The rules in wine drinking are shifting at the same pace as the state of local quarantines. Staying at home has become the great neutralizer for drinkers who want to stay safe with a buzz.
In pandemic times, expressing shock over someone putting ice in wine or chilling a bottle of red are passé. What matters is, in vino veritas or in wine there is truth. There is no other way to enjoy a glass than through honesty and letting it all out. No one will be judging since one is in the confines of one’s home. The whole point of drinking is pleasure.
Because doctors frequently remind us that good nutrition and hydration are musts in battling COVID-19, then mixing wine with sparkling liquids, juices and fresh fruits may also help.
What better way to lounge at home and reminisce on tropical vacations from the past than with a refreshing glass or two of wine spritzers. It’s good enough to bring back memories of business-class plane rides and being pampered with a thoughtfully-made mimosa.
Wine spritzers and mimosas are best if you’re in the mood to customize your drinks for a happy quarantine hour. All you need is wine, of course, and carbonated water.
I prefer soda water for zero sugar, but tonic water is also fine. And who cares if you opt for Sprite or 7 Up, that’s okay as well. To each his or her own choice.
But for those who want to follow the standard, here’s how to make a simple wine spritzer.
Pick your favorite wine, either red or white. The kind of wine you choose will define the taste profile of your drink. For an earthy base, choose dry reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, or dry whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. For a sweet foundation, opt for a semi-sweet or sweet Zinfandel if you prefer red, or a Riesling or Moscato if you like white.
Pair it up with a liquid. Proportions are up to the drinker. In a glass, pour the wine and preferred liquid in whatever level of booziness you want. In my case, I add only a fourth of the liquid to my wine so I can still enjoy its flavor and body. Liquids to pair can be club soda, sparkling water (canned like Wilkins or bottled like Perrier), or citrus juice.
Keep the pampering vibe going with a splash of elderflower liqueur or Angustura bitters. Then again, level up your wine spritzer by adding other kinds of liquor, like a good splash of gin, rum or vodka. Building up the flavors is really all up to the drinker’s taste. If you’re using dry wines, it’s okay to add sweeteners like an agave syrup or good old grenadine.
Garnish with fresh fruits or herbs. Finish making that wine spritzer like a pro by dropping one or two maraschino cherries, or cubes of fresh fruits like watermelon or mango. Herbs like basil or a sprig of rosemary add dimension to the drink. Or, if you’re just an old-fashioned type, a slice of lemon won’t hurt.
Ice, ice baby. But, of course, add ice cubes for that chill factor. Mix and enjoy immediately.
What to pair your wine spritzer with? Cheese, wine, nuts, fresh fruits, pastries, spicy tofu, fried meatballs, your dinner or your lunch — practically anything you feel like having. It’s your happy call.
In wine, we savor the good life.