Apothic Dark Versus the Popular Apothic Red

Apothic Dark Red Blend | How Does it Compare to the Apothic Red?

apothic dark

My recent review of the immensely popular Apothic Red Blend was met with an interesting response. On one side, many readers reacted positively and remarked that it was one of their favorite inexpensive red blends on the market. On the other hand, several readers commented that the Apothic Red was more of a ‘wine cocktail’ loaded with residual sugar and tainted with wine additives.

While I can’t speak to the issue of wine additives in either the Apothic Red or Apothic Dark wines, I completely agree that the Apothic Red tastes somewhat confected and like a ‘wine cocktail’ to a degree. I wrote that it tasted more like a wine that was made in a laboratory than a vineyard, but that its uncomplicated and approachable sweet, ripe fruit flavors would be quite popular amongst many consumers.

And who are we to judge them for liking this style? The reality is that many popular, mass-produced wines are being bolstered with residual sugar to make them more palatable and to soften the perception of alcohol. I publish this blog for novice wine drinkers and connoisseurs alike, and I have quite a few readers searching for the Apothic wines on my site looking for tasting notes. So for you loyal readers looking for review of the just-in-time for Halloween limited-release Apothic Dark, this one is for you – thank you for your continued support!

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Apothic Dark

Appearance: Pours a dense, deep shade of violet that’s opaque at its core. 

Nose: The nose is dominated by aromas of chocolate covered black raspberries and vanilla. 

On the palate: The Apothic Dark Red Blend is medium to full-bodied and in keeping with its name is noticeably darker and denser than the standard Apothic Red Blend. Its core reveals slightly sweet, liqueur-like flavors of black raspberry, licorice, coffee and chocolate. While things start off reasonably well, it quickly fall apart on the finish which is even more disjointed, oaky and unrefined than the regular Apothic Red. Minutes after tasting there is a lingering perception of oak, sweetness and alcohol. 

Varietal Composition: Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Teroldego

Vintage: 2014

Calories: ~122 per 5 oz. glass.

Residual Sugar: 6.6 Grams Per Bottle

Origin: Lodi, California

Value Rating:  3 / 5

Where to get it: Total Wine

Price: $7.47

Score: 81

Should you buy? Probably not. Frankly the Apothic Dark Red Blend tastes quite similar to the regular Apothic Red, only with a denser, darker flavor profile and a worse finish. If you can get past the unbalanced finish, there’s a lot of flavor for fans of this slightly sweet, uncomplicated yet flavorful style to enjoy.

Apothic Dark

Value Proposition | Apothic Dark Red Blend

It would seem that the naysayers are right on this one. Sure, does the Apothic Dark start out with some rich, velvety personality? Yes, but it does taste slightly confected and things really fall apart on the finish – the Apothic Dark actually left a bad taste in my mouth.

There are are simply better, inexpensive options out there such as the Protocolo Tinto, Trentatre Rosso, Alamos Malbec and Epicuro Nero D’Avola to name a few. Yet despite its technical faults, something tells me that the Apothic Dark will still be immensely popular with many consumers and at the end of the day, you should always drink what you like!

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10 thoughts on “Apothic Dark Versus the Popular Apothic Red

  1. Pingback: Apothic Red Blend | Top Red Blends Under $10 - The Fermented Fruit

  2. Jack

    A group of us just tossed a bottle of apothic dark 2014 down the sink drain and are sitting around wheezing with headaches. Total garbage. Agree with your review.

  3. Toni

    I actually didn’t find the finish that bad and definitely enjoyed the bolder, more intense flavour. I am asthmatic and wines always set my asthma off and yes, this bottle sure was worse than the rest for it, I’m assuming from the additives. But I like the obvious notes of berries and, I got coffee more than chocolate. For a blend I definitely loved it. I like this label for when I want something easy going or if I have non wine drinkers over since I find its a huge people pleaser for all kinds of palates. And I find its a lot more enjoyable when you pair it with something decadent and chocolaty….it brings out the best in the wine. But I will definitely try your recommendations and compare.

  4. monica

    I hate the taste of cherry/dark cherry in my wine and this is one of the few darks that does not taste like cough syrup (or worse all the medicines made for children). I love the dark berry, chocolate, coffee blend and seem to pair it with other bold flavored meats and rich chocolatey desserts. I just don’t want my wine to taste like medicine and this is fairly good. I will look at he wines you suggested but if they have notes of cherry/dark cherry they are out for me. Thanks for your review.

  5. Cee

    I was really excited to try apothic dark. It smelled really good before my first taste, I tasted dark cherry and oak on first sip, but then all my horrible childhood memories came flooding into my mind as it quickly began to taste like the cherry cough syrup my mum used to give me. Ugh. Once I associated it with that I told myself there must be something with my tastebuds so I tried my best to like it. Nope. Cherry dimetap cough syrup is all I could taste on the finish. Very disappointed couldn’t even finish a glass. 🙁 then I poured a much cheaper, reliable vino and am now enjoying my drink. Sorry apothic dark. I tried to like you but i think I need to see (and drink) other wines. It’s not you, it’s me.


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