Hear the phrase “wine cooler,” and you’ll likely think back to a time where we weren’t drinking very good wine. Or cocktails. But why can’t wine coolers get a mixologist’s spin?
At Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City, CA, owner Daniel Weinstock created wine coolers that not only use high-quality wine, but housemade citrus soda. “Wine coolers are refreshing and taste great,” he says. “They’re cool because we like wine, we make own sodas, and they are perfect for hot weather.”
The “Big Red” is a mix of this citrus soda and red wine; their white (“Puddle Crusher”) and rosé (“Skwirt”) have grapefruit juice as well. “Since our by the glass list changes fairly frequently, our wine coolers change along with it,” says Weinstock. “It’s interesting to see how different wines respond to the citrus, especially the fresh grapefruit juice. For example, when we make a ‘Big Red’ with Tempranillo (we’re currently pouring Condado de Haza Ribera Del Tinto by the glass) all of sudden you start tasting clove and vanilla which you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on if you were just having a glass of that wine.”
“They’re are balanced in flavor so they are not too sweet ,and they are low in alcohol, so you can drink more than one. No one’s making them — because they either feel like they shouldn’t. or they forgot how good a homemade wine cooler can be.”