Sort of like an organic, sparkling sangria, this is far from your average red wine, and – as its name suggests – almost more like a cocktail.
It hails from that spiritual home of sparkling reds, Italy, and is a light and refreshing drink at just 5% alcohol, which barely registers on the palate at all.
The ingredients, as far as I can make out (my Italian isn’t great) are Merlot grapes, water, fruit juices, concentrated fruit juices and carbon dioxide. Everything is organic, so there are no pesticides, and if you could drink enough to get drunk (you’d need at least a bottle I imagine) you probably wouldn’t feel the effects as much the next morning, if those rumours are to be believed.
Something to do with livers and pesticides, isn’t it?
Liver and pesticide are both far from the mind, fortunately, when sampling this wine: it has a strong aroma of blackcurrant, almost more akin to a nice refreshing glass of squash inbetween sets at lawn tennis than what one would usually associate with any wine, let alone Merlot.
The Merlot is there in essence in the taste though, with a dominant theme of sour cherries and blackcurrant, washed down with a dazzling sparlkiness that’ll quench your thirst and yet paradoxically have you refilling your glass over and over. It’s a bottle to be made short work of.
Sparkling reds are becoming less of a novelty and more of a viable drinking choice nowadays, and Giol’s Bio-Cocktail is as good a place as any to start you off – it would make a splendid apértif, picnic wine or quirky toasting tipple at a wedding, christening or AGM. Indeed, it’s difficult to think of any life events off the top of my head that wouldn’t benefit from being accompanied by a glass of this stuff – especially if they take place in summer.