How is it almost August already?! The summer is flying by. I have been taking the time recently to slow down a bit and just enjoy my surroundings. I think it’s really easy to get bogged down by the craziness of life sometimes. When some days get too crazy, I wind down with a glass a wine and a good show on Netflix. I gotta say wine is probably my favorite drink, especially red wines. Not only does it taste great by itself, it also adds itself seamlessly to various dishes and mixed drinks.
Sangria is probably my favorite wine based drink. This Spanish drink is a little bit of obsession of mine. Every time I see it on the menu, I instantly order it and ignore the rest of the drink menu. It’s got wine, fruit, and soda so what’s not to like about it? When I was in Portugal, a local made me his yummy take on sangria that included fruit soaked in port, orange soda, and red wine. Using his recipe as inspiration, I decided to concoct my own variation.
In my last blog post, I talked about the Graham’s Port Lodge in Porto. While there, I picked up a bottle of 10 year tawny port as a souvenir, and I knew I would want to use it in this drink. I actually like this port because it has been aged for 10 years which reduces the sweetness of the wine. It would otherwise be undrinkable for me. I soaked the fruit (oranges, strawberries, and grapes) in 1/2 cup of port for 10 minutes before adding it to the pitcher.
Sangria is a combination of wine, fruit, and soda. I wanted to give my drink a little something extra, so I chose to add an Italian blood orange soda. The one I used is from Trader Joe’s, but you can also find it at other places such as Whole Foods like this one. I love how it adds a sweetness and a tartness to the sangria. It also tastes good on its own.
The wine that I used is a cabernet sauvignon from Louis M. Martini, a local wine producer that has vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. I often have to pinch myself at how lucky I am to live so close to these two wine regions. I’ve actually been to their winery in Napa, and it was a great experience. They have a great staff and a solid assortment of wines from white to red to dessert wines. Their cab is a little more on the drier side which is what I prefer in my red wines. The dryness balances out the sweetness of the port and the fruit.
- 1/2 cup tawny port
- 1 cup oranges (cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup strawberries (cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup grapes
- 6 cups red wine
- 6 cups blood orange soda
Soak the fruit in port for 10 minutes. After it has been thoroughly soaked, add only the fruit to the pitcher. You will not use the port after this point.
Add the wine and blood orange soda to the pitcher. Stir the mixture until well incorporated.