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Wine Craft: One Sangria Recipe (6 Ways) Perfect for Summer
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Wine Craft: One Sangria Recipe (6 Ways) Perfect for Summer

by Wine GeoJune 17, 2016

 

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!

 

Cheers!

Mario

Mario LunaMario Luna sommelier 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.

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Before Summer is Over Wine Recommendations
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Before Summer is Over Wine Recommendations

by Wine GeoAugust 15, 2015

Red, White or Rosé – What To Drink Before  Summer is Over

Ah, summer. The days get long. The temperatures get warm. The windows get rolled down and the trees leaf out to provide just the right amount of shade for hammocks. So, what do you do on a lazy summer afternoon? You pack the blanket and snacks, grab a favorite person or two, go find a patio or park, chill with a good bottle of wine and just listen to the wind blow.

But what wine? What are the rules? The pressure. Was it no white wines after labor day? Or, was it no red wines after Memorial Day? Is pink wine just for pansies? All are reasonable questions…except for all of them. There are no rules. If the people are there and the wine is ready, drink it. That said, here are some tips to get you going in the right direction when picking the best summer wine.

Warning: 1970’s wine related pop-culture alert!

How About a Bottle of White

White wine is an easy choice when the mercury rises. Light, chilled, refreshing and perfect for pairing with that emergency brie and baguette you keep in the trunk of your car. You do keep an emergency brie in your car, don’t you? And sure, a buttery Chardonnay is a safe choice, but why not stretch out and go off-dry 2014 Hugel Riesling, Alsace, France – $19, crisp and clean Round Pond 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, or downright cheap and green with a Vinho Verde from Portugal – simply summer in a bottle, busting with citrus and just enough of the lightest effervescence to bring the party Aveleda Vinho Verde, Portugal – $14.

Or, Bottle of Red

For some reason, red wines don’t appeal to many summer sippers as much on warm days. Maybe it’s the serving temperature. Do hot days always call for cold drinks? Maybe it’s the perceived depth and richness of reds more than whites. Don’t be foolish. For centuries, people in the warmest climates have chilled on the porch with a simple glass of Primitivo 2012 Varvaglione Vigne & Vini Primitivo – $19 or Beaujolais 2012 Domaine des Terres Dorées Fleurie Grille Midi Beaujolais – $26. The lighter to medium bodied red wines can be excellent choices to pair with an antipasto plate of summer tomatoes, veggies and bread.

Perhaps a Bottle of Rosé Instead

A lot has been said and written about the recent resurgence in popularity of rosés over the past couple years. One thing’s for sure, nothing says “warm summer day” quite like a good rosé (hey, that rhymes). Grab yourself a loaf of ciabatta, some medium/soft cheeses like Gruyère and Havarti, an apple and couple dates and find yourself a nice spot in a park to pop the cork on some pink. That’s summer. Try the 2014 Cuvaison Vin Gris of Pinot Noir – $22, or something a little more traditional and fabulous from Provence, France with Domaine des Diables 2013 Bonbon Rosé – $29.

If you still can’t decide, then channel your inner Spaniard and make some Sangria – then get a table near the street, in our old familiar place, you and I, face to face. It’s a Billy Joel thing.

Simple Sangria Rosso

Recipe by Greg Masinton

1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (recommended: Spanish Garnacha – Bodegas Borsao from Tres Picos – $15)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup triple sec (or Grand Marnier)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled

Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large container or glass pitcher. Stir to dissolve the sugar, cover and chill completely, 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water, mix well and pour over ice.
Bonus points: Add a cup of frozen red grapes at the end for a sweet alternative to ice.
Salute!