WALLINGFORD — As the hot weather continues, local wineries are offering summer drinks to help patrons stay cool.
Albert Ruggiero, one of the owners of Paradise Hills Vineyard and Winery on Windswept Hill Road, said from late spring to the end of October they offer three types of wine slushies and their Paradise Sparkler drink.
The white wine slushy has the vineyard’s Temptation Wine, made with Connecticut-grown apples. The red slushy is made with cabernet sauvignon wine.
Ruggiero said they also offer a slushy with red and white wine.
“Makes it kind of look like a nice little swirly type drink,” Ruggiero said.
To make the slushies, the wine is combined with water and a sugar mix.
The Paradise Sparkler drink includes a two ounce champagne float on the top.
“The champagne will float on the top,” Ruggiero said. “... Density is lighter. It looks pretty nice when that’s done.”
The wine slushies started becoming popular four or five years ago, Ruggiero said.
“People love them,” Ruggiero said. “There’s no question about it. They’re very refreshing on these hot summer days.”
From early spring until fall, Gouveia Vineyards on Whirlwind Hill Road offers sangria.
“It’s a very requested drink here,” said Tammy Cadett, a server. “It’s pretty famous. People do come from all over to have our sangria.”
Cadett said the vineyard offers a blush sangria, which is blended with most of their wines and includes fruit. The base of the sangria is rose and sunset red.
The rose is a semi-dry blend and “is smooth on the palate and deliciously tart on the finish. Dry enough to enjoy with cheese, poultry and pork yet sweet enough to sip before or after dinner,” according to the winery’s website.
The sunset red wine is semi-sweet and is a blend of cabernet franc, frotenac and zinfandel. It is “fruit forward with a spicy peppery finish,” according to the website.
“It is delicious,” Cadett said. “... We actually have a sign on our wall that says, ‘Our Sangria is Back.’”