Wine “Coolers”: Definitely Not Cool

sangriaHere I go, ranting again about another one of my pet peeves. If you don’t want to hear it, just hit the “close” button now

So if you’re still with me, you may want to know what’s so bad about Wine Coolers. After all, we’re probably all guilty of quaffing one or ten back in the bad old days of the 1980s, before we knew what good wine was all about. (OK, I admit it, and I drank White Zin, too…)

So what’s wrong with Wine Coolers? Let’s start with the fact that they contain ABSOLUTELY NO WINE! They are officially classified as a Malt Beverage, which means they’re made just like beer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: some of my favorite beverages are beer. But they don’t CLAIM to be wine.

Wine Coolers contain a chemical cocktail of artificial flavors and colors, sugar and alcohol. Did I say “sugar?” That’s another huge strike against “wine” coolers: they’re anywhere from a little to a lot sweet, and taste more like soda pop than wine. And speaking of soda, wine coolers have MORE CALORIES than a can of said beverage.

But I can see the need for a beverage that’s fruity, easy-drinking and low in alcohol, so you can quaff it by the pitcher on a hot summer day. So here’s my suggestion: make your own tasty Wine Cooler with your own (healthier) ingredients.

For a Red Cooler, mix a bottle of red wine(like Zinfandel or Shiraz) with a scant 1/4 cup of sugar and toss in lots of sliced fruit (oranges, limes, strawberries, etc). Add some orange juice if you want a citrus tang. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, than stir in half a bottle of soda water just before you serve. Pour over ice, making sure you have some of the wine-soaked fruit floating in the glass, and VOILA! You have your own tasty, healthy, fun Wine Cooler — made with REAL WINE! What a concept…

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