Join me on a trip to Sangriaville on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©, and all things Sangria


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Sangria in Sangriaville

Sangria in Sangriaville

This week’s WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Topic; Sangria.  I would like to wish all of my listeners, readers, followers, and fans a happy 4th of July.  May your celebrations be wonderful and safe.  This week I wanted to share an age old crowd pleaser from around the world that everyone wants to claim to as their national drink.  Who knows for sure but what I can tell you this wine punch is refreshing and approachable for any of your family and friends you have gathered with to celebrate Independence Day.  I’m going to share with you what it is, where it came from, and how it is made.  Join me for a trip to Sangriaville, won’t you?

Sangria is a wine punch that I love because it falls right under the WineGuyMike’s™  rules of order and you may ask what is that, there are “no rules”.  That’s right when it comes to Sangria there are regional, cultural, restaurant, and family influences that incent hostesses and hosts of parties to create their own version of Sangria, whether it’s red or white.

The other thing I like about Sangria is the very definition of this Spanish Punch; Sangría; meaning “bloodletting”.   Okay this stuff sounds dangerous so that means I’m in on this.  All kidding aside this is one of the perennial summertime favorites from around the world, and why not, it’s big on flavor, it quenches your thirst, and it’s a great drink to share with friends at any social gathering.

Spain may lay claim to this drink but upon further research I found that may not exactly be the true story.  A British East India Company traveling in India tasted a drink known as Pac.  This drink that the British discovered had five ingredients that were referred to in its name; Eau de vie, sugar, lemon, water and tea. The British group took this recipe back to the West Indies and the name of the drink evolved into punch.  The French have also laid claim to this drink historically too.

The base of Sangria is a nice table wine that is not expensive.  Typically a wine that is light to medium bodied is what is best to use in Sangria.  In Spain they will use a Tempranillo or a Grenache from the Rioja region, the French will use a Beaujolais or a Gamay, and the Italians will use a Bardolino, Dolcetto, Grignolino , Freisa, or some Lambrusco.

If you prefer a Sangria that is white you might use a Pinot Bianco(Blanc) or possibly a unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Gris(Grigio), or a Sauvignon Blanc will do nicely as well.  In Spain this is known as Sangria Blanca. 

Next comes the fruit which is sliced or chopped; lemons, oranges, apples, peaches, pineapple, melon, berries, or mangos.  Now it’s time to sweeten things up a bit; sugar, simple syrup, honey, or the nectar from the fruit.  At this point you will add Orange Juice and a splash or two of something fortified, I prefer Brandy, or some spirits followed by ice and something carbonated, my suggestion is seltzer water.  If a person were so inclined they could use a dry sparkling wine in place of the seltzer water.

To prepare Sangria you will slice all fruit thinly and place in you large wide mouthed pitcher or punchbowl and add your other ingredients minus ice and anything that may be carbonated.  Then place in the refrigerator for the day so all the flavors will meld together.  Now before serving you will add the ice and carbonated beverages.

This drink is served in the summertime in most Latin American countries, Italy, and America.  But you can bet where it’s hot even in the wintertime they’re drinking Sangria.  Here are some great Sangria recipes for you to try.

*I would recommend a pitcher with a strainer for the top as it makes the drink easier to pour with the fruit in it.

Here are some of WineGuyMike’s™ favorite Sangria recipes and wines that I recommend to make your Sangria with.

2009 Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay

2009 Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay

2009 Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay

The Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay is so named because it never comes in contact with any oak. Wine lovers have expressed a shared interest in getting back to what Chardonnay used to be: Clean, crisp, layered, refreshing fruit, a hint of summer, with none of the overbearing heaviness of oak.  If the taste of buttered popcorn is what you crave, you’d do better finding it at the movies than in a bottle of wine.

By taking grapes from excellent vineyards on California’s Central Coast, gently pressing them and fermenting them in stainless steel tanks, Layer Cake produces a wine with the characteristics of some of the greatest white wines including fresh fruit and floral aromas, crisp and refreshing on the palate, plus a long lingering finish.  All of this can be achieved best by not mauling the wine with oak contact.

Layer Cakes Monterey vineyards border the Santa Lucia Highlands.  Shallow granitic soils lend mineral characters and beautiful citrus blossom aromas to the wine.  Cooling winds fill in from Monterey Bay each afternoon, preserving crisp acidity and delicate aromatics.  This is a must drink Chardonnay, Jayson Woodbridge hits yet another grand slam with this “Virgin Chardonnay”.  Extreme value in this wine and Layer Cake wines are now sold at Costco.

