Tasting Report: Red Wine and Coca-Cola

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A while back Esquire wrote about a unique combination of ingredients I hadn't heard of before: Red wine and Coca-Cola.
Looking around a bit we find this concoction has been quite popular in Spain ("Kalimotxo"), South America ("Calimocho") and elsewhere ("Rioja Libre").
A situation where the drink is quite popular is where you half-empty a 2 liter bottle of Coke then fill it up with low grade red wine then take it to the beach and pour it over ice in plastic cups. Crafty!
Since we're on vacation I've noticed some of the domestic reds I picked up at Costco weren't faring well under a re-inserted cork after a day or two so I thought this would be a good chance to try out the combination of red wine and Coke.
In my humble opinion: It's quite good!
I took a rocks glass and filled it about 2/3 full of ice. Then I filled the glass about 2/3 up with red wine. I chose a Petite Sirah that was pretty good the first couple nights but not likely to fare well after a couple days on the counter. I then topped it off with Coca-Cola. As you can see from the picture it becomes purple with a bit of foam on top.
It's a different experience drinking this "cocktail" than drinking red wine from a wine glass. The first thing I noticed is that the aromatics were muted. It smelled more or less like grape soda and cola. If you're just trying to get into red wine and it's not working out for you this might be just the ticket to acclimate you!
On the palate is where I thought the combination worked well. The satisfying earthy characteristics of the Petite Sirah were unmistakeable, and the cola notes I generally enjoy in wine were tasty. The drink finishes with a refreshing lift provided by the effervescence of the cola.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
I thought this was a nice way to utilize an already opened bottle of wine that wasn't faring well after a day or two out on the counter. The beverage is refreshing and versatile. I can see this being quite nice in a number of settings.
Question of the Day: Have you ever tried red wine and Coke? If so, what did you think? If not, would you be up for giving it a shot?


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