjoy it straight out of the bottle--hell, I could serve it chilled if I wanted to--but I figured that it was made to be enjoyed warm and would taste unappetizing if served at room temperature.

At the same time, I wanted to review some Christmas items this year, but most of their holiday Special Buys have to do with chocolate, and on this particular trip, I was absolutely starved, and when I‘m hungry, sugar just sounds disgusting to me.  If you know me, though, you’ll know that there’s one thing the sugar rule does not apply to, and that’s alcohol.  I’m just about always game for it, and so I figured this would finally be the day I would splurge and little bit and dive into a bottle of Apple Punch.

For the first glass, which I served myself in a completely oversized holly berry goblet, I decided to try it at room temperature.  Before pouring, I gently wafted some of the aroma to my nostrils, and was actually shocked to discover that it smelled exactly like the name insinuates--there’s the strong base note of apples, but there’s a fruit punch-y kind of finish in the background that finished it off.  It reminded me more of straight-up juice than a wine-based beverage.

The taste also consists very much of apple, though there was a surprising caramel or butterscotch kind of finish that was good.  It’s pretty sweet, so if you drink too much, you can probably expect a headache, but if you’re just looking to loosen up a little bit, then a couple glasses of this 9% ABV wine should suit you pretty well.

When heated up, the smell completely changes to a more warm apple cidery scent, though there’s a little bit of alcohol bitter in there.  I’ve never really paid attention to how aromas change when applied to heat, but the profile of this does a complete 180--for me, no longer was it really that inviting.  Sure enough, even the taste takes an extreme hit; there’s some apple in there, for sure, but the end result tastes more bitter than it does when it’s at room temperature, and it just really wasn’t fun to drink.  There’s also a lingering aftertaste that seems to be exacerbated by the heat, as I did not notice any bizarre aftertastes when I was enjoying it at room temperature.  I suppose it might hit the spot a little bit more during super-cold weather, but even then, I think I would turn to a standard chilled wine, or if I really wanted something warm, a hot chocolate.  

Overall: 5.5/10. If you’re looking for something different, this is a decent way to go:  the fact that it can be enjoyed heated, or at room temperature (or chilled, if the mood strikes you; chilled it tasted very similar to how it did at room temp), gives it a little versatility in that it tastes completely different both ways.  I actually was vastly underwhelmed with the heated version, and found it to be a lot tastier when served at room temperature, but your results may vary.  There is 9% ABV per bottle, which is about on par with a lot of supermarket wines.  I did get a slight headache (no doubt from the sugar content) after only a couple glasses, so this is probably not something you would want to get drunk off of.  Value is modest, at $6.99 per 750 mL bottle.  Even as a seasonal curiosity, I will probably be waiting at least a couple years before giving this another try; there’s just nothing really outstanding or noteworthy here at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment