Tea Time? Wine Time.

I’m an unapologetic lover of wine coolers, wine spritzers, and wine cocktails. Sometimes, wine on its own just doesn’t match the moment, and demands either bubbles or more alcoholic oomph. In fine wine and sommelier circles, I take a lot of bullshit  criticism for this, but I don’t care: Wine coolers taste good, and if something tastes good, it’s worth drinking.

I’ve spent the summer mixing wine with all sorts of ingredients across the interwebs, and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc caught my eye recently with their “High Tea” cocktail. For once, it’s a wine cooler that adds herbaceousness (and even caffeine) to a wine spritzer in the form of green tea, instead of adding fruity sweetness. On its own, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is intensely tropical and easy to drink–in short, it’s a classic patio wine. Intrigued by the cocktail idea, I tried it out at a BBQ filled with brewers and winemakers.

With this crowd of trained, critical I wasn’t sure how a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc cocktail tasting would go, but it went FAST. These High Tea cocktails disappeared and cries for more were rampant. Despite being 50% wine, these cocktails tasted less like Sauvignon Blanc and more like citrusy, tropical sparkling tea. I loved how the recipe fully transformed the wine into a new beverage. Alongside teriyaki kebabs, the herbaceous notes of the tea were fantastic, remaining bright and refreshing from start to finish. Plus, they took two seconds to make, no measuring required.

From now on, I’ll be keeping tea in my wine cooler arsenal and you should too.

KC_Kim's High Tea

Try It:

Kim Crawford High Tea Cocktail


Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Green Tea

Sparkling Water

Lemon slices

Lime slices


1. Combine equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Green Tea over ice.

2. Top with roughly 2 oz. sparkling water, and garnish with slices of lemon and lime peel.

Wine Coolers Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Mimicking bottled wine cooler flavors with recipes like this one.

Sauvignon Blanc as a wine cooler base–it’s fruity, unoaked and easy to drink.

Wine cocktail recipes like these from Kim Crawford.

Fun Facts: Seagrams makes a whopping 21 flavors of Seagrams Escapes wine coolers. (Including two special Kelly Rowland flavors)

It’s a “wine cooler” if you mix wine with sweetened soda like Sprite, and a “wine spritzer” if the bubbles come from unsweetened club soda.


photos courtesy of R/West


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