Frozen wine slushes are hot. An appealing alternative to sangria or a wine spritzer, they are surprisingly refreshing, and retain the wine’s character while adding and enhancing its attractive fruit flavors. Thirst quenching, not cloying, wine slushes are the perfect way for wine lovers to indulge their taste this summer while lounging by the pool or relaxing on the deck.
The most inviting wine slushes usually start with a dry, yet fruity white or red wine. (Some smart choices are Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Rioja, or Merlot.) Add a combination of fruit juice and/or fresh fruit, blend until smooth, and freeze until the desired consistency. (The alcohol in the wine will prevent the mixture from totally freezing solid). For a smoother, quicker result, pour the blended mixture into an electric ice cream maker and process until slushy. Serve in colorful acrylic tumblers or Margarita glasses.
Although your guests will no doubt be perfectly content to sip wine slushes all by themselves, you can also serve them with food. Experiment with the following recipes and food pairings, or create your own concoctions. Either way, these beverages prove that wine doesn’t always have to be taken seriously, or served in proper stemware, to be delicious.
- Zingy: 1 bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; 1 can frozen limeade concentrate; 1 cup cranberry juice.
Food pairings: chips and salsa; grilled shrimp Caesar salad; New England clam chowder.
- Tropical: 1 bottle unoaked Chardonnay; 6 oz. mango nectar (look for cans of Jumex or another brand); 1 cup pineapple juice.
Food pairings: Grilled shrimp skewers with pineapple salsa; cheddar cheese fondue; fruit and cheese tray.
- Jammy: 1 bottle California or Australian Merlot; 1 cup pomegranate juice (POM or another brand); 1 pint blackberries.
Food pairings: Grilled rib-eye steaks topped with bleu cheese; seared tuna; antipasto platter.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine writer and educator in the D.C. metro area. Kelly can be reached through her website, which is www.trywine.net.