Wine coolers are making a comeback with a fresher look and better ingredients


At the time, wine coolers were wildly popular, claiming 20 percent of all wine consumed in the US. However, their trajectory didn’t follow that of Willis’s. In 1991, shortly after he’d reprised his role as John McClane for the second Die Hard movie, Congress introduced an excise tax. The law quintupled the tax on wine from 17 cents a gallon to $1.07 per gallon, making blending wine a bad business model. Most brands switched to malt-based cocktails (simply calling them “coolers” as they no longer contained wine), which were cheaper, but a far cry from the original. Eventually, the drink fell so far out of fashion that now when you Google “wine cooler,” the search page is populated with wine refrigerators.

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