8/4/2023 — Spritz up your life / The BEST low-alcohol bottles of wine around + video!

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Hi everyone –

(I’ll start with this … we made a great video, you’ll find it below, and please watch it. It really turned out great.)

August is here, my favorite month.

It starts with my birthday (today! August 4th! Shared with Barack Obama!) and ends with the State Fair. And in European fashion, Angela and I try to take the month off. (Of course, it never quite works the way — see our upcoming class schedule! — but at the very least, we try to take the foot off the gas a bit.)

Here in beautiful Minnesota, we’ve had a run of hot and sticky days and there are more of those ahead. Soak them in! We will cherish those memories in six months.

And in the spirit of al fresco dining on the patio (or in Ramsey County Parks, where open consumption of wine is allowed), this week, we present to you three of the most enjoyable, tasty, fun, and gulpable bottles that are new to the Minnesota market.

The flavor of these products is incredibly pure, thanks to careful sustainable farming and family ownership. They are limited in production and have taken off in New York, Miami, and California … leaving less for us here in Minnesota. Now is the season; now is the time.

Let’s get to the details …

Background: The Spritz

From the importer’s website:

The Italian Spritz cites its origins in the Veneto region and dates back to the late 1800s when northern Italy was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  The Germanic soldiers in the area found the local Italian wines to be too strong for their tastes so they added a “spritz” (German for splash) of water to the wine to create something lighter and more easy-drinking.

As lighter sparkling wines and Prosecco became more popular, these replaced the still wines and fortified spirits started to be incorporated into the drink in the early 1900s.  The Spritz as we know it today did not become popular until the mid-20th century.  

Across Italy and in cities throughout the world, Spritz are enjoyed as a pre-dinner cocktail or “aperitif.”  Light and refreshing, Spritz are shared with friends in social settings throughout the seasons.

https://dallaterra.com/producer/almare-spritz

Take note these are imported by Dalla Terra, one of our favorite importers due to their integrity and business model. Learn more about what I’m talking about here.

Why are Almare Spritz’s head and shoulders above others?

Let’s start with the base ingredient: Prosecco.

The Machiso family has been farming in the Prosecco regions around Conegliano for over 70 years. Very importantly, they farm sustainably in an area that, unfortunately, has turned industrial, with mega brands such as LaMarca (owned by Gallo) ramping up production to satisfy worldwide demand. The Machiso family Prosecco is the opposite of LaMarca in all ways: it’s artisinal, small, sustainably farmed, and actually tasty. 😉

Then comes the addition of the flavors for the Spritz (detailed below), which are all-natural and farmed only in the Prosecco region just outside of Venice. You can taste this purity in the products and the quality is stunning on the first sip.

Elderflower, pink grapefruit, mint, lemon, and natural herbal bitters are all involved in the infusion process for these three wines.

Lower alcohol = yay!

All of these are clocking in at only 8% alcohol. This makes for a wonderfully refreshing drink without the impacts of the normal ABV levels we get used to. In other words, after a couple of glasses, I know I’m still waking up feeling great.

A video of us stepping through the wines (Angela’s first time having them)

Many thanks to Angela for the fun editing job on this. Enjoy. And watch till the end (if you like our cats).

Almare Spritz “Classico”

This represents the classic citrus driver of a Spritz, with loads of fresh-cut orange and orange peel bursting from the glass. Those familiar with the classic Aperol-style of a Spritz will recognize this. Citric and bitter, but with loads of fruit complexity. And so, so, so drinky!

Suggested to serve on ice with a wedge of orange if you want to feel fancy.

Almare Spritz “Rosa”

Here we go into a grapefruit infusion with the Prosecco and the bitter herbs to balance it all out. Can there be anything better when it comes to summertime drinking?

Suggested to serve over ice with a slice of lemon.

Almare Spritz “Hugo”

Enter the elderflower! One of our favorite ingredients in any drink, but when brought to life with the bubbles of the Prosecco plus the herbal infusions, you have something off-the-charts good.

Suggested to serve over ice with a garnish of mint and lime. Here is your wine margarita.

Buying advice

These are GULPABLE.

Serve them to anyone within reach during the next four weeks, and you will have a new best friend.

They will also be enjoyable to drink all fall and winter, but let’s be realistic … summer is where it’s at.

Due to the lower ABV and the gulpability of these wines, order about 30% more than you think you should. Trust me.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education


Offer and special pricing are available through Monday, or as supplies last

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