I Like Mine Red
Cocktailians need not fear the grape- there is always a time and place to enjoy both!
We are pure-bred cocktail lovers here at Julibox. There is an infinite universe from which to enjoy and a cocktail for almost every mood, moment, season and reason. But we can't pretend that we don't also enjoy a hearty glass of wine as well. In fact, when our dear founder found herself in the process of producing offspring, it was the vaunted grape and all it's ruby redness she most craved (that and mounds of candy). Wine is a perfect and easy companion to many meals and it just feels so very...civilized. Like, if one were to partake of cheese and charcuterie, then it must be wine to accompany it. And every book club is anchored by wine, right? We often hear people say "oh I'm a wine person but my friend- he loves cocktails". We've never understood why one must be one thing or the other. Why can't we all be both? So this month's collection is dedicated to hybridization; bringing wine and spirits together in one place. Now, we aren't the first to do this by any means. Most people have enjoyed a wine spritzer (wine with a splash of sparkling water) or sangria (which are sprouting up in every variety) and of course the classic champagne cocktail.
But first a little wine education for our cocktailians, yes? Wine is created from fermented grapes. It can als be created from other fruits. Because grapes are so perfect in nature, no additional sugar or additives are needed to start the fermentation process. Different wines are produced by the chemical reactions each grape uniquely creates. Of course the first production of wine dates back to before biblical times, and the beverage created back then was likely far less potent and far less pleasing that what we enjoy today. There are three words you need to know when referencing wine: Varietal, Classification and Vintage. Varietal refers to the type of grapes used to create the juice (pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet etc). Classification refers to the region the wine comes from (Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Chianti, Central Valley) and many are regulated just like champagne. Lastly, Vintage refers to wines that are produced almost entirely from grapes from a single year and typically serve as flagships for unique harvest. Wines vary in color from white to rose to red and each group can range in flavors from sweet and fruity to bold and spicy. Our advice to finding one you like? Pick a color and try the range! Once you find a varietal you like and you're ready to flex your wine-snobbery, narrow in on Classification and Vintage. We trust like gin or rum you won't have a single favorite, but several.
And that, my friends is our wine education 101- after all we are cocktailians and that is about all we need to know in order to create a great wine cocktail. That, and this: White wine is often thought of for summer cocktails- their fruity character and light-bodied flavor lend themselves to... well wine spiritzers and white sangria. Red wine is a great foundation to create wine cocktails with because their hearty structure can stand up to spirits without losing themselves in the process. Darker, full-bodied varietals like Old Vine Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are perfect options. And ports are perfect because they bring both full flavor and sweenter to the game. Check out a few of our favorite wine cocktails we unearthed from around the country:
Fig Manhattan: Ithaca, NY
Violet Hour: Seattle WA
Meyer Lemon, Tangerine & Rosemary Punch: NYC, NY
Posted: January 15, 2014 | Permalink