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Summer Sangria

Fun, fruity and refreshing


Nuthin' screams summer more than sweet, sultry Sangria. This delicious Spanish mixture of fruit juice, sugar and wine satiates the need for a relaxing shot of summer. Red Sangria was introduced to the US in the early 60s at the New York World's Fair. Since then, Americans have branched into Sangrias featuring lighter white and sparkling wine amenable to consuming large amounts. A few ground rules: 1) When choosing a wine for your Sangria, start with a trusted brand you would drink by itself, as poorly-made wine will glaringly reflect in the finished product. 2) always serve over ice, except the sparkling version. This Spanish tradition shouldn't be messed with; and 3) individualize your Sangria with different fruit to create your own personalized recipe.

Sparkling White Sangria

Refreshing, and perfect for picnicking. This one comes from my recipe collection, concocted over several years.

1 lemon

1 orange, preferably navel

1/2 c. pineapple chunks, drained

1/2 c. canned peaches, drained or 1

fresh, ripe sliced peach

1/4 c. sugar

1 bottle chilled sparkling wine,

preferably Spanish Cava

Two hours before serving, cut lemon and orange in half. Squeeze half of each into a pitcher, and thinly slice other halves. Add slices plus all other fruit and sugar to pitcher. Stir until fruit is coated, and refrigerate at least an hour. Add chilled sparkling wine when ready to serve.

Mariana Brown's Red Sangria

By far the best Sangria I've ever tasted.

1/4 c. sugar

1 medium size orange

1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced

1/2 lb. strawberries, sliced

1/2 c. orange flavor liqueur

(like Triple Sec)

1/2 c. brandy

2 1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 bottle chilled red wine, preferably Spanish

3/4 to 1 T. cinnamon

Cut orange in half. Quarter one half for garnish. With a vegetable peeler, thinly remove the outer peel of the other half of the orange. In a bowl, using a spoon, bruise the peel with the sugar to release the orange oil. Add 1/4 c. of orange liqueur. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Remove the orange peel from the sugar/liqueur mixture and transfer mixture to a pitcher. Stir in the orange juice, wine, cinnamon, brandy, apples, strawberries and remaining liqueur. Cover and chill for 1/2 hour.

Serve Sangria garnished with quartered orange slices.

Recommended Wines

2001 Borsao Campo de Borja Garnacha Made with the French Grenache grape grown in Spain, this lighter-style, fruit-forward wine is perfect for those looking for a milder Sangria. Price is right too. $6 1/2

Freixenet Brut Cava Carta Nevada Cava is the Spanish way of saying sparkling wine, and this one fits the sparkling Sangria bill. Slightly sweet, it melds well with the peaches and pineapples. $8

The Wine List

American Wine Society Cooking Class- Charcuterie w/ Condiment Pairing; Emerging Wine Regions. Held at Piedmont Natural Gas Building, 4901 Yancy Rd. Thu., May 15, 6-8:30 p.m. $15 members & first guest; $20 non-members. 704-344-8027.

Arthur's Wine Classes German Wines. Join Jutta Bracy in a tasting and learning experience. Pre-registration is required. Wed., May 14, 6:30-8 p.m. $20. Arthur's Restaurant & Wine Shops, 4400 Sharon Rd. 704-366-8610.

Four for Friday Four premium wines are featured in four ways: 2 oz. sample, 5 oz. glass, by the bottle or in a flight. Fridays. $20. Reid's Fine Foods, 7th Street Station. 704-377-1312.

How to Read a Wine Label Taste wines and decipher labels from France, Italy, Germany, Spain & the United States. Wed., May 14, 7-8:30 p.m. $20. Southern Spirits, Hwy 521. 803-548-8888.

Pre-Summer Tasting Featuring wines from the Country Vintner. Sun., May 18, 6 p.m. $65. McNinch House, 511 N. Church St. 704-332-6159.

Wednesday Night Flights Very informal. Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. $10. Reid's Fine Foods, 7th Street Station. 704-377-1312.

Wine & Food Tastings Third Wednesday of every month, 5:30-8 p.m. Something Classic at the Villa, 715 Providence Rd. 704-347-3666.

Wine Classes May 17- Pinot Noir. Great for beginners. Every month on the first and third Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm. $15. Dean & Deluca Wine Room, 6822-G Phillips Place Ct. 704-552-5283.

Wine Tasting Six Italian estate wines will be opened at this event. Thu., May 15, 7-9 p.m. $12. Kee-Kee-Rikee, 219 Main St., Pineville. 704-889-5333.

Wine Tasting The Wines of Germany and Austria. Call for reservations. Wed., May 21, 7 p.m. $10. The Wine Shop, Park Square Shopping Center, 2442 Park Rd. 704-377-5373.

Wine Tasting Featuring wines and cheeses from Shelton Vineyards. Wed., May 21, 6:30 p.m. $5. Sante, 165 N. Trade St., Matthews. 704-845-1899.

Wine Tastings Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. $10. Barone's Wine Room, Birkdale Village, Huntersville. 704-987-0011.

Wines of the Old World An overview and tasting wines of Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Wed., May 21, 7-8:30 p.m. $20. Southern Spirits, Hwy 521. 803-548-8888.

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival Held at Elkin Municipal Park in Elkin, NC. Sat., May 17. $15 at the gate, cash only. 336-526-1111.

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