Everfresh Premier Varietals Honey Crisp

Where Purchased: Walmart

Brand: Everfresh
Type: (Juice, Dealcholized, etc.): Pure Juice
Color, Vintage, Tasted, Blogged, Sparking, Score?
Amber, 2013, Tasted, still, 7/10

My Experience:
I saw this back at Fry's and Walmart while we're shopping, and I thought doing a taste test of three different pure varietal apple juices would be fun! I haven't seen in Apple juice before that is marketed as from a single type of Apple.

It reminds me of candied apples on the nose, and it made an interest crackling sound just after I poured it!  I still am not sure what caused it.  Anyone out there have any ideas?  This is a still drink so I'm out of ideas.

It was amber in color, and unexpectedly, surprisingly smooth.  Intriguingly smooth.  Also quite light and it didn't leave a coating on my mouth like cheap high-fructose corn syrup laden juices do sometimes.

It left a green-apple-candy taste in my mouth, not in a bad way, but not in a good way either.  It left my mouth with that same weird feeling as after eating a green-apple Jolly Rancher.

Works as a Wine Alternative:  Probably not, but it's a great culinary drink

Did I Like it: Yes, 7/10

Would I Recommend it:  Yes, I think it would be fun to do all three in the same night sometime.

Who Might Like it: Of course, if you like apple juice, you'll like this.

Welch's Sparkling Cherry Limeade

Medium strong carbonation, very bright in color, Fuchsia.  It has a deep round cherry scent.

It’s bright and limey, the pear is lessened compared to the Welch’s Raspberry Limeade. Quite sweet, it reminds me of a Shirley Temple.  Steady carbonation.  I liked better at first sip compared to the end of the 3rd glass.  It was punchy and buzzy at first, with a foamy mild, but cherry-strong finish, leaving a minor tingle on the tongue.  It’s acidic, but I’d describe it more as a tartness.  It’s well tempered by the cherry and sugar.

Works as a Wine Alternative: It’s quite sweet for that

Did I Like it: 7/10, finding a good pairing could make this more than a novelty, but I’m not sure what to pair it with.  It’d be good with vanilla ice cream, and compliment it sweetly.

Would I Recommend it: It was fun, but the Strawberry Lemonade by Welch’s was more complex and easily parable with dinner foods.  This is more soda like.

Who Might Like it: Anyone who likes Shirley Temples. 

R.W. Knudsen's Sparkling Crisp Apple Cider

That top was double wrapped!  Not sure if it was intentional...

Ingredients - Sparkling Apple Juice & Asorbic Acid
Amber in color, and as most fruit drinks it smells like it’s main fruit component, apples.
It’s dry for a juice, and has a slight bite. It’s lightly carbonated, and has a light mouthfeel.  It’s a bit of a tart, green apple taste.

Works as a Wine Alternative:  I think it’s straddling a line between dry juice and sweet-for-wine that makes this a hard decision.  

Did I Like it: Not so much, It’s a bit to tart for my tongue, and oddly enough, my wife who often likes tart flavors didn’t fall for this one either.

Would I Recommend it:  Only with the perfect pairing, 5 out of 10

Who Might Like it: Green apple fans.

Martinelli's Sparkling Cider

This is probably the most popular alcohol replacement out there.  I’ve seen it served at weddings during the toast instead of Champagne, and my family has had it yearly during Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years.  It’s a staple of the holiday season for me, and it was the first thing I’d ever drank that was from a wine-bottle-shaped-bottle.  It stood out as unique to me because of how rarely we had it, and it’s extreme fizz made me have to sip it lightly.  It was only years down the line that I started to think “what other options do we have?”  I’ve always liked to try new foods, and after a few years, despite liking Martinelli’s, I got bored with it.  As it was my parents making the purchase, I didn’t really do anything about it.  Eventually, in the last few years, as I started thinking more about the food I was eating both from a culinary perspective and a health perspective, I really started to search for other things to pair with my foods.  In a way, this should have been the first thing I posted here, because it was first wine-alterative I’d ever tried. So, I sat down with a new bottle and dissected it.

It’s the color of a clear apple juice, though lighter than most.  The bubbles cling quite strongly to the sides of the flute.  Various sized bubbles floated up, creating a very slow, but stead stream of released carbonation.  It’s quite strongly carbonated, and if you place the plastic topper back on (after you’ve popped the bottle cap off for the first round) it will shoot off when you open it.  I’ve often gotten the hiccups from drinking the first glass too swiftly.  It still happens to me often.  it smells like apple juice, but with a  touch more tartness in the scent.  The carbonation gives it a strong prickle, and if you give it a switch in your mouth, it foams and evaporates almost immediately.  It’s quite a fun sensation.  It’s very sweet, with a touch of tart from the apple, and perhaps a bit more acidic than straight apple juice.  And I’ll emphasize, it’s very sweet for someone looking for a wine replacement.  There is no barrier of entry- anyone who likes apple juice will likely enjoy this.  It’s simple, not very complex, and yet I personally find it addictive.  I’ll finish any bottle that gets opened.  I like sweet drinks, and even though I’m finding some juices and be too sweet when paired with meals, Martinelli’s is more easily paired with many foods.  It is, however, a pretty strong drink that can overwhelm some foods.  It would definitely work as an aperitif or dessert wine - definitely as a dessert wine.

