Wine Cocktails have gotten a lot of press lately (OK, the press that I read). And as yet another summer heat wave hits NYC this weekend, I am thinking less and less about my beloved reds (even though I do enjoy them at about 60-65 degrees) and more and more about COOL REFRESHING beverages. I am not a mixologist (although maybe I should be), but good mixologists seem to be in high demand these days. Especially those that can concoct a good wine cocktails.
Jason Wilson wrote a great article for the Washington Post, “A Lighter Way To Mix It Up“, discussing the idea of wine cocktails and detailing a few such concoctions. “The Tuscan Sangria” is a twist on a long time favorite. Todd Thrasher’s “Mona Lisa, made with gooseberries and NZ Sauvignon Blanc sounds delightfully refreshing. And “The Star Gazer”, a creation of winemakers RH Phillips and Ecco Domani uses pineapple juice (my favorite juice), Chardonnay and other ingredients and sounds quite tasty as well. There are some other refreshing sounding mixed wine drinks in the article, and I encourage you to check it out & consider giving one (or more) a try at your next gathering.
One little tidbit Wilson mentions in the article is the potential sacrilege nature of taking a good wine and mixing it with other ingredients. He humorously points out that it is sure to “scandalize the serious wine aficionados”. He talks about opening a “decent bottle” – which is what I would recommend. One should not expect to make a delicious meal from crappy ingredients, and the same holds true for mixed drinks of any kind. You must use quality ingredients. At the same time, I’m jealous of the person who eats meals made with truffles and saffron on a regular basis. Please forgive my cryptic analogy, but I what I’m saying is I wouldn’t open up a bottle of fine aged first growth Bordeaux and mix it with coca-cola, ice cubes, fresh fruit…or ANYTHING for that matter.
But do open a $10-15 bottle of something decent and try playing around with fun summertime ingredients (berries are in season and SOOOO good right now), or just use one of the recipes from Wilson’s article.
Happy WINETAIL wine tasting!