My My My: wine cocktails that are not sangria!

by Eve Resnick on July 11, 2008

in General

Take a little R.H. Phillips’ Night Harvest Chardonnay, dark rum, vanilla simple syrup and pineapple juice, shake and mix. You get a Star Glazer cocktail. Not crazy about Chardonnay? No problem! Take a teaspoon of muddled ginger, 1 1/2 ounces of apple cider, a pinch of chai tea powder and two ounces of Ecco Domani Chianti and you get the Ecco Cidro, very popular at the Buddha Bar in New York City.

I’m not kidding: those recipes are created by master cocktail consultants for wine makers, such as R.H. Philips and Ecco Domani. Some cocktail specialists create wine based concoctions for palates not used to powerful wines or for sweet tooth owners: Duggan McDonnell, owner of Cantina in San Francisco, sells hard liquors mixed with malbecs, sauternes and muscats.

Is it a new trend or a passing trend? Bar owners and wine makers seem to be eager to surf on this wave of lighter alcoholic drinks, mixing a big fat red wine with coca-cola or other sodas. Who could be the targets of such a drink? Maybe younger people, what we call in Europe the “Coca-Cola generation” or people having a problem with high alcoholic wines, such as zinfandel or malbecs.

As a “serious” wine drinker, would you try such a cocktail?


1 Robert McIntosh July 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

No. Non. Never. Yuck.

But seriously, the problem with this is that is reduces wine to being an ‘alcoholic ingredient’ that happens to be made from grapes.

Unlike spirits for mixing, the nuances are already IN the wine (or should be) so adding anything covers them up.

I would suggest this is not a path a wine brand would want to take.

2 Evelyne Resnick July 11, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I do share your opinion. Wine is NOT an “alcoholic ingredient” as you say. It is a cultural and agricultural product, sometimes even a work of art. No wine brand should “dilute” its content in such a strategy!

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