The New York Times reports on a new trend in teen drinking across the pond: Young Brits have recently been consuming a kind of caffeinated wine called “Buckie” with wild abandon. The drink has become so popular that the Scottish Parliament is considering banning it to keep it out of their country.

Well well well. It appears the Brits have once again stolen an idea from me. This time, the intellectual property of which I have been robbed is: caffeinated wine. They’re even calling it the wrong thing. Buckie? That’s not what it’s called.

It’s called Wine Surprise!

If you like wine and you also like being so excited you shake, Wine Surprise is the alcoholic beverage for you–this summer and always. And you do not have to go abroad to procure it. My friend, if you’re like me, the ingredients for Wine Surprise are sitting in your refrigerator right now.

Wine Surprise Recipe


  • one bottle Pinot Grigio
  • one 20 oz can Red Bull® (or Red Bull® Sugarfree, if you’re watching your waistline)


  1. Fill wine glass 2/3 full with Pinot Grigio
  2. Top up with Red Bull®
  3. Take a sip.


The surprise is that you love it. The surprise is that, thanks to artificial food coloring, you can’t even visually tell that the Red Bull® is in there. Offer a sip to your friend. Surprise again! Drink a few more glasses and then look at yourself in the mirror. Surprise: you’re still awake and great at dancing.

If you think this sounds crazy, rest assured that Wine Surprise is not something I just came up with in the shower this morning. Wine Surprise is a time-honored tradition that dates back nigh one half-decade ago, when I, as the duly elected social chair of my sorority, was trying to determine what beverage to serve at a study group.

“Why not a wine...surprise?” asked another—frankly brilliant—member of the organization. She suggested that if we mixed wine with Monster Energy® drink, we could really get this academic gathering lit.

Legally, I can’t remember if we actually did that or not, but I have since perfected and enjoyed the Wine Surprise recipe for the benefit of all.

My first step in polishing the raw recipe that would one day be transformed into Wine Surprise: replacing the Monster Energy® with Red Bull®. Did you know that Monster has a flavor that’s literally called “Assault”? I’m fine, actually! I’ll thank you to dump your “Assault” right down the drain.

Then, by classic trial and error over the years, I discovered that Pinot Grigio blends best with the Red Bull®. Vinho Verde or Sauvignon Blanc will work in a pinch. Do not use Chardonnay. I find that two parts wine to one part Red Bull® works best, but of course you can adjust those measurements to your taste.

Why not try it right now?

If you’re hesitant, it may soothe you to know that French Benedictine monks have actually been consuming caffeinated wine for over a century, as a tonic. (Surprise!) In the 1890s, the monks settled in Britain’s Buckfast Abbey and began peddling the drink with these simple directions: “Three small glasses a day, for good health and lively blood.”

Now that you are soothed, drink some Wine Surprise to perk right up. Go ahead and top off your vino with a little Red Bull®—as the monks instructed us.

You might even say that Jesus turning water into wine was the original surprise.

Enjoy your weekend.

Image by Jim Cooke. Contact the author at