As I walked through a wine retail shop recently, a brochure caught my eye. It featured wine cocktail recipes using a low-alcohol wine, Stella Rosa. There was a time when I was not a fan of mixing wine with anything, but after a little exploration I learned quickly that these cocktails were not asking for my prized Bordeaux Haut Brion to be mixed with orange juice and spritzer. One must not use the expensive stuff for creating refreshing and straightforward drinks with wine.
I experimented with several of the recipes, and these are a few of my favorites. I think they are ideal for the coming warmer weather and just a fun approach to wine cocktails. Keep your eye out for the recipe booklet at your local wine shop counter.
Princess Peach: In a glass, muddle 4 or 5 raspberries and 2 peach slices, then add Stella Rosa Pink and ice. Lightly mix and top with sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of mint. Stella Pink is a semisweet, lightly sparkling wine with a vibrant pink color and the taste of fresh peach, honey and red berry.
1917: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 or 3 cucumber slices and 2 or 3 fresh strawberries. Add 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce citrus vodka and 1 ounce Stella Rosa Rosso and ice. Shake and strain into a glass and garnish with a cucumber wheel. The Stella Rosso comes from the village of Santo Stefano Belbo in Piedmont. It’s a refreshing semi-sweet red wine, at its best well-chilled.
Chocolate Strawberry: In a glass, combine 3 parts Stella Rosa Berry with 1 part chocolate bar wine (or port). Add fresh strawberry bits and garnish the glass with a whole strawberry. Stella Berry is a semi-sweet lightly sparkling wine produced from a blend of indigenous grapes. It has the addition of natural wild strawberry and blackberry flavors, giving it a delicious taste.
Pina Colada: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 part rum and 1 part pineapple juice. Shake. Strain into a glass of ice and top with 3 parts Stella Rosa Moscato. Stir and garnish with a pineapple wedge. Stella Rosa Moscato d’Asti is a semi-sweet wine made from the Moscato di Canelli grape from the Piedmont region of Italy. This wine has just a touch of bubbles that give it a refreshing sparkle.
- NV Stella Rosa Stella Pink, Italy (about $13 retail)
- NV Stella Rosa Rosso, Italy (about $13 retail)
- NV Stella Rosa Stella Berry, Italy (about $13 retail)
- NV Stella Rosa Moscato d’ Asti, Italy (about $13 retail)