It’s a truth universally acknowledged that two of the best things in the world are wine and coffee. Combining the two isn’t a new trend – legendary winemaker Robert Mondavi reportedly believed morning coffee needed cream, sugar, and a generous splash of red wine - but it hasn’t enjoyed the success other breakfast cocktails have.
Finally, the two have been put together (although as we celebrate, we’re wondering what took so long). Thanks to the work of several geniuses, you can have the best of both worlds in one glass (or mug).
California is a land of dreamers: from app designers in Silicon Valley to directors and writers in Los Angeles to the winemakers in Napa, and the team at Molinari Private Reserve are no different.
The company began two years ago when the owner of Molinari Caffe and a coffee roaster from Wild Card Roaster decided that while other coffee shops were mass-producing pumpkin spice lattes, they wanted to do something a little different. They begin by rehydrating coffee beans in a local red wine, then drying and hand-roasting the beans. The final product is a cup of java with wine-esque berry notes. Adding milk will accentuate the wine flavors, and they recommend letting it sit before drinking. Although it’s (unfortunately) non-alcoholic, the fusion is packed with antioxidants and can be used to satisfy whatever your particular coffee tastes: it works well as espresso shots, lattes, or cold brew.
Molinari apparently found a gap in the market that needed filling as all stock is sold-out. The only option for those hoping to sample it are to back order or head to Napa (as if you needed another excuse.)
Out at dinner and trying to decide if you should order a second glass of Pinot or a cappuccino? Thanks to Malaysian businessman Datuk David Leo, you don’t have to choose. Enter Rozells Ipoh White Coffee Wine, a red wine blend equal parts Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from Italy, with three percent white coffee powder. Due to the limited amount of powder, the caffeine content is low, so don’t expect this to be a substitute for an espresso martini.
Leo specifically chose these varietals for their existing coffee character, using the combination to accentuate oaky and fruity notes. The wine is then aged in stainless steel tanks with oak chips to maximize the toasty flavor.
However, his plan isn’t just to delight wine and coffee snobs. With Ipoh White Coffee Wine, he hopes to establish a drink that is to Malaysia as vodka is to Russia and help the country curve out a niche for itself in the world of wine. Right now, the wine is extremely popular in China, but Leo hopes to increase production by ten-fold to eventually produce 10,000 cases a month.
Unfortunately, no one has perfected the caffeinated, 12% ABV wine-coffee of our dreams, but hunting down a bag of Molinari beans will keep us busy as we wait for that unsung hero to come along.