I’m making Sangria, and I need a red wine. I’ve been hearing this a lot from customers, lately. A few years ago, I tried making Sangria. I used a recipe that called for a Rioja. Rioja is a Spanish wine growing region that makes mostly dry and Earthy red wines. It didn’t turn out well at all. It was funky and tasted like stale grape juice. I am lucky I had this experience.
The Earthiness of red Rioja wines get in the way of the fruitiness and freshness of a Sangria. It will also taste funky if you use an oaky red. Stay away from Cab’s and Merlot’s. Do not go expensive either. Any young, unoaked Spanish Garnacha or blend will work out great. Click the links for recommendations. Below is a foolproof Red Sangria.
2 750ml bottles unoaked or lightly oaked red wine (Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais)
12 oz Simple Syrup
1 large Lemon, sliced
1 large Orange, sliced
1 pint fresh berries
4 oz. Brandy
4 oz. Cointreau
Mix the liquids in a large punch bowl, and add the fruit. Chill at least an hour to let the fruit “marinate.” Serve on the rocks. You can also use any fruits of your choice. If you do not have the time to make Sangria, try the Spanish Real Sangria and add fresh fruits.