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Arbor Mist: White Zinfandel (Exotic Fruits)

I was looking for something sweet, fruity, and alcoholic, and the colorful frosty bottle of Arbor Mist White Zinfandel caught my eye so I decide to pick it up.

Flavor

I’m no wine expert so I cannot tell you if this is a true ‘Zinfandel’ or not, but judging from the cheap price I doubt it is on any wine connoisseur’s top ten list.

This wine’s flavor is what I call very… moderate. It’s moderately sweet, moderately fruity (both smell and taste), and tastes moderately like wine (this is probably because there is only 6% alcohol).

It goes down smoothly and it’s quite easy to drink down a whole bottle in a matter of minutes. However if you had other alcohol products available its hard to say if you would choose this one.

Nutrition/Ingredients

There are 3 servings per bottle, with each containing 15 grams of sugars and 170 calories.

In my rush to pick up something at the grocery store I was fooled by the “Exotic Fruits” labeling and led to believe there is actual fruit inside. That is not the case – there is exactly 0% fruit juice present. The fruit-like flavor comes from various natural sources, which is nice, but not likely to be any real “exotic fruits”.

The sweetener is HFCS which is something I try to avoid, but frankly I haven’t yet seen any evidence that proves for certain this is any better or worse than other sweeteners (including non-calorie sweeteners and natural fruit juices). Still, I consider this a minor weak point and plan on looking for a sweet wine that uses real fruit juices in it. If you know of one, please let me know.

There is a trio of preservatives I’ve seen used in other wines before, obvious not ideal but probably a necessary evil for most wines.

Ingredients: white zinfandel, water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, carbon dioxide, citric acid, potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, and potassium metabisulfite (to preserve freshness).

Price/Availability

I purchased this 750ml bottle for $14.99 at Winn Dixie supermarket.

Ratings:   Flavor:   7.0 Nutrition/Ingredients: 6.0    Price:  8.0   Overall: 7.0

Summary

This is an OK sweet, fruit-flavored wine if you are buying on a budget, but there is nothing great about it worth going out of your way to pick it up.

References

http://www.arbormist.com/exotic_fruits_white_zinfandel.asp

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Product Review: Chox chocolate red wine

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On a recent family trip to Tampa I was looking for something sweet to drink, but without mysterious artificial flavors. I ended up trying Chox: “Fine Red Wine Infused with the natural essence of chocolate”.

Flavor

Fortunately this product had only a very slight taste of red wine, which is a big plus for me since I am not a big red wine fan. The sweet chocolate flavor really dominates the experience, although the texture is probably somewhat close to a red wine.

If you like Kahlua or other sweet chocolate beverages then you will likely love this, and the overall experience is quite similar.

Nutrition/Ingredients

I was attracted by the label which stated there are no artificial flavors, and think this the strongest point of this drink, especially when comparing to other sweet drinks like Kahlua which have who-knows-what in them. On the other hand, although everything in this product is ‘natural’, as with other instances of ‘natural flavors’, you really don’t know what is in the product. If this product actually listed everything used to make it I’d feel much better about it.

This product also contains sulfites, but from what I have researched they are present in a majority of wines, and have little effect on the body, so they are not much of a concern to me.

This product is imported from Holland. I’m not sure what type of impact this has on the taste or ingredients used, but it gives it somewhat of “exotic” feel from a marketing perspective.

Ingredients (as listed on package): Grape wine with molasses neutral spirits, dairy cream, natural flavors, and natural carmine color.

Alcohol content: 13.9%

Price/Availability

I bought this 750 ml bottle for $12.99 at a Publix in Tampa, Florida.

Ratings:   Flavor:  8.0  Nutrition/Ingredients:  6.0  Price: 8.0   Overall: 7.3

Summary

I was searching for a sweet alcoholic drink with no artificial flavors and some of the health benefits of wine. Turns out this fits the bill perfectly. I can’t speak whether a wine expert would enjoy this or not, but anyone with a sweet tooth who is looking for a little alcohol buzz should definitely try this product out.

References

http://www.thekitchn.com/sulfites-in-wine-necessary-or-100878

Myx Fusions Moscato & Coconut Wine

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On a late night during a recent New York business trip, I was looking for something alcoholic to drink without resorting to products where there is no ingredient list. This product had nice bottle design, potential for great taste, and above all a fully disclosed ingredient list, so I decided to try it out.

I am not a big wine drinker, but a little research indicates that moscato wine is a popular white wine which is sometimes used as a “dessert wine” and typically has a pronounced sweet floral aura.

This is my first time drinking moscato wine, and also my first post to feature an alcoholic beverage.

Flavor

This drink has a light, sweet flavor, with subtle overtones of coconut. Usually when drinking a product with alcohol the question is how much can I bear the bad taste (including most beers), but this drink left me pleasantly surprised with its drinkability and practically no taste of alcohol. It really goes down smooth and I quickly polished off all four bottles in a few minutes.

Overall, I feel that both wine lovers and those with a sweet tooth will enjoy this well balanced beverage.

Nutrition/Ingredients

There is 140 calories and 17 sugars in a 187 ml bottle. Its hard to compare this since many alcoholic drinks don’t advertise these numbers, but they seem reasonable to me.

There are various research studies which claim either good or  bad effects of wine on health. I am not going to pick a side now, but for those that feel wine is healthy (in moderation) I suggest this product. It has 5.5% alcohol, a bit low for moscato wines, though it is in league with wine coolers which are conceptually similar to this drink.

Nutritionally, this product is much better (or at least less riskier) than those which do not list their ingredients of nutritional information. This is a wide majority, including personal favorites such as kahlua or Irish cream. Myx uses no artificial flavors or colors, which surely can’t be said about many other liquor products.

Natural flavors are present but since this is an alcoholic dream I’ll be a bit more forgiving. This includes the main coconut flavor since there is no actual coconut list. My biggest concern is the three preservatives used which could have negative effects on the body. Potassium sorbate, for example, can contribute to nutritional deficiencies by impairing absorption of nutrients in certain cases.

A nice plus is that much of the sweetness is achieved by grape juice and its concentrate, and sugar is only used in smaller proportions.

Full ingredient list: moscato wine, water, grape juice, grape juice concentrate, sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, carbon dioxide,  potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, and potassium metabisulfite (to preserve freshness).

Price/Availability

This product is sold in 4 packs of 187 ml bottles. I purchased it from the Walgreens in Times Square (not your average Walgreens for those who are interested) for $11.99.

Ratings:   Flavor: 7.0   Nutrition/Ingredients: 6.0   Price:  7.0  Overall: 6.66

Summary

A nice sweet wine-based drink with healthier ingredients that many wine-coolers and alcoholic beverages out there. For lovers of wine and sweet alcoholic drinks this is a must-try.

References

http://www.newhealthguide.org/Potassium-Sorbate.html