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California Wine Cocktails for Summer

SAN FRANCISCO — As spring gives way to warmer temperatures, wine lovers naturally gravitate toward crisp, refreshing wines that match the summer season. Not only are wines such as California Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and rosé delicious on their own, they are also wonderful in wine-based cocktails. Light and fresh but big on flavor, wine cocktails are easy to make at home for sipping on the patio or toasting friends during virtual happy hours.


“Wine is a great base for cocktails because it has a balance of acidity and fruit,” says Northern California radio show host, wine educator and cocktail maven Ziggy Eschliman, also known as Ziggy the Wine Gal. “It also has structure, which provides an easy framework on which to build.”


For vibrant summer wine cocktails, Eschliman recommends wines with light and refreshing profiles such as California sparkling wines, crisp whites and rosés, pairing them with garden-inspired simple syrups, artisan bitters, edible flowers and fresh herbs. “Think about the qualities of each wine variety,” she says, “then match them with similar flavors to complement the wine’s natural aromas and flavor profile.”

To provide more inspiration for signature wine-based cocktails for summer, California Wines has released a new free e-book, “Fresh + Delicious California Wine Cocktails.” Available to download here, it features recipes for fabulous seasonal drinks that celebrate the state’s bounty of sustainably grown wines, produce and fresh herbs.


Recipes include:

Fresh Berry Moscato Mule: A bubbly blend of muddled berries, ginger beer and California Moscato wine

Cucumber Herb Spritzer: California white wine, cucumber and lime meet mint and basil for a fresh herbal twist

Strawberry Lemon Smash: Fresh strawberries, California sparkling wine and lemon create a summertime sensation

Raspberry Frosé: California rosé, fresh raspberries and peaches whirl together for a slushy, grown-up treat

SoCal Citrus Sangria: A citrus-kissed combination of California Zinfandel, fresh citrus and a touch of honey

To download a free copy of “Fresh + Delicious California Wine Cocktails” and sign up for the Discover California Wines monthly newsletter, visit here.



Need More Summer Recipes to Try at Home?

For seasonal dishes to prepare and enjoy with California wines and wine-based cocktails, pick up a copy of “Wine Country Table,” featuring recipes inspired by the Golden State’s sustainable winegrowers and farmers. The book is available at major bookstores and through Amazon. You can also find great seasonal recipes at Discover California Wines.

Wine Institute is the public policy association of California wineries producing 80 percent of U.S. wine. California is the nation’s number one state for wine and food tourism with 3,900 wineries.


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