Craft & Cork >> Wine

March 2, 2017 | By RJS Craft Winemaking

Orchard Breezin’ – The Beer Alternative

Close your eyes.  Now picture what you will be doing in just a few short weeks.  The sun is bright and giving off enough warmth to make socks and long sleeve shirts completely optional. The patio furniture, fresh out of the shed, is set up for another season.  The bbq has a full cylinder of propane.  Steaks were marinated all morning and are now sizzling on a hot grill. And while you wait for the meat to brown, you open up a bottle of your favourite beer.

Wait a minute. If you are like me, that whole scene worked up until the last few words.  I love sunshine, patios and bbqs – but I am just not a beer drinker. Luckily for folks like us, there are always other options to the traditional summer brew – especially if you are a craft winemaker. In only four weeks, Orchard Breezin’ wine kits make refreshing wines that are full of fruity flavours, but are not as sweet as so many commercial wine coolers.  Better still, at less than 7% alcohol, you can sip Orchard Breezin’ all afternoon and well into the evening – kind of like light beer – but with a much better taste.

Perhaps the best thing about fruit-flavoured wines, like Orchard Breezin’, is their versatility.  One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is as a wine spritzer.  People have been adding soda water to wine for centuries.  In fact, it is said that this was done to make wine “sparkling”, even before bottled sparkling wine was a thing.  I make my Orchard Breezin’ spritzers simply by adding equal amounts of soda water to my wine.  Then, I like to add a splash of lime juice and a slice of lime to my glass for a little extra pizzazz.

Next time you want to make a spritzer, have fun with your Orchard Breezin’ and try adding different kinds of fruit – kind of like a spritzer/sangria fusion.  Orchard Breezin’ Blueberry Bliss, soda water and a handful of frozen blueberries (instead of ice?).  How easy is that?  Or how about Orchard Breezin’ Rocking Raspberry Rosé with frozen raspberries, or really any frozen fruit.  Now your Orchard Breezin’ spritzer is not only a refreshing drink, but it is also a tasty dessert.

You know what I like best about my Orchard Breezin’ spritzers (besides that they pair so well with patios)? I don’t even have to wait until 3:00 p.m. to start sipping.  I can make a batch sometime after brunch to last me the whole day.  Who needs to drink beer when there are so many alternatives available to those of us who craft our own wine?  Not me.

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