Viva Sangria!

Viva Sangria!

Sangria for everyone!

When I lived in Spain about a hundred years ago, we often had huge dinners with other Americans who were living abroad, and what we drank was Sangria. That’s because it’s fun, easy to make, and goes with just about any type of Spanish or Latino cuisine. We’d mix up a few pitchers and use it to wash down paella, mussels, garlic chicken, grilled mushrooms or shrimp, you name it. It’s one of the most festive things you can do with wine, except maybe opening a bottle of Champagne when your team wins the playoffs.

There’s just one hitch

Sangria recipes abound, and there must be thousands of “favorite” ways to put together a jug of this beverage. There are, however, certain basics (for lack of a better word), and the recipe we offer here covers them all. Some people use a bold red wine, others prefer a lighter varietal. Some throw in sparkling water, others think that’s a punishable offense. But we have to start somewhere, so here goes.
Combine a bottle of California red blend wine with the ingredients below. As mentioned above, you can use whatever red you like, but CA red is easy to find, and it’s generally a bit on the sweeter side, which is a good thing.

1 cup of brandy. Don’t use anything like a $300 bottle of Louis XII or anything. Something economical.
1 cup of orange juice
1 sliced orange
1 sliced apple
Red grapes

Pour them all together. Some people like to soak the fruit in the brandy first, but that’s a personal preference. Serve over ice if you want. The traditional way is to pour from a decorated ceramic jug, and use a wooden spoon to keep the fruit from splashing out. Que aproveche!

Jerry Greenfield is The Wine Whisperer, an experienced public speaker and wine educator.

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