History of Wine with Soda

Far from ceremonies and fundamentalisms, cultural rituals and customs will always remain from generation to generation. If you ask an Argentine about wine with soda, they will surely refer to their father or grandfather, and the memory of the table with a jug of wine and the siphon next to it to “cut it”, and surely they will continue with this way of drinking wine to refresh and quench their thirst.

Undoubtedly, the history of wine and soda has a lot to tell since in the 1930s, practically 100 years after the invention of the siphon (1832 by M. Savaresse), it began to be seen how in bars and homes a good amount of soda was added to lower the alcoholic content of the wine and obtain a more refreshing drink. Wine with soda quenches thirst.

Wine spritzer: A refreshing blend of wine and soda

Wine spritzer: A refreshing blend of wine and soda

Soda (carbonated water)

To study this Argentine cultural classic, we must go back to the creation of carbonated water, which is commonly attributed to British chemist Joseph Priestley, who in 1767 discovered that when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, it produces a bubbly and refreshing drink.

After several years, in 1832, Frenchman Jean François Savaresse patented the invention of the soda siphon (carbonated water). A tube-shaped container that contains carbonated water inside. Therefore, since it is pressurized, it was usually placed in a metal cover as protection against a possible explosion. Thus, the siphon is equipped with a valve for its opening that communicates the vertical tube that descends to the bottom with the exterior outlet.

Focusing on Argentina, the consumption of soda began to rise around 1860 when the first soda factory was founded: Domingo Marticorena. At first, siphons were sold in small stores, and later home delivery began.

100 years later, in 1965, César Drago created a table siphon that could be refilled.

Wine with soda

Wine with soda is a refreshing drink that combines wine and carbonated water or soda. The practice of diluting wine with water dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was common to dilute wine with water to reduce its strength and make it easier to drink. However, the addition of soda or carbonated water is more recent.

Bubbles meet grapes - a match made in refreshment heaven

Bubbles meet grapes – a match made in refreshment heaven

Wine with soda became popular in the 1920s in France, where it was known as “vin mousseux” or “vin blanc cassis”, and was served as an aperitif in trendy cafes and restaurants. The drink became even more popular in the 1950s when it was introduced in the United States as a “spritzer” and became a popular drink in bars and restaurants.

Today, wine with soda is consumed worldwide, and there are many variations in its preparation and presentation. Some wine with soda is made by mixing white or rosé wine with carbonated water or soda, while others are made with red wine and mixed with fruit juice or soda to create a fruity and refreshing drink. Wine with soda is a popular option for those looking for a lighter and more refreshing drink than wine alone.

Particularly in Argentina, when talking about wine with soda, we refer to the addition of carbonated water served from a siphon to the wine that is already in the glass or cup. It was very common to see a jug of wine and a siphon on the table. A custom of several generations that “scared” the wine with a splash of soda to make it easier to drink since it refreshes and lowers the alcohol content.

Also read: The Unlikely Story of White Zinfandel

Snobbery and fashion

For the past 15 to 20 years, the communication surrounding wine has taken a turn. Marketing campaigns have attempted to position wine as a classy drink that should have its own ritual for consumption. As a result, the youth have turned more to beer than wine, decreasing the per capita consumption level. Fortunately, this trend is changing, and from various channels, the focus has returned to the importance for the industry to bring more people to the consumption of wine. Campaigns like “Drink it however you like” have focused on the consumption of wine with soda to refresh and quench thirst. As journalist Joaquín Hidalgo recounts, on the other hand, soda is experiencing a new surge. It’s not that it is now on a path to distinction, but with 54 liters per capita of consumption, it is clearly a product as consumed as beer.

Wine and soda - a trendy and stylish blend that elevates your sipping experience

Wine and soda – a trendy and stylish blend that elevates your sipping experience

Now, the old tradition of drinking wine with soda can regain its shine. The issue is that not all wines work well with soda. The style must be soft, without tannins, and with moderate freshness. Otherwise, the bubbles will enhance the harshness of the tannin, even more so if the soda is cold. And here is where the magic of popular consumption never fails: all the wines of the historic brands, belong to this style of reds. In them, soda works miracles, turning them into a refreshing drink.

Claudio Maza, a wine expert from the Cafayate Valley, suggests that “as a winemaker, one advises to drink certain wines in a certain way to find their best attributes. And logically, if you add ice or soda, those attributes will be diluted.”At the same time, he reiterates that he doesn’t want to make a historical and widely spread custom, such as adding a bit of soda or ice to wine, cool. But he doesn’t renounce traditions either: “I’m not interested in making it a trend. It’s something that happens at Argentinean tables, and that’s fine. Because if someone doesn’t get pleasure from wine, they’ll surely move away and look for that in other drinks.”

If you’ve never tried this combination, I recommend it. A wide-mouthed glass, 2 ice cubes, 70% red wine, and 30% soda (sparkling water).


Want to read more? Try these books!

The Soda Maker Flavor Bible Cookbook- Tasty and Unique Homemade Flavor Syrup Recipes for Sodastream Carbonation Machines Homemade Soda- 200 Recipes for Making & Using Fruit Sodas & Fizzy Juices, Sparkling Waters, Root Beers & Cola Brews, Herbal & Healing Waters...


Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesBy Published On: August 1, 2023Last Updated: February 29, 2024

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