Looking for something new to sip on this spring and summer?
Hey, us, too! And we have five new wine and drink trends that pair perfectly with that beautiful sunshine.
Ya’ll know how we love our wine, but you all also know how much we are into moderation. Wine included, of course! Now that I passed my WSET-1 and am going for my WSET-2, I’m tasting more wine than ever before, and it’s made me very mindful and aware of my habits when it comes to drinking. And, I know I’m not alone in this: drinking less (or not at all) is a big trend right now and goes way beyond dry January.
So, when I got a chance to try a few bottles from Sunny With a Chance of Flowers out of Monterey, Cali., I was down for it. They’re sustainably grown (another big awesome trend in wine right now), zero sugar, gluten-free, and — my fave thing — clock in at 9 percent ABV (usual wine is 11 to 15+ percent ABV). This also means they have fewer calories a glass — but you know calorie-counting is not our jam for a lot of reasons (including this and this).
So, that all rocks, but how do these lower-alcohol wines taste, you ask? (Let’s be real; there’s no way I’m going to drink something that I don’t like when there are SO many good wines out there.)
Taste-test says pretty good! Sauv blanc is a varietal I gravitate to on warm, sunny days in general and the Sunny Sauvignon Blanc was bright and refreshing with some grass, citrus, and guava. Compared to a higher alcohol sauv blanc, the Sunny Sauvignon Blanc is definitely lighter with less body and it almost tastes watery — kind of like a light beer versus a non-light one. The Sunny Chardonnay is heavier on the oak with vanilla, pear, and bruised apple flavors, but it’s fairly complex and round — especially for only being 9 percent alcohol (fun fact: the amount of alcohol correlates with body, or the mouthfeel of a wine).
The Sunny Pinot ended up being my favorite by far though, which surprised me because I am picky about my pinot! Pinot noir is naturally a lighter body wine, so it lends itself well to a lower alcohol version. This bottle had flavors of red cherries, cranberries, and was just light and lovely.
None of these wines are going to give you an ah-ha wine moment or anything, but they are definitely fun and drinkable. All bottles retail for about $17 each and are fun to pair with, well, sunshine! Similar to a book cover, packaging shouldn’t determine if you like a wine or not entirely, but the name Sunny With a Chance of Flowers plus all of the inspirational messages on the bottle? It makes you smile. And, that’s never a bad thing!
All-Natural Hard Tea
Move over hard sparkling water and seltzers, hard all-natural tea is a thing and it’s so tasty.
I was sent some Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea and Bontanicals to try and, goodness, they were a treat and something I’ll be stocking up on. Made with totally natural ingredients and real fresh-brewed tea, they’re also gluten-free, vegan, and with about 5 percent alcohol per can (and 100-120 calories a can), they’re about everything I look for in a canned drink — plus they taste great!
In fun flavors — like Darjeeling & Hibiscus Flowers; English Breakfast, Lemon, Lime; White Tea, Raspberry, Watermelon; and Matcha Pineapple & Chamomile — these are a little bubbly and a little fruity without being overly sweet or syrupy. And, let’s talk about my fave part: the tea. You get a subtle taste of tea in each one that is true to its type, and, really, just lovely.
Did I mention these are lovely? THEY ARE LOVELY.
And, one of our go-to kombucha brands — GT’s Living Foods — has a ton of tasty new recipes for cocktails and mocktails that we can’t get enough of. Check them all out here (we’re particularly smitten with the Lavender Lemon Fizz recipe you see pictured above) — and be sure to be on the lookout for some of GT’s floral-inspired spring flavors, including Hibiscus Ginger, Lavender Love, and Rose Berry, as well as GT’s Classic Kombucha flavor Rosé. They recently sent us some bottles, and, y’all, they sip like spring whether you mix them into a cocktail or simply have them on their own (especially that Rose Berry!).
Canned Wine Spritzers
Rosé is nothing new (although, yes, I still love it when the sun is shining), but good rosé spritz options in cans? Yes, more please.
McBride Sisters’ SHE CAN collection is my latest obsession. (And, if you don’t know McBride Sisters, go to their site right now here and read up on their story and then order some wine — they’re awesome.) The cans help promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry in a concerted effort to help close the gender and race gap, AND, they taste great. With 8 percent alcohol, light fruit flavors, and some tasty dry bubbly rosé all packaged in a convenient and eco-friendly can, you’ll wanna get a 12-pack. Trust me.
If you want a canned wine spritz that’s a little sweeter and with lower alcohol, try a Yes Way Rosé Spritz. Clocking in at 5 percent alcohol, 5 sugars, and 93 calories, it’s bubbly, fruity, light, and fun.
And, don’t forget, you can always make your own spritz at home! We’ve got three yummy spritz recipes here.
Natural wines with minimal intervention that are organic and biodynamic are super popular right now — with more and more offerings added every day it seems. I’m lucky in that my fave local wine store (shout-out to Underdog Wine Co.) has a ton of these available (along with even a wine club that features only natural wines!), and I’ve been able to taste a variety of yummy natural vino.
From the Pét-Nat you see above to almost every varietal you’ve heard of (or — even more fun — not heard of!), if you haven’t tried some natural wine yet, hit up your local wine store and get you some!
Non-Alcohol Options that Rock (and Have Health Benefits)
Let’s say it again: you don’t have to drink to have a good time. And, if you’d like to sip on something fun that’s booze-free that’s definitely awesome, you have a lot of fun options available. Lately — per our collaboration with Marukan — we’ve been sipping on an ACV Switchel. Get the recipe here! It’s delicious.
What wine or drink trend are you loving right now? After all, the best stuff in life is shared, so, cheers to whatever is in your glass! –Jenn