It’s nothing spectacular, but then again I’ve grown up with it.  I think it fails with some of the pairings I usually have had it with, and it would work much better with stronger foods than turkey.  Some of the sides, cranberries for example, make a better pairing.  

Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider is agressive.  It hits your hard up front, and in that way it’s like a soda - it’s not subtle.  it’s good for cutting through tart, but it will affect how the rest of your food tastes because of how sweet it is.  It minimizes the sweetness that may be present in your meal, for example pairing it with ham would emphasize it’s umami, but diminish it’s sweetness.  This happens without any added sweeteners - it’s pretty much just apples and carbonation - which is interesting because they have an organic sparkling apple juice which is different from the cider (but they have non-sparking apple cider and non-sparkling apple juice that are the same!), but the process this is put through intensifies it’s flavors and naturally occurring sugar.

Works as a Wine Alternative: For any strongly sparkling dessert wine, yes.

Did I Like it: yes!  8 out of 10.  My sweet tooth (and sweet) wife likes it also.

Would I Recommend it:  Yes, just remember it’s the furthest from dry you can get.  It’s aggressive, yet approachable for those coming from sodas and juices.

Who Might Like it: Someone who is looking for somethings subtle or more complex.   

Carl Jung Red Wine

My Experience:  I've long believe if something has to say "Premium" on the label, it's not all that Premium.  We'll find out with Carl Jung Red Wine.

We had it with with bacon and eggs.  Good legs, deep maroon in color, we had it just slightly chilled.

The scent made me thing of figs or dark berries like cherry.  It's dry, but not bitter, though a touch bitter in the aftertaste, leaving my mouth feeling mat.  Strong tannins, and mildly acidic.  the finish brings out a little bit of the fruity taste and also some astringency.

It was acidic enough to cut through the greasy bacon and eggs, and worked well with it.  Just below room temperature seemed a good place for it.  It's much more drinkable than some of the Chardonays I've had so far, but it's not as approachable as some of the White Zinfandels I've had.  It's got a weighty mouthfeel.

I'm still not used to how dry some of these are compared to my Juice-trained tongue.  The more I try I'm realizing either I'm not used to it yet, or I simply prefer sweeter drinks.

Interestingly enough, it was very slightly carbonated, after the fact.  It's listed in the ingredients.

5 out of 10

Works as a Wine Alternative: Yes
Did I Like it: I did, paired correctly with something that needs something strong to cut through it.  My wife nearly spat it out.
Would I Recommend it: Not a bad first red to try, I suppose.

Who Might Like it: Those looking for dry alternatives.

Carl Jung White Wine

Continuing on with Carl Jung, we will consider the collective unconscious.  Oh, sorry, wrong topic.

My Experience:  I had it with tomato goat cheese and basil stuffed chicken, right off the grill.

It's appears is very clear, just the tiniest tinge of color to it.  It has a strong fermentation smell, must stronger than it's taste.  It was very light bodied, zero tannins of course, with just a light bubbling.  It's sweet, and moderately acidic, and long legs on the glass.  While more flavorful than some of the Chardonnays I've had, it wasn't very fruity, perhaps a touch nutty.

Did I like it: Yes, though my wife not so much.  She didn't mind the taste, but the smell put her off.
Would I Recommend it: It's an easy foray into dealcoholized drinks.

Who Might Like it: This requires very little commitment, it's not a punch you in the face drink.  It's light an easy to try.
6 out of 10

Carl Jung suggests paring it with: fowl, fish, white meats like pork, salads & light sandwiches, and some chinese and indian dishes.

Carl Jung Riesling

(Photo of White Wine, not Riesling)

Continuing on with Carl Jung, we will consider the collective unconcious.  Oh, sorry, wrong topic.  Though, I wonder what would happen if we discussed Carl Jung while drinking Carl Jung?  Sounds cannibalistic.  On that lovely note...

My Experience:

It's very translucent, and has just the slightest amber tinge to it.  The scent isn't far from the de-alcholized chardonnays I've tried.  I couldn't make out much more than whatever was left from the fermentation, which left a small touch of carbonation.  The first taste to hit me was strongly sour and tangy, only slightly acidic, and crisp.  

I can see how it relates to the Riesling from Draper Valley vineyards, more dry.  It certainly made what we were eating it with seem sweeter.  (Homemade enchiladas)  It worked fairly well.  The bitter tang got milder after a few sips, and it seemed to lighten as I got through the glass.  A vaguely grapefuity taste.  It's light bodied.

Works as a Wine Alternative: Yes, though I (personally, probably because of my inexperience) struggled to guess what i'd pair it with.

Did I Like it: It was alright.  It didn't jump out at me.  5/10

Would I Recommend it: It was nice to get a contrast from the two major de-alch brands.

Who Might Like it: It is much drier than juices, and I think this one is more about what you'd pair it with.