It’s hard to hear “wine cooler” without thinking back to the 1980s when virtually every major liquor company mixed cheap wine with fruit juice to make a party alternative to inexpensive beer. St. Mayhem’s newest wine cooler bears virtually no relation to the earlier beverages with which it shares a name. Ginger Loves Company is made with quality wine, includes virtually no fruit juice, has a much higher alcohol content (14.1%), costs more, and tastes good. Ginger Loves Company begins with Chardonnay sourced from Napa and Clarksburg and then is aged with organic peaches and organic dried ginger root. The result is not a college party drink, but a glass of wine with an unusual profile.
The nose on Ginger Loves Company reveals typical chardonnay character as well as clear notes of ginger. The palate opens like a California chardonnay, with some buttery creaminess. The slightly sweet flavor of peaches follows, but it isn’t overpowering. Finally, ginger appears in the finish, which I think some may appreciate, but which I didn’t enjoy more than a good chardonnay.
I don’t know if I’m sold on Ginger Loves Company, but it’s enjoyable and worth trying. More importantly, I am impressed by St. Mayhem’s creative innovation as they take quality wine into bold new territory.
B / $25 / artfarmwine.com