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Christkindl Apple Punch (Aldi)

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.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Unknown

    Interesting comparison between cold and hot serve. I like hot spicy alcohol drinks so I enjoyed the hot version. I should have heated it in on the stove probably, not the microwave. The alcohol taste seems pretty strong for a wine drink, but smooth, almost like an apple brandy and not that sweet when heated.I liked it and would buy another bottle, if still in stock over the holidays – another one of Aldi's inexpensive imported grocery finds.

  2. atom

    That's the great thing about many of their products (aside from their money-back guarantee, which I've curiously never utilized): even if they're terrible, you didn't waste a lot of money trying it.

    I'm by no means saying this was terrible, just not my cup of tea. But I have actually been tempted to give it another go, considering it's now been 4 years (holy hell, has it been that long already?!) And tastes can certainly change within that time.

    Either way, thanks for the counterpoint. Obviously, taste is subjective, and I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it more than I did!

  3. causinga stir

    I love it when people get together and share thoughts. Great blog, stick with it!

  4. Annette Giberson

    It’s 93 degrees outside today. My hubby and I are thoroughly enjoying our Christkindle on ice. Why not? It was only 3.00 at our Aldi’s in off season

    1. atom

      For $3, I’d drink anything. That’s a steal!

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