Looking for a new drink for the weekend?

We received this sparkling wine cocktail (“winetail”) recipe a few summers ago from Whole Foods Market. Although we have been enjoying it, we never published the recipe.
 
WHAT’S A WINE COOLER?

The ingredients are those you might find in a punch: wine, fruit or fruit juice, and carbonated water or a soft drink like ginger ale. It may include added sugar.

In 1981, the term “wine cooler” for an alcoholic drink was launched into the national consciousness by the E & J Gallo Winery, with its Bartles & Jaymes line: a wine-based drink in various fruit flavors.

Because the flavor of the wine is largely obscured by the fruit and sugar, wine coolers represented a way to sell off the cheapest grades of wine, or substituting wine for even cheaper malt liquor.

In this recipe, you shouldn’t use a top-tier sparkling wine. A $ 10 bottle will work just great.

AFFORDABLE BUBBLY

You can find tasty sparkling wines from $ 8 to $ 15 a bottle. Prices vary by retailer, but keep an eye out for:

  • Asti Spumante from Italy: Martini Asti is about $ 12; the sweeter Cinzano Asti, $ 13, is great with dessert.
  • Australian Sparklers: Our favorite is Yellow Tail Bubbles in regular and rosé, $ 10.
  • Cava from Spain: For $ 8, look for Cristalino Brut and Cristalino Brut Rosé; Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut is $ 12 and Freixenet Cava Carta Nevada Semi Dry (sweeter) is $ 9.
  • Crémant from France: Numerous labels of this Loire Valley sparkler sell for $ 12-$ 15.
  • Prosecco from Italy: Good sparklers are available for $ 9-$ 10.
  • Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui from Italy
  • California Sparklers: In the lower ranges, look for Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Brut, $ 10 and Moet et Chandon’s Chandon Brut, $ 17.
  • Other American Sparklers:: Domaine Ste Michelle Brut from Oregon ($ 10) and others from New York to Texas.
  •  
     
    RECIPE: PINEAPPLE ROSEMARY COOLER

    Crisp and refreshing, this cooler is just as enjoyable in the air conditioning or on the patio.

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, plus more for garnish
  • 8 small sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) sparkling wine, chilled
  • 2 cans (2-ounces each) ginger ale, chilled
  • Ice
  • Optional: straws
  •  

    Pineapple Rosemary Cooler Recipe
    [1] A crisp wine cooler for hot summer days (photo courtesy Whole Foods Market).

    Fresh Pineapple
    [2] The difference is fresh, not canned, pineapple cubes (photo courtesy Del Monte).

    Fresh Rosemary
    [3] Fresh rosemary adds flavor and fragrance (photo courtesy Burpee).

     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE 2 chunks of pineapple with one sprig of rosemary in the bottom of a each cocktail glass, until juicy and fragrant. Fill with ice, and then pour in 1/3 cup of sparkling wine and top off with ginger ale.

    2. GARNISH each with a sprig of rosemary, gently crushed in your palm to release its fragrance. Serve immediately.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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