I'm a Sauvignon Blanc girl. And in the course of making a few wine cocktail recipes a few years ago, I figured out that herbs and wine are a great match! Infused wine is a fun way to serve wine that you may not have experienced before. It's also a great way to stretch out a bottle of wine that you can't drink fast enough. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I make money which I should save for my kid’s college. But sometimes I go to Starbucks.
Infused Wine is a Thing
Have you heard of infused wine? It's where you take fresh herbs, and maybe some citrus, and let it flavor your wine. I'm a big fan of fresh herbs (and wine, duh) so I decided I needed to try this out for myself. I'm not sure why this isn't more of a thing. It seems like a super simple way to add your personal touch to a beverage. It is both hippie and Martha Stewart at the same time. And it is SO easy to do! The only hard part is letting the wine sit long enough to pick up the flavors…
I don't think there are too many rules for making a wine infusion. I used white wine because I like it better than red and it seems like a perfect summer beverage. I would skip the Chardonnay (which can have a lot of its own buttery and oaky flavors going on) and stick with something a little on the crisp side.
I used a Sauvignon Blanc because it's my wine of choice but this would totally work with a Pinot Gris (it would be EXCELLENT with a Pinot Gris), Pinot Grigio or even a Riesling if you like things a little sweeter. Many Sauvignon Blancs are tart and have a citrus note already so the addition of the fresh lemon would go perfectly. And the minerality you usually find would be cut a little bit by the fresh herbs.
Is anyone else impressed with my wine talk? I feel like I'm starting to know what I'm talking about a little bit…(I'm going to attribute that to the tasting videos from Winc – SO helpful!).
Rosemary is my jam so I decided to use it in my first batch of herb-infused wine. I know everybody's tastes are different but I love the way fresh herbs add flavor. Their fragrance is intoxicating. I feel like the flavor they impart in a dish is more subtle (unless you get crazy and use a whole bush). They are the perfect way to add flavor without jacking up the calories in something. And now that it's swimsuit season, I need all the help I can get with that. God forbid I stop drinking wine to save calories…
Lemon and rosemary are a natural pairing. The bright lemon scent and color are magical and add a freshness to everything. Lemons for president.
How to Make Infused Wine
All you have to do, to make infused wine, is add your favorite herbs and fruit to the wine and let it sit. I put in a few sprigs of rosemary and 3-4 long pieces of lemon peel. I put a cork in the top and kept it in my fridge overnight. I get really picky about how long my wine is open. I don't like the way the flavors start to change. But I really think that by infusing it with herbs and lemon, it prolongs the life. It doesn't really do anything to the structure of the wine to prolong it, but I think the flavors mask the change in wine as it oxidizes (or something, now I'm just getting carried away).
When I tried the herb and wine infusion the next day, the flavor was subtle. It was refreshing and easy to drink. Next time I would amp up the amount of herbs I used. I wanted a stronger flavor and didn't want to let the wine sit for longer to get that flavor. I wanted to drink it. I'm definitely going to keep playing around with infusing wines.
I really think infused wines should be the next big thing. They are perfect for parties (you could probably even get away with using inexpensive bottles of wine since you are adding in fresh flavors which would help you stretch your party budget) and would be really pretty on a beverage table. I need to go figure out what flavors I want to try next! Have you ever made any?
- 1 bottle white wine, I would use Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio or Riesling
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3-4 long pieces of lemon peel, trying not to get the white pith on it
- Open your bottle of wine.
- Add your fresh herbs and lemon.
- Add a cork and put in your fridge over night.
- Drink the wine.
Play around with this recipe to make it yours. Try different herbs and citrus fruits and how long you let the wine infuse. There is no wrong recipe for this!
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