Steele Pinot Blanc 2009

Steele Pinot Blanc 2009

2009 Steele Pinot Blanc

As Jed started seeking alternatives to Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc emerged as a personal favorite. This grape is the colorless expression of the red Pinot Noir grape.  The Pinot family have very unstable genetics and the result are the many clones of Pinot Noir, the dusky colored white grape called Pinot Gris and this grape the Pinot Blanc.  Santa Barbara, with its maritime desert climate provides just the right combination of tropical and apple notes, while preserving a crisp acidity that makes it a refreshing food wine.  The grapes are sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyard outside of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County.  The vines are mature (10+ years) but not old. The vineyard block is one of the westernmost on the property, adjacent to fields of strawberries, cauliflower, and bell peppers.  This end of the vineyard is a little lower in elevation, and most exposed to both fog and coastal breezes.  The fruit is harvested in late September or early October, depending on the year.  Yields rarely exceed three tons per acre. The soil is sandy loam, over a layer of ancient sea bed, filled with shells and fossils.

 Tropical fruit aromas and flavors, as well as peach and melon characteristics and we also find the hallmark green apple character common in Pinot Blanc.  The nose is aromatic with a soft and creamy mid-palate.  Jed ferments his Pinot Blanc in neutral oak barrels, so there is great weight and mouthfeel but the wine is not over oaked.  

2008 Desert Wind Ruah

2008 Desert Wind Ruah

 2008 Desert Wind Ruah

 This wine is crafted from fruit grown on Eastern Washington’s Wahluke Slope, the Desert Wind Ruah is an affirmation of the area’s viticultural prowess.  Their full bodied, Bordeaux-inspired blend is enveloped in a lush core of concentrated blackberry fruit with a hint of anise on the palate.  The wine has hints of toasted oak and spice and a rich garnet color, which is complemented by soft, velvety tannins and a lingering finish.   This wine offers great value and can be found at Costco for under $15.00.

14 Hands Merlot

14 Hands Merlot

 14 Hands Merlot

 The grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards throughout Washington state, including the Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley and the Wahluke Slope.  The fruit is gently de-stemmed, crushed and then allowed to soak in its cool juice to maximize flavor extraction.  The wine was aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels for 12 months.  Barrels ranged in age from new to 4 years old.  All varieties were vinified and aged separately.  Blending occurred near bottling to enhance mouth-feel and complexity.

 “14 Hands Merlot offers classic Washington aromas of blackberries and black cherries.  Expressive flavors of dark stone fruits are joined by subtle notes of cocoa and toast. While soft and approachable, this wine maintains a sturdy frame of tannins.” A classic Washington State Merlot dominated by notes of blackberries with nuanced hints of cherries and spices to add complexity and depth. Luscious and velvety on the tongue, a very sensual wine.

 Lemon Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • 2 Lemons, sliced
  • 6 oz Lemon Juice
  • 4 oz Cognac
  • 1 liter seltzer water
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine

Directions:

Cut lemons into slices and add to the mixture of wine, 7 up and Cognac and sugar.

Peach Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle white Wine
  • 3 ounces Brandy
  • 2 ounces Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup or to taste
  • 3 oz peach puree
  • Fresh sliced peaches or berries for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients but garnish and chill overnight or at least 8 hours.

Raspberry Mango Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bottle Spanish Red Wine
  • 1 Mango, sliced
  • 2 cups of fresh raspberries (or thawed frozen)
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 3 oz brandy
  • 2 tbsp of suberfine sugar if desired
  • 1 Can club soda

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or pitcher except for the club soda. Let sit in refrigerator over night or at least 8 hours.

Add club soda just before serving.

Classic Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
  • 1 bottle spanish red wine
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup chilled seltzer water

Directions:

Wash and slice fruit. Dissolve sugar in cognac and orange luqueur. Add sugar, cognac and orange liqueur and fruit to a pither or punch bowl. Pour in wine. Stir to mix in fruit.

Add seltzer just before serving and add ice cubes if desired.

White Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle fruity white wine (avoid an oaky white)
  • 1 pear
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar ta
  • 1 cup club soda or ginger ale

Directions:

Dissolve sugar in wine and add grand marinier. Wash and thinly slice the fruit. Add to wine. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours at least. 

Add club soda or ginger ale just before serving.

Sangria de Cava

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)
  • 1 cup orange juice (
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 6 not cinnamon sticks
  • crushed ice
  • mint leaves

Directions:

Put sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved (simmer about 5 minutes).

Let mixture cool and remove cinnamon sticks

Slice fruit and prepare orange juice. Combine all ingredients except for ice and mint, and let chill several hours.

Garnish with mint and serve with ice.

Lambrusco Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 Peach, slived
  • 1 plum, slived
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 bottles of Lambrusco — frizzante red Italian wine
  • 1/2 cup of brandy or fruit schnapps

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or bowl with ice and serve.

From My Table to Yours™, have a great 4th of July and I hope you enjoy these wonderful Sangria delights!

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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