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Toad Hollow Vineyards’ Risqué Sparkling Wine


Odd Little Grape Variety Makes a Great Sparkler for Spring & Summer Cocktails!

BackLabelToad Hollow Vineyards’ Risqué is a non-vintage, crisp and fruity French sparkling wine with low alcohol (6 percent) and a delicate sweetness. It is made from 100 percent Mauzac, a grape mainly grown in Gaillac and Limoux in southern France. The taste is pears and apples, with nice acidity and a touch of residual sugar. A runaway favorite at Toad Hollow’s tasting room located in Healdsburg, California, Risqué is also available nationally and is priced around $15.99 per bottle. 

Two US restaurant barkeeps created cocktails in honor of Toad Hollow owner Frankie Williams.

Bess Bistro in Austin, Texas, serves Risqué as the restaurant’s namesake cocktail:


  • Crushed ice
  • 5 oz. Toad Hollow Risqué
  • 1 quarter lime
  • Lime slice

Put ice in a glass, pour Risqué over ice, squeeze lime and stir. Garnish with lime slice and serve.

V Seagrove in Seagrove Beach, Florida gives a nod to Frankie Williams with this refresher:


  • 1 ¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz. strawberry purée or any seasonal purée
  • 3 oz. Toad Hollow Risqué
  • Rosemary sprig

Combine elderflower liqueur and purée in a shaker. Shake well and pour into a martini glass. Top with Risqué and garnish with sprig of rosemary.

Risqué is made by the méthode ancestrale, which results in a lightly sparkling, medium-sweet wine. The rarely used method involves bottling young wines before all the residual sugar has been fermented into alcohol. Fermentation continues in the bottle and gives off carbon dioxide. The wine is sweeter and less fizzy than sparkling wine made using the Champagne method, and no dosage is allowed. The méthode ancestrale is still used in parts of France, such as in Gaillac and Limoux.

Drink Risqué by the glass with Brie and candied nuts to celebrate the end of the week or take advantage of how it lends itself to a number of cocktail ideas. The following recipes will sparkle for spring & summer brunch, a landmark birthday, or a seductive surprise for a loved one.

Frankie and staff decided to craft their own refreshing and celebratory cocktail recipes to share with visitors:


  • Rosemary sprigs
  • 1 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 4 oz. Toad Hollow Risqué
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Pomegranate seeds

Muddle rosemary sprig with pomegranate juice. Strain juice into a Champagne glass. Top with Risqué and spritz of lime. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and sprig of rosemary.


  • ½ oz. simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 8 to 10 mint leaves
  • Dash bitters
  • 4 oz. Toad Hollow Risqué
  • Crushed ice
  • Lemon wheel

Muddle syrup, mint and bitters in a double old-fashioned glass. Top with Risqué. Fill with crushed ice. Garnish with mint and lemon wheel.


  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. white sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Allow to cool. Makes 1 c. Keep refrigerated in a glass jar for up to one month.

Founded in 1995, Toad Hollow is located in Healdsburg, CA, and is recognized for style, authenticity and fun. 2015 celebrates over 2 decades of sourcing and crafting a portfolio of uniquely consumer friendly wines. Frankie Williams’s proprietor.

For more information go to:  www.toadhollow.com

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