Wine: On the rocks with a twist

By Brittany Kress Gibson
From the May 30, 2013 edition

Introducing: Wine cocktails. That’s right, wine can get even more boozy (and be served over ice).

If you haven’t had the chance to have a sip, we tried a couple options that can easily be experimented with at home (go ahead, serve them to friends and pretend the whole idea was your own).

Spritzy, citrusy white

This one is particularly refreshing for summer: Ask the wine shop owner for a fresh, fruity white-wine blend that has an effervescence to it (we found Gazela Vinho Verde, $7 at The Hills Market). Squeeze a lime over top, and stick a wedge on the glass if you’re feeling fancy. Jan Wilson, wine department manager of The Hills Market in Worthington, gets all the credit for sharing this idea (but we’re the ones who think it would be good with a splash of something citrusy, like Cointreau).

An Argentinian tradition

A 50/50 split of Malbec (here, we used 2010 Massimo Malbec, $11 at The Hills Market) and Coke over ice was the first wine cocktail I ever heard of. It fascinated me when, probably about five years ago, The Wine Guy owner Craig Decker shared that this bubbly little combination is a tradition in Malbec’s native Argentina, where people enjoy its little kick of alcohol and caffeine. If you’re looking to get more of that booze boost, consider spiking it with a bit of Grand Marnier or other cherry liqueur.

Just add sherry

Looking for an opportunity to mix wine in a cocktail shaker? Here’s your chance. Transport the same Malbec to a stronger, less so-sweet taste when you shake it with an ounce of dry sherry, some simple syrup, lemon juice and ice. When you strain it over a highball glass filled with ice cubes and top it off with club soda, you’ll have a sip that bites back.