If you have only recently become a wine lover then you might be tempted to make sangria at home. But “seniors” also love to experiment with this cocktail. This is because of several reasons, so let’s talk about the major ones.
First of all, sangria has an insane amount of variety. You can make it so that it fits your taste perfectly, so even if you’re not that big of a wine fan, you still might get a kick out of it. All the taste combinations can easily pull someone into the world of mixing. Especially if it includes wine.
Secondly: it’s wine. The whole process of making sangria is about learning about the aromas that go together with the alcohol, the bitterness and you can discover things you wouldn’t have even thought about before.
Mixing is an art. Want to be an artist?
What is Sangria?
Let’s look at what this drink actually is. The first step to knowing what kind of wine you need is to know what you are making.
A basic sangria starts with wine. It’s usually young and has a very fruity taste because that’s what works well with the other ingredients. This actually depends on the season, but since we’re at the start of Fall, we will talk about this season’s contents.
But generally, the rests are orchard and citrus fruits plus another spirit.
In the fall you will likely be using apples, oranges, pomegranates, plums and maybe cherries. These are all fruits that complement this season’s tastes and they are also easier to find in the fall.
After that people usually add white sherry or triple sec. But a small minority even uses champagne as an extra way to dilute in this case.
What Red Wines Can Go In Sangria?
These are better choices than white, as their taste is usually a much better fit for a sweet sangria. We specifically selected these wines because of their fruity flavor, so if you want a flavor blast, then these are the way to go.
This wine is originally from Spain, but the type of grapes used to make it are now much more common in France. They were specifically grown to make fruity wine which has a pretty good amount of alcohol in them but can still remain sweet.
The best tastes you can choose are black cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. These are all potent enough for sangria, but sometimes even the citrus rind flavored one can do the job.
It also has a very light color, so it can make a spectacular cocktail ingredient. Especially because you wouldn’t guess that it’s so high in alcohol. On average, it has about 13-15% alcohol content. So this is a great choice for those who want a sweet drink that’s strong.
Another great thing is that they aren’t even that expensive. Not at all, actually, if you don’t buy a high-end variation. A bottle usually costs around $15.
Zinfandel (Otherwise Known as Primitivo)
Don’t let this one fool you, they come in both red and white (more like pink) and their taste is very different. So if you see two bottles with the same label and you can’t differentiate pick the one which has a darker color.
This wine originates from Italy, but nowadays its’ grapes are grown in California more often than in Europe. It is just about what you would imagine as the perfect wine at first sight.
It has a lighter body than most red wines, but a deeper and darker red color. It’s almost mesmerizing to look at. These are the reasons why many people say that it can be a great introduction to wines. Always good to start with the best.
Thankfully, this one isn’t as deceiving as the last wine, as the alcohol content is just about what you would expect. 14-17%.
But the tastes are even better. You can find it in raspberry, blackberry, cherry and plum flavor. The two latter can make for an amazing fall sangria base as they are already going with the season’s flow. You can barely feel the alcohol among these spectacular aromas.
An average bottle would cost you about $20. For such a good base, it’s pretty cheap.
Campo Viejo Tempranillo
This wine has deep roots that lead you right back to Italy. It’s just about what you would expect from a European wine that was continuously being molded to perfection.
It has a light body, but an intense dark red color. Yes, it might even look intimidating at first. But once you prepare yourself to try a glass you will never be able to put it down. It’s not a bad thing though.
The aroma of it is quite interesting as well. It’s originally made from ripe red fruit and later on, the wood nuances are added. This creates a taste that will catch you by surprise, as it’s insanely fruity. Oh, and the finish has a light vanilla flavor but sometimes you can even feel a tiny bit of cocoa in it.
It can be found in several tastes, but what you should choose for your sangria are the ones made from red berries, although most of these wines are blends. It’s likely that you won’t be able to find any that is only made from one specific fruit.
And the most surprising fact of them all… It can be bought for as low as $10.
Alright, fine, this one is pretty common. But it’s used often for a very good reason.
Most Cabernet wines have a very distinctive sweet and fruity taste. This is the main reason why it works so well with sangria. But those fruits can be really different depending on what winery you’re buying from.
You can get Cabernet wine anywhere anytime. So the variety is amazing. You can probably get a bottle in every fruit’s flavor. Which makes it pretty good if you want to be drinking sangria in every season, as these wines can easily complement the cocktail.
But the price of them can vary just as much as their taste. An everyday bottle can be anywhere from $10 to $25, but high-end ones can reach into the hundreds. We are pretty sure you should choose the first category.
What White Wines Can Go In Sangria?
There are only a few white wines that can have a nice effect on sangria. But those that do work really well and fit perfectly into the entirety of the cocktail.
Mirassou Pinot Grigio
This potent and surprising wine is made in the heart of California. Although, the origin of it is much deeper than that. Red berries that were first used to make it was from Italy, which is where this wine was originally made as well.
The most common flavours of it are lemon, lime, apple, pear, but you can even find it in peach or apricot flavour. The rarest ones are much more enticing, though. Melon and honey. These two are insanely hard to find and are quite expensive, so you might not want to choose them for your next sangria.
These wines are also light-bodied, which is a very nice complementary to a light cocktail. But usually it’s quite dry and crisp, so you should probably experiment with a smaller amount before deciding to settle on it as a sangria base.
You can get a bottle of it for as low as $8.99 on The Barrel Room.
Yes, this is a very rarely mentioned kind of wine. But it’s good nonetheless.
When you first take a look at it you might mistake it for sparkling wine, even though it doesn’t have any carbonation. This happens because of the light color that can easily fool anyone, as it reflects light so harshly.
It goes really well with citrus induced sangria, but nothing much more. Although, with this one kind, it works spectacularly well.
Most bottles are around $13, but the fancy ones can easily go above $50.
Gallo Family Vineyards Sweet Pineapple
Yes, it does sound weird at first. White wines usually aren’t flavored, especially not this obviously. But the Gallo Family doesn’t like to keep things subtle, especially when it comes to their wine.
The look of it isn’t really much, seems like regular white wine.
The taste of it is a much different case though. We already know, it’s pineapple flavoured, but what does that really mean? Exactly that. This doesn’t have the aroma of watered down pineapple juice. It’s purely and simply an aroma that can only be described as fruity.
It goes really well with summer sangria, mostly because it has a bit of sourness to it, but still remains very sweet.
And you can get a bottle for under $10. How amazing is that?
You can make sangria in many ways and with many wines. Don’t let this amount of variety intimidate you, as it’s the beauty of mixing cocktails. With this easy guide, you will be able to easily make your 1st or 100th sangria. So get to mixing and bottoms up!
Will you make sangria in the near future? Will you be using our guide? Tell us down in the comments below! Be sure to also check out “3 Amazing Wine and Orange Juice Drinks You Have to Try” and learn how to make more amazing drinks with wine.
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Bottoms up! We’ll uncork ya later!! 🍷