Which of the many American soft drink companies hails itself as “the oldest continuing soft drink company still run by the same family”? That would be Cheerwine of course! Now, I’ve heard of Cheerwine from some of my friends that are originally from the East Coast, and I’ve even seen it on some TV shows on the Food Network, but I’ve never had the chance to try it before. That is, until today.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Cheerwine, with wine in the name and the slightly unusual color, it had me guessing, was it going to taste alcoholic or was it going to taste like Big Red or what? Down here in Texas, when I see a red colored soda, the first thing I think of is Big Red, which is a Texas favorite and tastes like a very sweet cream soda. Cheerwine was definitely nothing like that!
Cheerwine has a very dark burgundy color that almost looks black if you are in a dimly lit room. Once I held the bottle up to the light however, I could see that with some sunlight glowing through it, Cheerwine can show you it’s true vibrant red color. The Cheerwine that I picked up was a 4-pack of the bottles. The bottles are still made with real Cane sugar, but I understand that the canned version of Cheerwine is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup.
When I popped the top on my first bottle of Cheerwine, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of effervescent bubbles that started coming up. A cool smoky haze started to float out of the top of the bottle, letting me know that this vermilion liquid was virtually full of carbonation. The first sip reaffirmed my suspicions, this thing is one of the bubbliest sodas I have ever tasted.
The best way I can describe the taste is…ahh, well, it tastes like Cheerwine. It’s got a flavor all it’s own. If I was hard-pressed to make a comparison to a soda from today, it slightly reminds me of a Cherry Dr. Pepper. It also reminds me of some of the generic grocery store brand “Black Cherry” sodas that I remember drinking when I was younger. The flavor is not too sweet and you can tell it’s a fairly complex mixture of flavors that gives Cheerwine it’s uniqueness. I’m jealous that Cheerwine is so prevalent in some parts of the country, like North Carolina, but so hard to find here in Texas. I even read that you can still get it for $0.40 at most North Carolina gas stations! Pretty crazy, do they call Cheerwine addicts Cheerwinos up there?
Well, I gotta hand it to you guys in the Southeast, Cheerwine is a damn fine soda. About the only way I think I think I could improve this is with a side of pulled pork BBQ on a nice Summer day. Cheers to you, Cheerwine!
You can visit Cheerwine’s Official Website at www.Cheerwine.com