Let's first acknowledge the elephant in the room: why are we, a company that currently only makes white wines, writing a blog on red wines? Well, because it's wintertime, and we want everyone to keep in mind all of their alcohol options. That, and also, the truth is our SEO team insisted that discussing red wine cocktails was a good idea for our SEO, so here we are. Truthfully, we'll do anything to get our delicious sugar-free wine a little more attention. Well, alright, not anything, we have standards. But also, we're loyal to our personalities and will admit, a glass of cabernet sauvignon in the wintertime is what dreams are made of!
But as a company that makes white wine, we know that red wine can be a bit much. Red wine is heavier than white wine and contains tannins, which create that characteristic bitter flavor. That's why the more tannins a wine has, the more bitter the wine will taste. That is also why we've decided to dive into our preferences and explain that our favorite way to enjoy red wine is in a cocktail. Here are three delicious red wine cocktail recipes that will make you feel like you're living in a winter wonderland.
How To Drink Wine In Winter
Easy. Drink it like all other drinks: swallow. Okay, we get it, you need a little more information than that….
Although beautiful, the wintertime does bring a lot of baggage with it. If you love the outdoors, you probably get a little frustrated with the cold, wind, and snow during the wintertime. The best cure to the wintertime blues is a good glass of wine. Need more excuses to drink more red wine, don't worry, we have them!
Immune System: The weather changes do put a bit of a damper on your immune system. (Friends! Please get your flu shot this year!) But fun fact: red wine has a healthy dose of germ-fighting antioxidants that will combat your sniffles and yuckies.
Heart Strong: Not hitting the gym as much and finding yourself getting comfortable in your leggings? Same here! Here's a way to keep your ticker going strong: a good glass of red wine! Studies indicate that red wine can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Mood: Not only does a good glass of wine lift your mood and make you feel great, but a glass of red wine like Merlot also matches the spirit of the season. Nothing pairs better with fire and holiday appetizers than a smooth glass of red!
Alright, now that we have you agreeing that drinking red wine is an absolute must right now, let's talk about different cocktails you can make with the immune system boosting, heart-healthy, and mood promoting drink!
Spiced Winter Sangria
Who doesn't love a good pitcher of sangria? If you can think of someone, well, we're sure glad we don't know them! And please, don't bother introducing us! We're big fans of sangria, especially in the wintertime. We know you probably associate the cocktail with a fine, hot summer day, especially considering that it was invented in Spain, but we're here to tell you that with a sangria recipe, anything goes! Sangria doesn't just have to be a light, bubbly drink that you serve at brunch. These days, the only true definition of sangria is a wine-based cocktail, and as such, we're going to make it a delightful winter's treat. It's almost like a chilly mulled wine.
The first step of creating this delicious cocktail is deciding on the type of wine you want. You can start with a bottle of red you like, but make sure it's not too expensive. In making sangria, you will be adding different flavors that will change the taste, and it's best to keep the fancier bottles of dry red wine for sipping on plain. After all, there is a reason these wines are a pretty penny, and we can't say a sangria will increase its value. Typically, a light fruity wine that is young and unaged works best. Spanish wines like Tempranillo and Grenache are two easy choices. Zinfandel and Shiraz also are good options.
This holiday season, we're looking forward to giving The Curious Cuisiniere's Spiced Winter Sangria a try! With warm spices, a splash of liqueur, and winter fruits, this recipe is a twist on a classic Spanish red sangria made for the holidays! Garnish with some cranberries and orange slices and top with a splash of soda water or lemon-lime soda and you've got a great cocktail that's perfect for sipping by the fire.
We're guessing you've probably heard of a few sour drinks; here are a few that might ring a bell: Pisco sour, whiskey sour, and tequila sour. As a whole, a sour is a classic cocktail that's built on the principle that a sweetness must counter the sour. But, to truly appreciate a sour, you need to know a little bit about punch. Why? Because punch is the earliest form of a cocktail and a because of its similarity in ingredients to a sour, punch is known as sour's predecessor.
Have we piqued your interest? Here is how we jumped from punch to a sour: the British Navy. Here's what you need to know: when the British Navy was in the Caribbean, rum was the most readily available alcoholic beverage. It was preferred over drinks like beer because it doesn't go bad after long months at sea. Due to its longevity, rum became the official drink of the British Navy, and they even started using it to combat scurvy by mixing it with lime juice. This concoction began being referred to as "Grog." (Which is where we eventually got the term groggy)
Sailors brought back their love for rum and punches when they returned to London, leading to the first Punch House being established in the 1600s. But, it wasn't until 1856 when the first record of a sour appears. As a part of a hand-written list of 107 drinks offered at Mart Ackermann's Saloon in Toronto, Canada, a sour appears. Brandy Sours, Gin Sours, and Rum Sours began getting more and more attention as time went on.
The Sour's relatively simple three-ingredient recipe, a base spirit, citrus, and sweetener (often simple syrup), is replicated in a ton of other recipes.
There is something that screams holidays with the 1870s Sour, however. An unexpected flavor combination of whiskey, blueberry, maple syrup, and wine certainly creates a unique, refreshing cocktail worth celebrating with your cocktail shaker! Give this sipper a try this holiday season with Reserve Bar's 1870 Sour recipe!
No, we did not spell sangria wrong. We already discussed sangrias. We're talking about a drink that you clearly don't know about, which is great because we love being the people to share. It boosts our ego, and we all need that here and there. The Sangaree is a sweetened iced drink of wine (occasionally, it can be ale, beer, or liquor) garnished with nutmeg. Not ironically, sanagree does have a lot in common with sangria; for starters, we're clearly writing about it because it has a red wine base! Some even refer to The Sangaree as Sangria's boozier cousin.
The Sangaree cocktail originates from the 1700s in the Antilles islands. It was first created by Spanish merchants who mixed red wine with a funky Javanese-style rum, citrus, and nutmeg topping. With high alcohol content, the cocktail proved to be quite popular! In fact, in 1862, "Bartenders Guide" featured six different recipes for the Sangaree. Each had their own base spirit and were topped with either a wine or ale.
This holiday season, we're hoping to surprise guests with this funky vino cocktail and can't wait to share its history. We're going to be using Supercall's recipe that is made with port, applejack, dark rum, and sugar and garnished with nutmeg and apple slices. Feel free to mix it up by adding orange liqueur or even sweet vermouth for a different taste.
If none of these cocktails with wine float your boat, there are tons of other red wine cocktails, from old-fashioneds to New York Sours to red wine spritzers, or even just mixing your wine with coca-cola, all of which give you a little something extra.
Now that you have a few suggestions for red wine holiday drinks you can sip from your wine glass all season long, we figure this is a good time to squeeze in a little bit about us! We made our delicious fizzy drinks because we wanted something else to drink; something different, something exciting, something better! Not quite sparkling wine, but not quite still, either. So we made our three carbs, 160 calorie cans in Bev Gris, Bev Rose, and Bev Pinot! If you're looking for a delicious dry wine that's crafted with love in Sonoma, look no further!