Ahhhh, Sangria! Few things say “Summer” to me like the harmonious marriage of fresh fruit and wine that make up the base of a sublime Sangria. One sip of a really good one and I’m back on the veranda of my flat in sunny Spain.
In the three years I spent living in a small, coastal town in southern Spain, I sampled many a Sangria. My extensive “research” led me to uncover the secret to making it. Grab something to write with and prepare for greatness.
The secret to making a sublime Spanish Sangria….
Keep it simple.
Down the street from my flat in Spain, there was a small Bodega, earthen floors and terracotta walls lined with huge oak barrels. Some held the region’s signature Porto Sherry, others “Vino”. In the summer months local Fishermen would gather at the end of their day as the proprietor cut up whatever fruit he had on hand, mixed it with the vino and poured it out into glasses of all sorts. The cost, about twenty cents a glass. The conversations, priceless.
You see Sangria is anything but pretentious. You don’t need measuring instruments, formulas or a guide of any kind. All you need is; fruit, wine and good company.
Notice I didn’t say “good wine”. I’ll admit that I can be a bit of a wine snob. You’ll never catch me drinking wine that comes in a box. Until recently I’d even turn my nose up at a bottle with no cork. Family tradition isn’t the only reason we make our own wine. Making it, can be far more cost effective than buying wine I’d approve of. Unless we’re talking Sangria. I have only one rule for wine that makes it into my Sangria. It has to be drinkable.
For this post I picked up one of our favorite easy-to-drink wines; Carménère by GatoNegro of San Pedro Chile.
Notice that price tag? It’s rather like hitting the lotto. This wine is FAR better than the price would suggest. Wine Enthusiast even agrees with me on this one.
Next, choose your fruit. When I say “your” that is exactly what I mean. Choose in-season fruits you like. For this recipe I used strawberries, blueberries, grapes and apples. Let your taste be your guide.
Chop your fruit up into bite-sized pieces. Some people like to macerate (the technical for this would be smooshing-up) their fruits. I do that with the grapes and blueberries so that they release their juices.
There are two camps when it comes to Sangria. Fizz and No Fizz. Some take this debate rather seriously. I, being the peacemaker that I am, make my Sangria both ways. If you’re a No Fizz-er, simply add your wine at this point and let it groove with the fruit for an hour or so in the fridge. If you’re game for giving Fizz ago, I have a “secret ingredient” that is sure to make your Sangria the star of the party.
This stuff is bottled BLISS! My family call it “Kid Sangria”. You can find it in the Hispanic isle of almost any grocery. I found this at Sprawl-Mart (aka, Walmart). Basically, it’s a carbonated, non-alcoholic Sangria soda. I add it to red and white Sangria’s alike, right before I serve.
My recipe for the above:
1 medium green apple
1 cup white grapes
1 cup quartered strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 bottle GatoNegro Carménère wine
1 single serve bottles of Sangria Señorial
Cut and macerate fruits. Place into a pitcher, add wine. Chill. Gently stir in Sangria Señorial just before serving. Serve over ice.
Here are some other great Sangria options from around the web (courtesy of my Pinterest board “Bar Wonderful‘)
White Peach Sangria
Apple Cider Sangria
Tropical Sangria (a non-traditional Sangria that includes rum… yum!)