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Old 01-03-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
Daze
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Default Ever made a "wine cooler" and I am not talking about adding 7up to a glass of wine

It occurs to me that a "wine cooler" is something a little different.

First of all I spend most of my time in the "wine" and "cider" sections, because my interests lie some where in between. In the cider section I have seen several posts asking about "other" fruit ciders, some of them are another fruit plus apples so still a cider but others have nothing to do with apples and are being thought of as "cider" by the poster, because of the lower alcohol content, sweetness and or carbonation. The responses to these threads are always helpful but usually something is said to the effect of "if it does not have apples it is not a cider"

On the flip side, on that same cider forum if you are talking about ABV it has been said more than once that "cider" is usually 7% or less and if it has more than that it is an apple wine. So if that is the case wouldn't the opposite also be true of other fruit fermentations that are 7% or less that they are no longer wine and something more along the lines of a "wine cooler" see where I am going with this??

I made a post in the "New Forum Requests" section of the forum suggesting that a wine coolers be made a sub category in the "Wine, Mead, Cider & Soda" section.

I currently have several things going that I would categorize more along the lines of a wine cooler, and will be posting them here in the "wine" section with a tag as described in the beginning of "new forum request" thread.

As a start, my definition of a wine cooler would be a fruit beverage that is 7% ABV or less and is sweet, carbonated, OR both. I would love to here your definitions. Have any of you made any thing in this category??? I would love to here any and on thoughts on this subject.


#tag#winecoolers, hard soda, hard lemonade & more

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Old 01-03-2012, 12:48 AM   #2
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Interesting idea. So a cider would really be a sub category of "wine coolers"?

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Old 01-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #3
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Hi,

Don't agree with the cider is not cider if over 7% comment.

I am from Scotland and have tried loads of English ciders along with ciders from other countries and many of the original ciders (formally known as scrumpy) are well over 7%.

Best cider I ever had still had apple mash in it and was hand pumped in a bar in Devon, England. can't remember the exact % but there was a two drink maximum for non locals.

I also used to get various commercial ciders back home that were 8 - 8.5% from the local supermarket.

I would say that if it is over 7% and carbonated then it is not a cider over 7% it should not be carbonated.

I had not seen "ciders" made with other fruits until I came to the US and found it hard to find a decent US apple cider. If there are no apples in it it is not cider, could be a perry or something but not a cider.

Just my 2c worth.

John
With a Magners (original apple) in hand.

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Old 01-03-2012, 01:22 AM   #4
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I think part of the issue there will be historical. Ciders are by definition apple based. Just as Perries are by definition [s]apple[/s] pear based. (Although we don't yet have enough perry based items to really make it worth its own section, since apples tend to be more commonly accessable and popular).

In fact, the beverage "Cider" is actually defined by various laws in different countries. Also, Apfelwein is the same as cider, it's just english vs german. For some reason us Yanks seem to use them as different categories rather than their actual same definition, most likely because of the term "wine" which makes us think of a traditional wine which tends to have the 10-20% abv area. There's also definitions in the ATF to define any differences between an apple wine (meaning higher tax) vs a plain "hard" cider, which is why we only have hard cider up to 7%. Other countries have different definitions which allow a higher %

Quote:
Labeling of Hard Cider

Since the term ``hard cider'' now has tax significance, no wine may
be designated as ``hard cider'' unless it conforms to the definition of
cider in Sec. 24.10 and is eligible for the tax category of hard cider.
The reference to cider in the FAA labeling regulations at
Sec. 4.21(e)(5) is amended to show that the term ``hard cider'' is
reserved for use in wine eligible for the tax category of hard cider. A
new Sec. 24.257(a)(3)(iv) has been added to the IRC wine labeling
requirements for wine under 7 percent alcohol by volume to show that
wine eligible for the tax category of hard cider will be marked ``hard
cider'' rather than simply ``wine'' under that section."
There's various other bits. It was a long document.

