Summertime Cocktail Ideas: Beating the Heat with Sangria
When summertime rolls around in Las Vegas, the temperature starts to rise, often hitting 100 degrees F at 9am. It’s hot. Really hot. Too hot to keep drinking red wine all the time, which is why I find myself pouring more and more white wines and rosé. The only way I enjoy I can truly enjoy red wines during the infernal heat wave from June to September is to mix up a big pitcher of sangria.
You probably don’t live in the sun-scorched desert like I do, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy this recipe – sangria can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. More importantly, I have never heard anyone utter the word sangria without the rest of the group getting excited. As as a sommelier and wine lover, what excites me is tweaking my favorite sangria recipe by switching up the type of red I mix in.
Sangria is traditionally red wine blended with brandy and a sweetener like sugar or fruit, and then the whole mess is poured over some ice. In this week’s Wine Craft, I’m exploring how swapping out different red wines in the same sangria recipe completely alters the overall flavor.
Mario Luna’s Sangria Recipes
From dry to sweet to fruity or spicy, there are about a thousand ways to enjoy sangria. Here are six ways to switch up my favorite sangria recipe:
- Pepper and spice – Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2013, $15 BUY ME
- Tart cherry and vanilla – Dacu Tempranillo 2014, $13 BUY ME
- A hint of raspberries and a soft finish – Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014, $39 BUY ME
- Juicy, with plenty of cherry and pepper – Shane “The Villain” Syrah 2012, $33 BUY ME
- Supple mouthfeel and lots of plum – Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot 2013, $24 BUY ME
- Tons of dark fruit and a dry finish – Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $36 BUY ME
What’s your favorite sangria recipe? Share it with us in the comment section below!
Mario Luna is a Certified Sommelier and owner of Mario Luna Somm, a company that produces online wine courses, blogs, and other user-friendly content full of information perfect for the everyday wine drinker. He lives in Las Vegas where, in addition to working on the famous Las Vegas Strip, he serves as a consultant for large-scale wine events, specialty shops, and all kinds of wine tastings. You can contact Mario at his website or check out his courses here.