When the temperature goes up and the days get longer, nothing sounds as good as wine over ice. Yes, we’re talking about Sangria, folks. A classic refresher with origins in Spain, Sangria comes from the Spanish word sangre meaning “blood” because of its rich ruby color. Sangria’s roots go back 2,000 years when the Romans made their way through the Iberian Peninsula and planted vineyards along their way. At the time, water was deemed unsafe for drinking and so it was typically fortified with alcohol to kill any harmful bacteria. The first Sangrias were probably mixes of wine, water, plus herbs and spices to hide any bad flavor. Many experts agree that America’s love affair with Sangria started at the 1964 New York World’s Fair where it was served to visitors of the Pavilion of Spain. Today, most traditional Sangrias are a combination of red wine, fruit, brandy and ice, but the variations are endless. At The Restaurant at Ponte, we serve a Sangiovese-based version that is combined with citrus and a little sugar. It’s fabulous.
As we ease into summer, my absolute favorite season, I can think of nothing better than relaxing pool or beach-side with family and friends…and Sangria. Check out two of my favorite recipes for cold, delicious Sangria.
Ponte Red Sangria with Barbera
1 bottle Ponte Barbera wine
1 ½ cups orange juice
½ cup sugar
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Assorted tropical fruits, cut into wedges
Grab a large pitcher and pour the wine and orange juice in it. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and the orange wedges into the wine. Add the sugar, orange and lemon rinds, and the assorted tropical fruits. Stir it up! Chill overnight to allow all the flavors to blend. Pour over a tall glass of ice and enjoy!
Ponte White Sangria with Isabel
1 bottle of Ponte Isabel wine
1 ½ cups Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
Assorted stone fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots) cut into wedges
8 mint leaves
Sounds good, right?! Let me walk you through these simple steps.
Grab a pitcher and pour the whole bottle of Isabel into it. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and lime wedges into the wine, add rinds and stone fruit. Stir it up, put it in the fridge to sit overnight so the flavors will blend. When you’re ready to serve it, pour ginger ale or ginger beer into the pitcher and stir together. Pour over a tall glass of ice and top with two mint leaves.
So refreshing! YUM!
And, Members, don’t forget about our upcoming Summer Sangria Party, happening this Sunday, June 22nd. From noon to 4 pm we will be offering Wine Club Members two delicious kinds of Sangria, plus live music, vendor sampling and special pricing on selected wines. No reservations required, but we kindly ask Members to limit their guests to one per Member, please.