Spritzers & Language

Food & Wine seems to be the quintessential foodie combo. My husband likes to unwind at night with a nice glass of wine, or by sipping slowly on a cup of whiskey on the rocks. I am not a drinker; I haven’t been since the middle of college. But I’m starting to enjoy wine again. (Apparently you can even get your wine online.) I like making connections with people, and wine is something that many people are passionate about, so it makes for good conversation.

My favorite wine from Trader Joe’s

The main reason that I did not drink for so long was that alcohol is very high in calories, and in general I prefer to chew my calories. In general, I would rather have a piece of pie than a regular soda – but I’m not that picky anymore. (Aside: The calories in wine are not protein, carbs, or fat.Β Some people think that alcohol calories are sugar – they are not. Alcohol is its own food group and it has 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs like sugar have just 4 per gram; protein also has 4 per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So alcohol, if we are judging solely on caloric content, by the gram, is more like a fat than a sugar.)

Anyway, my point is that I wanted to learn how to enjoy wine so that I could enjoy it with my husband, my family, or my friends. So I started drinking wine with seltzer. I know, horror of horrors! Wine + seltzer! To a wine fanatic that is probably a sacrilege. But to a seltzer fanatic it is not.

My sodastream seltzer machine, which I am missing much – it is in New Jersey.

But it is not a sacrilege to me. My mom and I discussed it on Tuesday night as I was walking home from my first choir practice and I think I got her on my side (she loves wine).

And now I love wine (with seltzer). I call it wine spritzer but I’m not sure if that’s the right term, because I think there is an actual product called wine spritzer. I like it much more than wine alone, which is sometimes too pungent and flavorful. And it goes by so quickly.

Maggie’s Wine Spritzer Tips

  • 3 parts seltzer to 1 part wine is my favorite mix (I eyeball it – it might be more parts seltzer to 1 part wine)
  • Dessert wine is especially good with seltzer
  • My wine spritzer has just 25% of the calories that regular wine has
  • Wine spritzer is really good for when you can’t figure out what you want to eat – once you have a few sips, your appetite perks right up
  • Try different kinds of wine with different foods
  • Drink wine spritzer while you’re cooking – it makes cooking that much more fun πŸ˜‰

I googled the word “spritz” for fun, and found its etymology. (Etymology = word meaning and history.) You might remember my linguistics blog from last year (I keep meaning to start that up again) – I love words. I love languages. So I am going to tell you about spritz.

Spritz comes from German and it means splash, or sparkling. (Aren’t those beautiful words? Some of my favorites.) Spritz is basically a variation on the wine spritzer that I make and it’s served in Italy (which is one of my favorite places) – it’s made of white wine or Prosecco, a dash of a bitter liqueur, and sparkling mineral water. And garnished with an orange. You can also do it with champagne. Spritz was first made in Venice when it was under Austrian rule. (Because the Austrians drank Spritzer, which was half wine and half seltzer.)

Gespritzter (German) is the past form of the verb spritzen (to squirt). German is so cool. Spritz first appeared in English in 1917, and spritzer in 1961.

Okay I have to stop going on about languages πŸ˜‰ This is why I started that other blog that I need to update! If you want more word origins, check out one of my favorite website, The Online Etymology Dictionary.

Do you drink wine? Wine spritzer? Other alcohol? What is your favorite?

For now I am stuck on wine spritzer. I hate beer, and I’m not really a fan of most hard liquor. So I’m going to keep drinking what I enjoy.

Also – don’t forget to enter my book giveaway!

28 Replies to “Spritzers & Language”

  1. Eh…I don’t like alcohol, except like Kalhua on vanilla ice cream! And sometimes a Madori sour or a very OJ-heavy mimosa.

    At first it was because of the calories…but once I actually tried to drink more again, I realized I just didn’t like the taste, except for the few oddball drinks.

    I’m not a fan of being drunk either…I feel just as happy after a bit of pot, and it doesn’t give me the spins! Not that I’m endorsing MJ…lol…

  2. I don’t drink anymore (mostly to support my husband, who stopped drinking almost 2 years ago now). Occasionally, I’ll have a beer or a glass of wine, but it’s pretty rare. I like a good beer sampler at a restaurant, though I’ve realized I’m never a fan of dark, nutty beers. I think red wine is kind of hard to drink, but white wine goes down a bit too easily (aka, I get drunk really fast).

  3. I’m like mimi, i dont drink alcohol. Plus I have major liver issues (not alcohol related but made a hell of a lot worse if I drink). I only really like wine in my food like coq au vin or risotto. Plus, I’m so tiny that my tolerance is pathetic! I get tips just smelling wine!

  4. I’m not really a wine drinker either. My husband loves it. I’ll drink an occasional white that’s a particular kind, from Germany usually. I’m a beer drinker πŸ™‚ GOOD beer….micro brews. Love trying new kinds! (although your wine spritzer does sound refreshing!)

    1. @Tanya: I never understand beer drinkers! My hubby drinks beer sometimes and I take a sip each time but I just can’t stomach it. Maybe some day I will find a good one.

