Strawberry Lemonade Wine Spritzer

There are a few types of wine that I can only handle as a spritzer.  Cranberry wine, for example.  I do not like the flavor of cranberries, but when I mix a cranberry wine with a can of Sprite it is effervescent enough to become a refreshing summer drink.

Although wine spritzers conjure up thoughts of the 80s or 90s, I have found some interesting recipes that utilize fresh fruits and herbs and would be perfect for summer (once we actually start enjoying some summer weather!)

I found this particular recipe on the website Iowa Girl Eats, which had me at the title because I myself am an Iowa girl that loves eating!

Strawberry Lemonade Wine Spritzer

1oz (2 Tablespoons) Strawberry Simple Syrup

1 1/2oz (3 Tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

4oz (1/2 cup) Moscato Wine

4oz (1/2 cup) club soda ice strawberry slices, optional

Stir strawberry simple syrup and lemon juice together in a wine glass. Pour in wine, then club soda. Add ice and strawberry slices, if using, then stir.  Serves one.

Even though this recipe only serves one, spritzers are also easy to make in large quantities, so it would be great to have on hand when you are expecting guests, like a sangria.

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Bellini

As I drank a bottle of Four Daughters Winery Sparkling Moscato this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think of the fact that it would be perfect in a Bellini.  Sparkling and bubbly, this wine possesses all the qualities that give a Bellini its wonderful effervescence.  The subtle tangerine flavors I tasted would compliment the peach puree well.

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Peach Bellini

4 ounces of Champagne, Prosecco or any sparkling white wine

2 ounces of peach puree

Pour the peach puree into a champagne flute and slowly add the champagne or sparkling white wine. Garnish with a peach slice.

Keep it simple with a good sparkling wine or champagne and fresh fruit and this drink will not disappoint. You certainly could substitute any fresh fruit to make this drink.

There is something about this drink that screams old school to me, but it really is a lovely, light drink for a breakfast/brunch or a simple summer cocktail to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon. With summer slowly making its way on the horizon, I can’t help but dream of delightfully refreshing drinks like a Bellini in my hand while sitting in the backyard, listening to birds chirping and neighborhood children play.

Moscato versus Moscato d’Asti

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I first discovered Moscato d’Asti when I was in college, having what I then considered a fancy dining experience at Biaggis.  The wine was light, crisp, and effervescent with the perfect touch of sweetness.  Although I have now tried many different brands of Moscato, I have never found any that rivals the original one I tasted, Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti.

Moscato wines are produced from the muscat/muscadet/moscato bianco grape and are a sweet white wine, often considered a dessert wine.  When it is followed by d’Asti, that indicates that it has been produced in the province of Asti, in northwest Italy.

In my experience, most of the Moscato wines I have tried tend to be too sweet for my palate while the Moscato d’Asti wines seem to strike the right balance of being refreshing and crisp without too much residual sugar.

My favorite, Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti tends to be reasonably priced, usually ringing in under $20.

Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Sweet Balances Spicy

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I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

If the meal you are savoring incorporates spicy notes, it is beneficial to imbibe with something that has a cooling effect on your mouth.  This can be challenging because the alcohol in wines often antagonizes the heat of the hot spice, reducing the likelihood that your palate is able to cool down. Because of this, it is vital for wines that you drink with a spicy dish to contain a lower alcohol level.  Balancing the spice by drinking a wine with residual sweetness diminishes the perception of heat.

The next time you find yourself ordering or preparing Thai or Indian food, try pairing them with a Riesling, Moscato or Gewurztraminer.