Welcome to Fizz Biz, a summertime column where we’ll be sipping and appraising hard seltzers all season long. Know of any must-try products out there? Email us at email@example.com.
If you’ve never had the pleasure (?) of watching Hallmark Channel movies, the thing to know about them is that they are designed, first and foremost, for bulk production. There is no amount of these films that eager audiences won’t hungrily consume, and if you know any Hallmark Heads (you definitely do), it’s fun to watch them struggle to remember whether they’ve watched certain titles in the catalog already—a testament to the similarities between these high-volume, fill-in-the-blank moneymakers.
In a brilliant bit of portfolio diversification, the Hallmark Channel announced in 2020 that it would begin selling wines under its own label, Hallmark Channel Wines. This was not only a great new way to instill customer loyalty at $14 a bottle, but also, whether intentionally or not, a perfectly timed business decision: in the depths of winter in the midst of a global pandemic, Hallmark now had a block of programming to serve us as we hibernated and a beverage to sell us while we watched.
And this summer, Hallmark has demonstrated that shrewd calculus once more with Cheers Rosé Wine Seltzer, a new hard seltzer product with pitch-perfect Hallmark branding and a flavor profile calibrated for seasonal celebrations. Pink slim can? Check. Two women’s hands clinking glasses at sunset on the box? Check. A surprising amount of alcohol that leaves you in a heightened emotional state while watching A Dash Of Love, Bottled With Love, and Lucky In Love? Check, check, check.
Each can contains 137 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and—brace yourself—8.4% alcohol. That’s almost twice the amount in your standard can of hard seltzer, contained in a smaller 250ml (or 8.4-oz.) can. It is, after all, a wine product; despite the word “seltzer” on the label, you should treat this more like a glass of bubbly.
And yet, Cheers also offers all the very best parts of a good hard seltzer: it’s light, features pronounced fruity notes, and doesn’t linger on your palate. The fizziness is as sharp as a good Topo Chico, and everything about it is pleasantly cohesive, meaning it goes down as easy as, oh, a season of Chesapeake Shores. Each sip carries the intense and unmistakable flavor of wine, but immediately upon swallowing, that flavor gets the hell out of the way. A beverage with all the best parts of sparkling wine and seltzer means you don’t have to choose, just like the Hallmark Channel would never make you choose between a Christmas romance starring Candace Cameron Bure and a Christmas comedy featuring Candace Cameron Bure.
It’s easy to order these for delivery on the Hallmark Channel Wines website, though you have to order a minimum of two 4-packs. Eight cans of Cheers runs you $39 plus $10 flat-rate shipping. That’s pretty steep, although Hallmark is eager to point out (both in its press materials and right on the box) that 8 cans amounts to more than 2.5 bottles of wine, so you’re talking about a roughly $16 bottle. I don’t know if that’s any consolation, or if it’s just further proof that Hallmark has a marketing department full of absolute geniuses. But if you’re both moneyed and curious, I’d say it’s worth the buy.
Cheers, everyone, and may you rosé all day as your tea towels command. Hallmark should make a movie about my feelings for this wine—Love At First Sip, perhaps? Quick, someone call Candace Cameron Bure.