In mid-March I had an experience with alcohol that was so incredibly awful it bordered on laughable. The best way I can describe it is that it was “an alcoholic abomination.”
Not that kind of abomination. And it wasn’t the green beer, either – it was worse.
I had Mangria.
At quick glance, I thought it said “Mangina,” which would be hilarious…
A guy my wife works with had heard that I’m a wine aficionado and was excited to have me try that shit. (The booze, not the tuck-back maneuver.) The one time I met him, he repeatedly made it clear that he wasn’t a wine drinker – so often that I was certain it was a point of pride for him. So you can imagine my opinion about the booze when he said he really liked the taste of it and thought I would dig it.
Mangria is a line of “wine-based cocktails” that clock in around 20% alcohol. Normally, wines don’t get up to that percentage without being fortified with extra alcohol. That’s good when we’re talking about a 2000 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port. Not so good when we’re talking about my drink of choice back in college.
And I was sure that Mangria wasn’t on the Port side of the spectrum.
Perhaps most damning was that this was invented by Adam Carolla. No, he’s not some weathered artisan named Adam Carolla who’s been making wines in an obscure villa in the heart of Tuscany for the past 38 years.
It’s this Adam Carolla –
The TV/Radio/Internet douchebag host.
In the spirit of fair-mindedness and so as not to appear like a complete ingrate, I thought I should try it. But first, I had to figure what “it” actually was – what kind of wine or what other substances that make it a “cocktail.” The label didn’t give any indication of contents, but did say that it’s gluten-free, which is nice.
You know what else is gluten-free? Horse piss.
So it was with rock-bottom, sub-basement, Hades-adjacent expectations that I opened them up and sampled them.
Mangria White Peach and Pear
This was a thick, syrupy sugar bomb. It had strong peach on the nose and palate (duh), but nothing else – no tannins or acids. It also had a really strong alcohol burn in the throat.
Mangria Original Orange
Ugh.. It’s cloyingly sweet with that same strong burn. It’s like Orange Crush with some lighter fluid mixed in.
Mangria Brose (pronounced bro-ZAY)
It’s pink. I guess it’s refreshing that anything pink is no longer shunned as too feminine. But you know what isn’t refreshing? This. Like the others, it was thick and sugary. It tasted like the classic college freshman concoction of cherry Kool-Aid with shitty Popov plastic jug vodka. It’s like boy bands – fun when you’re 18 but silly when you’re 21.
One of the selling points of Mangria is that, because it’s fortified, it can sit around for an extended period of time before it goes bad. Regular wine has to be drunk in a relatively short time period so there’s this pressure to finish off the whole bottle. To that I say 1) that’s not always the case. Some are good for up to a week. 2) I can think of worse problems to have than having to finish a bottle of wine. But most of all 3) with Mangria you’re only prolonging your misery of having to drink it.
It’s clear from the names “Mangria” and “Brose” that it’s being marketed as a wine for guys. Basically the same old Carolla schtick that he had when was hosting The Man Show. So it makes ZERO sense that it’s a sugary sweet cocktail that needs a pink flamingo stir stick in it.
My Overall Rating: Stay away. Far away.
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