Apéritif Wine & How Haus Apéritifs Are Different

Posted by Helena Hambrecht on

What is an apéritif? What is an apéritif wine? Are they fancy types of wine that only rich people can drink?


Well, no, not exactly. Apérifs are a style of drink, and apéritif wines aren’t always expensive but can make you feel fancy. 


Most importantly, they taste delicious without necessarily making you feel sick afterward. 


Apértifs are popular in Europe but are now making their way into Americans’ hearts. Let’s learn more about them and why you might want to add a few to your shelf. 


What Is an Apéritif? 

An apéritif is a style of alcoholic beverage that is meant to be drunk before a meal. Why before a meal? 


Apéritifs have ingredients that are meant to enhance the senses, entice hunger, and therefore have people enjoy their food even more. 


That doesn’t mean apéritifs can only be drunk then. In fact, it’s often drunk whenever people want, no matter the time of day. They also tend to show up in cocktails, which adds to their versatility even further. 


What Is an Apértif Wine?

Apéritif wines are mostly fortified wines. Fortified wine is a wine with a distilled spirit of some kind added to it, making it stronger. For the most part, it’s a grape spirit like cognac or brandy.


It can come in both white and red (and everything in between), though the fortification for each type is different. 


Fortified wines can vary from sweet to dry and have a variety of styles depending on their place of origin. They have an alcohol by volume (ABV) level between 15 to 22 percent. 


Different Types of Apéritif Wine

People like to drink these types of wine straight and use them as ingredients in mixed drinks. There are different types of apéritf style wines.


  • Sherry: Sherry wines are white wines from Southern Spain. There are several different styles of this wine, and it’s often used for sipping or cooking. 
  • Madeira: This wine comes from the Madeira Islands in Portugal. It’s different from other fortified wines because of its special heating and aging process. It comes in both red and white.
  • Dry Champagne or Sparkling Wine: This is probably the apéritif you’re the most familiar with. They can range from sweet to dry. 
  • Marsala: This red or white wine can only come from Sicily to be considered a Marsala wine. It has a rich and nutty taste and can be both an apéritif and digestif. 
  • Vermouth: One of the more herbal wines on this list, vermouth comes in both red and white. Red vermouth is fruity and sweet, and white vermouth is bitter and dry. 

What Is ABV, and What Does It Mean?

You hear a lot about alcohol by volume — or ABV — when people discuss apértifs. This is because apértifs tend to have a lower level of alcohol content. ABV measures the amount of alcohol in any sort of alcoholic beverage.


But what does ABV actually mean when it comes to wine or apéritif bottles? Beer makes it a little easier to understand because the singular can or bottle has a certain amount of alcohol in it. How does ABV work when you get multiple glasses within a wine or apéritif bottle?


The ABV relates to serving size in that the higher the ABV, the smaller the serving size will be. For example, while a beer with a 5% ABV might have a 12-ounce serving size, a serving size of Madeira is usually around three ounces since it has an ABV of 18-20%. 


Fortified wine can have ABV levels anywhere between 16 and 24 percent. 


The Rise of Health Conscious Drinking

The world of drinking is changing fast. People want so much more than just to get drunk; they want to enjoy the drinking. They want to enjoy the social aspects of drinking without the negative consequences. 


So what does this mean for the alcohol industry? It means it’s time to adapt. 


A curious aspect of this change is the adoption of European sensibilities when it comes to drinking. What do we mean by that? 


In many parts of Europe, drinking is done slowly and enjoyed over a period of time. People focus on flavors instead of getting drunk, and cocktails are huge. Apértifs are particularly popular because they give you the opportunity to really slow down and experience a wide range of flavors. 


How Haus Is Different From All the Rest

Well, first of all, we’re not a fortified wine. Second of all, we designed our apéritifs with social sipping in mind. We don’t like hangovers either.


In all seriousness, the biggest difference between our apértifs and others is transparency — and we’re not talking about the alcohol being see-through. 


Unlike many other vendors of alcohol, we are completely transparent about what goes into our drinks. We understand that people want to know what they’re about to ingest. 


