Packing for a picnic is simple: little more is needed than a trusty blanket, an assortment of snacks, and — perhaps most important of all —a bottle of crisp, refreshing wine. Quaffable, approachably priced (all three bottles are less than $20), and food-friendly, these options are practically tailor-made for sipping in the park or on a mountaintop. Watch the video to find your perfect alfresco tipple, and then gear up for a relaxing afternoon spent outdoors.
Spring festivities like bridal showers, luncheons, and picnics call for a hummingbird cocktail. This light, bubbly cocktail features sparkling wine and St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur. Topped with club soda and a lemon twist, the drink will have you humming happily in no time.
Can you guess what's in this drink? Don't let the orange hue fool you; these mimosas aren't made with oranges — instead, they're made fruity with the help of mango purée and grapefruit juice. Mango thickens and sweetens the mimosa, while the grapefruit provides a crispness that complements the sparkling wine.
Nothing beats fresh, so if you have time, then whirl up ripe mango chunks in a food processor to make homemade mango purée and squeeze some grapefruits in a citrus juicer. Keep reading for the recipe.
Looking forward to watching Seth MacFarlane ham it up for the Oscars this weekend? If you're tuning in, then you might as well celebrate the award show's 85th anniversary by ringing it in with a few drinks.
Toast to the show's winners and nominees with one of these four Hollywood-inspired sparkling cocktails when you read more.
Happy Valentine's Day! Regardless of what you have planned, you're sure to spread the love if you whip up this gorgeous lemon raspberry fizz cocktail. We promise the marriage of limoncello, berries, and sparkling wine is not only beautiful, but also delicious — and the festive drink can be easily multiplied if you're hosting for a crowd. Watch the video to learn how to make the cocktail.
Just as Champagne wineries in the Champagne region of France have struggled to control their authentic designation of origin, so too have Prosecco wineries in Italy. Up until 2009, Italian winemakers called both the sparkling wine and the grape it is made from Prosecco. However, after years of other winemakers capitalizing on the Prosecco name, the Italians decided to fight for DOCG status (a quality assurance label put on every bottle guaranteeing the product is authentic and from a particular growing region in Italy). During the complicated process, officials formally changed the name of the Prosecco grape to an old synonym, Glera, to help further authenticate and demarcate true Prosecco wines from Italy. Here are some other reasons why you should care about the Glera grape:
- The Glera grape originates from Prosecco, Italy, a Northern Italian village about a half hour from Venice. While some claim the grape has been cultivated since Roman times, the first written account of the Glera grape dates back to 1772.
- Each bottle of DOCG-certified Prosecco must contain at least 85 percent Glera grapes.
- Golden Glera grapes have been cultivated to ferment into a crisp, clean, and slightly fruity sparkling wine, unlike Champagne, which tends to have some yeasty flavor and body. This difference in flavor occurs because the second fermentation process differs from Champagne. Glera grapes undergo a second fermentation in large steel tanks (rather than in the individual Champagne bottles).
- To find the highest-quality Prosecco, look for the Prosecco Superiore DOCG-labeled wines. These are grown in the same historical area called the Veneto, a hilly cluster of towns between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. We recently tried Sorelle Bronca Extra Dry ($18), a Prosecco Superiore DOCG, made from 100 percent Glera grapes (most from organic farmers). It pleased our palates with its fine bubbles and refreshingly light flavor.
There's no better sound at a party than the "pop" of a sparkling wine bottle. But that doesn't mean opening a bottle of bubbly isn't intimidating: if you're opening a shaken Champagne bottle, the speed of its cork can be anywhere between 28 and 50 miles per hour! Thankfully, we've got plenty of tips for keeping your bubbly cold and your party safe. If you're one of the many who fear the task, then watch our video — and never be afraid to open sparkling wine again. On Brandi: Givenchy from FORWARD by elyse walker
For Valentine's Day, why buy a bouquet when you can treat your sweet one to a bottle of bubbly with wild hibiscus flowers? Dress up your sparkling wine by garnishing it with a hibiscus flower in syrup. As the flower blooms and reconstitutes in the bubbly wine, it imparts a rose-colored hue. Beyond acting as a stunning garnish, the hibiscus offers a hint of sweetness and floral flavor to the sparkling wine.
Once you've finished the glass, be sure to try the flower; it's entirely edible and tastes similar to rhubarb and raspberries, with a texture reminiscent of fruit leather. End the night with a kiss by drinking sparkling wine and hibiscus.
When it comes to brunch drinks, there's nothing like a mimosa, but if you have them on a regular basis (like I do!), for a special occasion, it's nice to change things up. My favorite new libation is this amazing cocktail that combines limoncello with mint, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. There's a little bit of work involved because you puree the mint, lemon peel, and limoncello in a food processor or blender — however, this can be made the day before the party. Although the recipe serves two, it's pretty easy to increase the proportions of the ingredients. I was worried the sugar rim was going to make the beverage too sweet, but it was just right: it's tart, refreshing, springy, and just plain wonderful. To get the recipe, read more.