The hard seltzer market has exploded over the past couple of years, and everyone wants a piece of the action. Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay, fast food chain Sonic Drive-In, and Warheads sour candies are just a few of the names you might not expect to be tied to hard seltzer brands but have taken the plunge. So don't act shocked when you hear the latest hard seltzer purveyor: The Hallmark Channel.
At first blush, Hallmark Channel Cheers Rosé Seltzer might seem out of the blue. But arriving at the 8.4 percent ABV, ready-to-drink cans of wine-based seltzer only requires a small plot twist. The story begins last summer: The Hallmark Channel teamed up with Wines That Rock—which beyond their signature music-branded wines has also worked with everyone from Star Trek to NPR—to launch "a new way for people to enjoy the network's signature holiday original movies." Drinking wine while watching cheesy cable Christmas movies: It's a perfect fit.
However, tying your wine brand to Christmas flicks leaves a lot of months in the year unaccounted for. So enter Cheers Rosé Seltzer—billed as "a deliciously sweet, rosé wine seltzer [that] is easy to enjoy anywhere, from picnics, to the beach to backyard barbeques" (or to put it another way, anytime other than Christmas… and maybe also Christmas).
"If you like rosé wine, sparkling wine or hard seltzer, then you will absolutely love Cheers," Andrew Nelson, Hallmark Channel Wines winemaker, said in the announcement. "The new Cheers Rosé is a unique seltzer because it's wine based. We have been working on this formula for years and believe it's the perfect beverage for spring and all summer long—it's the best seltzer you will have all year!"
Whereas most hard seltzers on the U.S. market are brewed from cane sugar, Hallmark Channel Wines says its wine seltzer begins life as California sparkling wine grapes, and then seltzer "is immediately added before canning to create a superior sparkling profile, with champagne-style bubbles." The results offer "layers of crisp acidity [and] a delicious custom blend of refreshing citrus and light strawberry notes."
Hallmark Channel Cheers Rosé Seltzer is launching today in four-packs of 250-milliliter cans and can currently be purchased exclusively at hallmarkchannelwines.com for $16 each—though a retail launch is said to be coming in the future.