Is it the pandemic that created all of these spiked seltzers? It kind of reminds me of Annie Green Springs, and California Coolers, and Bartles and James from the 80s.
I have tried a few of these, notably White Claw Hard Seltzer, Corona Seltzer, and Smirnoff. It is the new “chardonnay” of the Pandemic. Corona Seltzer comes in four flavors: lime, mango, cherry, and blackberry lime, all 4.5% alcohol with only 90 calories. White Claw is 5% alcohol, 100 calories, in watermelon, tangerine and lemon. Smirnoff is also 4.5% alcohol, 100 calories, in eight flavors, including blood orange, pina colada, raspberry rose’, and cranberry lime.
This new Rosé Water drink now going on sale ($2.99 per can) in numerous states across the U.S. At only 4.9% abv, the beverage is a combination of rosé wine from the Loire Valley and sparkling water from the Austrian Alps. Rosé Water is being marketed to a group of people everyone obsesses about (hint: their collective name starts with an “M”). And it is only 69 calories!!!!
CNN has the statistics:
Nearly three months after Covid-19 upended daily life, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: Americans are dealing with coronavirus by drinking. A lot.
Since March 7, alcohol sales
have grown nearly 27%, according to Nielsen. Two big winners are domestic beers and spiked seltzer, with the former being practically on life support
just a year ago. Affordability and larger pack sizes have helped sales of domestic brands, such as Busch Light, Miller Lite and Natural Light, surge higher. Seltzers have racked up nearly $1 billion in sales from March 7 to May 30, according to Nielsen. In comparison, spiked seltzer sales totaled $1.5 billion in all of 2019. That makes it an enviable category for large and small alcohol companies to dip their toes into, even if competition keeps tightening.
Something more sobering: We think of the wine industry as generous, open-to-all, and focused on the spirit of community. But a look around any industry tasting event reveals that the wine industry has a long way to go. The number of African Americans around the tasting table remains far too low. And it’s true for Asians and Latinos, too. (Especially black, Asian, and Latina women). These days, we are reminded that this inequality in the industry we love is more than sad. It’s a loss for us all.
The industry’s lack of diversity is an insidious problem with many entwined threads of causation. I don’t pretend to understand all those reasons or to have any of the answers. But somehow, each in our way, we must begin a process of change.
Let’s hope the move toward wineries owned and operated by people of color continues well after the current racial awareness and injustice protests.
Speaking of corks: “Don’t forget to sniff the wine-end of the cork,” advised another reader, DaveInNY. If the wine is contaminated with cork taint, a chemical called TCA, “the cork will smell like wet dog. Yuck.” Well, maybe. Sniffing the cork is suggestive, but not conclusive, about the quality of the wine. A cork may smell fine even after it has tainted the wine, and a wine may be fine even if the cork smells moldy.
However, DaveInNY makes a good point in urging us to inspect a wine’s ullage – the gap between the cork and the wine in an unopened bottle, which should be about a quarter to half an inch. A greater gap suggests wine has evaporated or seeped through a faulty cork. This is usually a problem for older wines. The wine may have been stored upright and the cork may have deteriorated over time. If you see excessive ullage in a younger wine (10 years or less) in a store, don’t buy it. If you already have the wine in your cellar, open it but have a backup bottle on hand, just in case the first isn’t good.
Yes, the spiked seltzers are most refreshing on these warmer summer days. Low in alcohol, with bubbles. Not a bad alternative to beer or sparkling wine? You decide!