By looking at our apéritif store page, you’ll see the ingredients, the nutritional facts, and even where some of the ingredients come from — some of which come from farmers we know personally! 


Our apértifis are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of casein, making them vegan. 


We are also unique because we have a big focus on sustainability. The production of our products is powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy. We care about forest conservation, so we source our materials responsibly. 


Our boxes are made of 90 percent recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable in and of themselves. Of course, our bottles are recyclable as well. We also suggest repurposing them for flowers, candles, or any kind of syrup holder, because they’re beautifully designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. 


Haus’s Range of Apéritifs 

When it comes to our apéritifs, we offer a wide range of styles and flavors. If all these sound good, we also have a sampler kit that offers four 200 hundred milliliter bottles of our apértifs of your choosing.


Rose Rosé

Sometimes, you just want a taste of summer. That’s when you should try our Rose Rosé! The top ingredients are strawberries, raspberries, and dried wild roses.


It has an ABV of 18 percent and has 36 calories.


Our complete list of ingredients:


  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Dried cherry
  • Dried wild rose
  • Vanilla
  • Dried Makrut lime leaf
  • Dried lychee fruit
  • Pure organic cane sugar
  • Chardonnay grapes
  • Grape brandy

New Fashioned

This apéritif is spicy and smooth and will make you feel warm and cozy. It can be drunk on its own or with other ingredients in mixed drinks. Top flavor notes include Saigon cinnamon, ginger, and clove.


It has an ABV of 18 percent and has 36.6 calories.


Complete list of ingredients:


  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Saigon cinnamon
  • Gentian root
  • Cinchona bark
  • Hibiscus
  • Angelica root
  • Orange peel
  • Cardamom seed
  • Bay leaf
  • Jasmine pearl tea
  • Dried Banana
  • Pure organic cane sugar 
  • Chardonnay grapes
  • Grape brandy

Pomegranate Rosemary

In classic apéritif style, this bottle is full to the brim with fruit and herbs. It’s great for an evening in or with a group of friends on a sunny afternoon. Its top flavors are pomegranate, rosemary, and wild juniper berries.


It has an ABV level of 18 percent and has 37.9 calories.


Full list of ingredients:


  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Rosemary
  • Raspberry
  • Juniper
  • Orange peel
  • Berry Meritage tea
  • Aronia berries
  • Bay leaf
  • Rooibos tea
  • Pure organic cane sugar
  • Grape brandy 
  • Chardonnay grapes

Spiced Cherry

If you like sweet fruits, then this is the apéritif for you! It features cherries and cocoa nibs making it tart and sweet at the same time. 


It has an ABV level of 20 percent and has 35.5 calories.


Full list of ingredients


  • Dried cherry
  • Cherry bark
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Anise seed
  • Coriander seed
  • Ginger tea
  • Orange peel
  • Tellicherry pepper
  • Orris root
  • Gentian root
  • Pure organic cane sugar
  • Grape brandy
  • Chardonnay grapes

Ginger Yuzu

This apéritif is a natural, tea-like drink. It features ginger, yuzu, and two different types of tea. If you’re looking for an herbal drink that you can have on its own or in a mixed drink, look no further. 


It has an ABV level of 18 percent and has 37 calories.


Complete list of ingredients:


  • Ginger
  • Yuzu
  • Lemongrass
  • Orange peel
  • Dried cherries
  • Rooibos tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Pure organic cane sugar
  • Chardonnay grapes
  • Grape brandy 

Time To Raise a Glass

You’ve certainly earned it after learning all about apéritifs in general, fortified wines, and the beautiful apéritifs you can find at Haus. So grab a glass and try out your favorite! 


As a reminder, apéritifs started as a before-dinner drink but now are an all-day affair. They come in a variety of styles, and you can sip on them as is or enjoy them mixed into a cocktail. 



Sources:


What Is Fortified Wine? Types, Benefits, and Downsides | Healthline


How to Estimate the Alcohol Content of Your Cocktails | The Spruce Eats


Millennials Are Sick of Drinking | The Atlantic