Another wine and Sprite joke? Put a cork in it

– By Jim Boyce 

Question: Is it true that people in China mix wine with Sprite?

Answer: Yes.

I have witnessed hundreds of people indulge in this practice that raises the wrath of the wine-loving world. Ironically, most imbibers are foreigners and the smoking gun, so to speak, is none other than… the Champagne cocktail.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Frankly, I have not witnessed Chinese mix Sprite with an ’82 Latour or any other such vintage wine though I am sure this and other vinological atrocities have occurred. (And they make for good copy, as Business Week , The New York Times, Decanter and other media show.) It more likely happens with cheap local wine, the labels most foreigners wouldn’t even stoop to use for the Sangria they brew here. (Aha! Mixing wine and fruit, are we?).

People worldwide mix wine with plenty of things. It’s a pity if vintage wine is despoiled, but when it comes to most local grog, a dash of bubbly (variety: soda) doesn’t hurt. Just something to mull over while enjoying a perfectly good cup of Chinese tea… mixed with sugar and milk.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the comment, JD.

    It seems more common with the cheaper plonk. Re Metro, I’ve heard stories of other similar promotions. You really can’t blame the consumer and, as you noted, some of the local wines probably do taste better with some soda.

    Cheers, Jim

  2. I’ve seen Chinese people mix coke with red wine and then add ice. To be fair it was some cheap bottle of plonk and the coke probably made it taste better. Although I’ve not seen it very often, it has happened. It’s also been promoted in the past by – of all places – Metro, who had Dynasty red wine on sale with a can of coke taped to the side, so what are the Chinese supposed to think. This was a few years ago now and hopefully we won’t see that again.

    Love the website, just added you to my Google Reader.

    JD, from Nanjing.

  3. @ Dan,

    I agree.

    It would be a shame if excellent wines were being mixed with Sprite, but like you, I just haven’t seen it happen. But a few weeks ago in Beijing I did see two people (both foreigners) mix 30-year-old Scotch and Sprite. Of course, they are free to drink what they like, but why not use entry-level Scotch for such a mix and save the good stuff for sipping?

    Cheers, Boyce

  4. (I have been living in Beijing for 7 years, almost of which in the wine biz)

    Amen!

    Thank you for writing this article pointing out the hypocrisy! I am sooooooooo tired of the “sprite in Lafite” story, and never once have seen it happen, or met a person who has seen it happen themselves. Even if I did, the story still does not make any sense…

    On a trip to France with several of my Chinese co-workers, we were treated to dinner at one of the best restaurants in Montpellier, where they were all shocked to be given, as an aperitif, champagne mixed with crème de cassis (aka Kir Royale)! They could not believe how ignorant the people must be to mix Champagne with such things!

    So until everyone else stops drinking Gluvine, Sangria, Kir Royal, Mimosa, and so on, let’s stop feeding this “wine and sprite” story!

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