  5. LOVE IT! You should seriously restart your linguistics blog! There aren’t enough of us out there πŸ˜€

    That’s so funny you mention “sparkle” being a beautiful word. I’m a synesthete, and “sparkle” has always been one of the most colorful words ever to me. “Tropical” and “sprinkle” come to mind as other especially colorful words. I’ve analyzed this at length and I really think it has to have, at least in part, something to do with the series of voiceless plosives in each.
    Is it weird that I’m completely tickled that I can leave that comment and someone will actually know what it means?! Too fun! πŸ˜›

    Wine and clear liquors like rum and vodka are my drinks of choice. :]

    1. @Amber Shea: I have got to intro you to my linguistics friend (we went to high school together and she is in grad school getting a linguistics PhD) – and she is has synesthesia. I love this comment πŸ™‚

  6. I love the idea of a “wine spritzer”! I don’t drink wine all that often because, like you, I prefer to chew my calories, but I like fizzy so I think a wine spritzer would be satisfying and low-cal! Nice job!

  7. Wine + seltzer is a really Argentinean thing to do, everyone does it. I learned from my parents and family members who do it. It’s a good way to enjoy wine without getting tipsy really fast, it’s more refreshing, and it allowed me, like most Latin kids, to start enjoying wine with their families way before legal US drinking age :X I also used to mix it with sprite. In spain they mix it with coke and it’s called calimocho.
    Wine is pretty much the only alcohol I enjoy now, and still very rarely. I like it as a complement to a good meal. Ok, and Sangria is also good on any occasion. I overdid the liquor on far too many occasions in college and have no desire to even smell it anymore.

    Also, fyi, Good Health Restaurant is also byob. My parents loved that, so if you’re ever so incline, they’ll open it for you and everything.

  8. Just checking the comments! I totally forgot to mention I speak two other languages! Hebrew and French! I can even read and write in hebrew (which is damn hard!). I also speak dutch a little cause me dad is Belgian, but its very rusty.

  9. Oh, I lover wine with seltzer! In Germany it is a very common drink (it’s called “Weinschorle”), very refreshing and doesn’t make you drunk at once, so the perfect drink for a long summer evening. πŸ™‚

    I’m also a wine person (just white wine, though, the reds give me headache), and I really good wine I drink pure, of course!

    It delighted me a lot to see you have a picture of a German wine in your post! Rheinhessen is a wine area in south western Germany, just a few miles from where I live! (You see, I live in the right corner of Germany, wine-wise. :D) The vintners grow mainly white grapes there, but a variety of different kinds: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, GewΓΌrztraminer, Silvaner, Chardonnay, Scheurebe, Kerner, MΓΌller-Thurgau …

    Are you a red wine or a white wine drinker? Have you already figured out which grape varieties you like best? (Some wines are made from just one kind of grape, and others are from several kinds of grapes, that’s a bit confusing. And then there are so many different quality labels. Gah. I’ve not an real overview either, I just enjoy trying wine. And you are right, wine and a good talk go very well together!)

    Alcohol is considered as a kind of carb, as far as I know, but it’s metabolized differently and won’t rise blood sugar levels. It rather lowers them. But the body digests the alcohol first, so everything else you’ve eaten takes kind of a backseat. And of course it contains cals. But on the other side, I’ve read that a glass of white wine especially helps with weight maintenance, because it supports food digestion due to the acid it contains. Very confusing …

    Anyway, don’t think too much about it, rather enjoy a good glass of wine! Happy weekend!

    1. @Kath: That’s awesome! I am a white wine person – red gives me a headache. I hope I can go to Germany someday (soon). I took German for a semester in college and loved it. I picked it up very quickly (but I have forgotten most of it… though I do pick up languages really quickly once I start up again).

  10. I ADORE wine, and have no issues with the calories, or the fact that it’s “more like a fat.” Um, just not something I’m going to dwell on–I obsess enough over other aspects of my food intake and exercise regime (mainly the latter these days). Plus, my nutritionist even suggested I have wine with dinner, as it relaxes me. It may not be for everyone, but wine (and the occasional beer or “hard” cocktail) is a big part of my life. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I am overjoyed about it.

      1. So true! I think of it as my “happy grape juice”! πŸ™‚ I am going to try a spritzer concoction myself this week. πŸ™‚

  11. i know what you mean: i enjoy chewing my calories too(it’s so much more satisfying!) but i must admit, i can appreciate a good glass of wine. here in Sydney, there’s never a shortage of wine events and we probably hit a tasting about once a month. if you ever have any questions on Australian vino, please let me know. let’s just say i’ve tried a few πŸ™‚

  12. I used to be totally into wine but have fallen off that lately because I’ve fallen in love with stout (beer?!?!). I never thought it would happen but I love it. When I have wine now, I have no tolerance and get super drunk. I love the idea of lightening it up and turning it into a spritzer. I’m definitely going to try that out πŸ™‚

    1. @Stephanie: That is so interesting! I keep trying to like beer and I just can’t. Definitely let me know if you like the wine spritzer.

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