The ATF/TTB never really defined a wine cooler so it all fell under wine. Thus the taxation and the downfall and conversion to malt based beverages.
Quote:
Wine. When used without qualification, the term includes every kind (class and type) of product produced on bonded wine premises from grapes, other fruit (including berries), or other suitable agricultural products and containing not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume. The term includes all imitation, other than standard, or artificial wine and compounds sold as wine. A wine product containing less than one-half of one percent alcohol by volume is not taxable as wine when removed from the bonded wine premises.
Anyhow... it could be doable, but I don't recall seeing many items about wine coolers, even when people would put it into the wine area. A wine cooler is just a weaker (lower abv) and generally flavored/sweetened wine when you get right down to it. (whereas an apple wine tends to be a souped up cider.) It's generally easier to make a wine, then convert it to a cooler at a later point than to make a wine cooler itself. Mist-type kits nonwithstanding. Plus, anyone who wasn't around in the US the 80's won't even know what a wine cooler is. (Although most will know what a malt based beverage is.) It's the reverse in parts of Europe though.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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First of all I appreciate the feedback. weather a sub forum gets created will remains to be seen I am just going through the process and if it does great, if not no big deal as I will continue to follow the wine and cider sections of the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john_america View Post
Hi,
Don't agree with the cider is not cider if over 7% comment.
...
I would say that if it is over 7% and carbonated then it is not a cider over 7% it should not be carbonated.
...
Just my 2c worth.
John
With a Magners (original apple) in hand.
Good points, and I am sure you are correct I was just basing the 7% on what others had said. With that said I believe the majority of ciders are about 7% or less because most only use the fermentables in the apples and apple juice in and of it self most often creates something in the 5% range. My comment was not an attempt to define cider but more to define a wine cooler as something some where in between cider and wine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Anyhow... it could be doable, but I don't recall seeing many items about wine coolers, even when people would put it into the wine area.
I have done some searches and the topic has come up more than once, I have also seen it come up from time to time on the cider forum. Either way I am venturing in to this territory so there will be a few more posts on the subject

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
A wine cooler is just a weaker (lower abv) and generally flavored/sweetened wine when you get right down to it. It's generally easier to make a wine, then convert it to a cooler at a later point than to make a wine cooler itself. Mist-type kits nonwithstanding. Plus, anyone who wasn't around in the US the 80's won't even know what a wine cooler is. (Although most will know what a malt based beverage is.) It's the reverse in parts of Europe though.
I agree, weaker in AVB but not in flavor as they are usually sweet carbonated, and have a robust fruit flavor. The problem I have with making them after the fact is the flavor profile is no cohesive. What I taste is pop and wine, and what I want to be tasting is low alcohol sweet sparking juice, much like a wine but closer in flavor characteristics and mouth feel to a cider. I really don't see any difficulty to making "wine coolers" its really not any harder than making cider. Ferment out dry a juice with its natural sugars and maybe a bit of extra sugar if needed, back sweeten, carbonate f desired and pasteurize.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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Yeah. When I said weaker, its referring to the lower abv. Nothing weaker in flavor since a lot of the flavor is coming from the juice flavorings.
Actually there's two method's that I've had so far in creating "wine coolers" without adding soda. In fact, I hate adding soda because it's the wrong sort of sweetness to me.
The first one was really a kit, but in essence it's to create a wine, fermented to dryness, then sweetened with a juice concentrate. It's in a keg, uncarbonated at the moment, but I have put some in 2 liter bottles to carbonate before. If you wanted to carbonate this without a co2 method, it'd be ferment to dryness/carbonate during this process or to carbonate after fermentatino with added sugar. If you were using the juice to sweeten *AND* carbonate, you'd have to pasturize.

The second method is the recipe method using wine. I add either juice and carbonated water, or better yet, carbonated juice or a mix of both carbonated water and carbonated juice to achieve the sweetness/strength I want. This of course because I have the co2 tank and can therefore carbonate any liquid I want. This would be slightly harder with out the equipment. I've cut wine with water/juice then carbonated before too.

But yeah, method 1 is exactly like cider. Method 2 is more traditional. (But these are being told to show that I don't like pop because the flavor hasn't worked for me.)

And in regards to the original post, I'd probably go with the same definition of a wine cooler vs a wine. Mostly because that's what the cutoff generally is recognized as in the US (see previous quote from the ATF about cider vs apple wine.)

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Old 01-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Just as Perries are by definition apple based.
Are you sure?
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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Oops. That was supposed to be Pear based. Too much cider in the mind and in the hand that day. Corrected, thanks.

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_america View Post
...can't remember the exact % but there was a two drink maximum for non locals....
That is absolutely spectacular!!
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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I find it humorous when people get so wound up over the definition of the word "Cider." The term is different in different contexts, and it isn't just the US that has changed it. I posted this in the Cider section in one thread just to illustrate.

In Korea, the English word "Cider" has been taken and given a Korean pronunciation (the Korean language does not have an 'r' sound that would be recognizable as such to English speakers) and now means something completely different in that country. It is the soft drink like 7-up, or Sprite. One of the most popular of these "ciders" when I lived in Korea was "Chilsung Cider" (칠성사이다). Chilsung Cider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There was also a "Kin Cider" and a few other local brands available, and both 7-Up and Sprite were sold and asked for as "Cider."

In the context of a wine and cider making forum, I can understand a specific definition. In the context of US history, I can understand a legal definition, and a different meaning for hard and soft cider. Trying to make a distinction without context, though, or becoming anal about the usage of the term "cider" (which was happening in the cider forum on the thread where I posted that bit of trivia before) is kind of funny IMO. I don't think anybody is going that far in this thread, but it seems to be a constant, ongoing discussion when the word is used.

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