Summertime is for Sangria

There’s no question that summer is sangria season. Whether you prefer red, or white, or both, we have you covered.

If you’re inclined toward pre-made sangria, we have plenty of options for you. We carry established brands like Real and Yago, as well as newer entrants in the category like Capriccio, Mija, and Senor Sangria. Even though these brands are designed just to be chilled and enjoyed, there’s no rule that says you can’t add anything you’d like, to make it a bit more interesting.

Personally, I’d rather make my own sangria. It doesn’t take much planning or time, and I can change the recipe at any time, to keep it interesting. The starting point, of course, is a really good and affordable base wine. My go-to is the Protocolo Tinto.

Protocolo Tinto meets the price criteria, at $6.99/750ml bottle. The quality is also there, as the wine earned 90 points from James Suckling. His notes: “This pure tempranillo shows plenty of crushed berry and chocolate character. Medium body. Light tannins, yet firm and tight. Shows depth. Amazing value.” The wine is 100% Tempranillo, and it’s aged in stainless steel.

Of course, what the wine tastes like seals the deal for me. It’s very fruit-forward, with just a touch of spice. Notes of raspberry and vanilla are found on the finish. Yes, you certainly have to sample the wine before you make the sangria.

My recipe follows. If you can, make it about a day in advance, to give the ingredients time to integrate more fully.

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle Protocolo Tinto, 750ml

1 cup orange juice

½ cup brandy

¼ cu granulated sugar

1 orange, sliced

1 apple, sliced

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries, sliced

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix together the three liquids, plus the sugar, in a large pitcher

2. Slowly add the fruit

3. Chill and serve

OPTIONS

Add other berry fruits, like blackberries or raspberries

Muddle some of the fruit in the pitcher before adding the liquids

Replace the sugar with agave nectar or simple syrup

Add 10-12oz seltzer or tonic water

Enjoy!

—Steve Wernick, Wine Manager

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