Wine Cocktails – Why Not?

In some wine circles cocktails based on wine are frowned on.  Me, I say why not?  Now I wouldn’t use particularly good or expensive wines for a cocktail but there are so many decent and reasonably priced wines out there to use.  For recipes that call for Champagne, I tend to use Spanish Cava, or in some cases Prosecco.   I save my real Champagne for drinking as it is.

Kir is classically made with Aligote, a light white wine from Burgundy.  For reasons I don’t understand, Aligote has gotten a bit pricey.  As a wine it never floated my boat so I have no problem substituting another light white such as a Macon, Entre Due Mer, or even a Pinot Grigio.  These wines work well for most white wine cocktails.  Sauvignon Blanc can work well too but many have a fairly strong lemon and/or pineapple flavor that may or may not work.  I would be careful about using the inexpensive Chardonnays from California and Australia as they tend to have a lot of oak and vanilla flavors that I don’t care for in a cocktail.

Red wines are not used as often but Vin Rouge avec Cassis is a classic variation on Kir that is popular in southern Burgundy where it is usually made with Beaujolais.  Mulled wine is a great winter warmer.  I would recommend using a wine relatively low on tannins like an inexpensive California Merlot, Beaujolais, or Barbara.


Just for fun here is one I devised:

Lemon Spritzer

1 oz. Limoncello

1 oz seltzer or club soda



In a white wine glass add four or five ice cubes, the limoncello and seltzer.  Top off with chilled Prosecco.  Drink it on a hot summer day, or a day you want to think about hot summer days and just try to think badly of wine cocktails.




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