Usher Summer in with Refreshing Sangria
We made it through the coldest, rainy spring ever. The hot, hazy days of summer will be here soon. (not complaining, just observing) I cannot think of a better way to greet summer than with a pitcher of refreshing Sangria. You can buy Sangria mix at the store, but do not. Sangria is easy to make and is the perfect summer drink. The cool thing about Sangria is it is all about taking your favorite wine, your favorite fruits, and experimenting with them. We are sharing a couple of our recipes with you to get you started.
The term “sangria” dates to the 18th century. It is generally believed to have been taken from the Spanish “sangre” (blood), in reference to the red color of the drink; some believe, however, that the word comes from Sanskrit via the Urdu “sakkari” (sugared wine), according to Wikipedia. Water was unsafe to drink 2,000 years ago. It was filled with bacteria. According to WineIntro, “The alcohol would take care of any bacteria in the drink. Most households made some wine from fruits and berries in the area. It was very natural to “liven things up” by adding more spices, fruits, and other items to the wine to give it a different flavor.”
- Prep the day before – Chill your favorite red or white wines and mixers overnight to create a refreshing punch.
- Freeze the fruit, instead of chilling– Prep the fruit the day before and freeze it. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the fruit to prevent the fruit from browning.
- Substitute the frozen fruit for ice – Ice will water down your drink. The frozen fruit will keep your Sangria chilled. You can buy frozen fruit too.
- Use a single varietal flavorful red wines – Use red wines that are big in flavor and aromas such as Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
- Use medium body or sweet white wines – Medium body Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Riesling is a better white wine base than high acidic wine.
- Use a serving pitcher with a pinched lip – A pinched lip pitcher prevents the fruit and other solids from plopping into the glass and splashing.
Vino 301’s Sangria Recipes
We experimented and created our own concoctions. Here are a couple Sangria recipes to inspire you. Have fun and create your own!
Rosé Watermelon & Honeydew Sangria
12 cups Watermelon
5 cups Honeydew
1 Bottle of dry Rosé
1 ½ cup Peach Brandy
4 Cups of Ginger Ale
- Chop fruit (large chunks)
- Puree 9 cups of watermelon and 4 cups of honeydew with ¼ cup of Brandy
- Strain watermelon mixture
- In a large decorative pitcher combine wine, brandy and ginger ale
- Add watermelon mixture to wine mixture
- Add remaining fruit
Basket of Berries Sangria
½ cup Raspberries
½ cup Blackberries
½ cup Strawberries
1 cup Apple Brandy
1 Bottle of dry red wine
12 oz Ginger Ale
- Combine fruit and place in a large pitcher
- Add red wine, Brandy and ginger ale
- Garnish with lemon slices and mint
What is your favorite Sangria? Share your recipe with us in the comments session below.
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2018 Maryland Wine Festival Complete Guide
Wine in the Woods is this weekend, May 19 – 20, 2018, in Columbia, MD. Wine in the Woods is the unofficial kick off of the 2018 wine festival season in Maryland. This festival is a large outdoor festival featuring over 30 wineries and vineyards from Maryland. For 25 years, the festival has included wine tastings, food vendors, crafts and live music.
Wine in the Woods attracts hundreds, if not thousands of people. It is an annual pilgrimage for some. A time once a year to reunite with old friends and enjoy great wine. For most, it is a sign summer is almost here.
If you cannot attend Wine in the Woods, no worries there are many more festivals this summer and fall. We compiled a list of over 30 wine festivals in Maryland. The festivals span from Washington County to Ocean City, Maryland and cities in between. Below is the 2018 Maryland Wine Festival Complete Guide. It is in a .pdf format for you to print and carry with you.
Before you dust off your lawn chair and picnic basket, we have some tips for you to have the most enjoyable festival experience.
Go for Free
When you volunteer at festivals your admission is free. Larger festivals, like Maryland Wine Festival, need volunteers to help the day of the event. You can contact the organizers of the festival to learn more about the jobs available. Wineries also need assistance. Wineries advertise for volunteers on their website or post volunteer information in their newsletters. Volunteers are needed to pour wine. The wineries will cover your admission in exchange for your time. It is not too late to volunteer, contact your favorite vineyard.
Get Your Ticket Early
More popular festivals sell out and will not sell tickets at the entrance. Linganore Winecellar’s Caribbean festival is an example of a festival which sells out every year. Every year! Do not wait until the week of or day of to purchase your ticket.
It is fun to have a drink or two with your friends before the festival, but remember to pace yourself. It is not a good look to be drunk before 11:00 am. Avoid going all out before the festival. There are several tasting options at the festival. Generally, the tasting samples are one ounce pours. Each winery pours between 4 to 6 wines, so you could potentially have a single glass of wine at each tent. Remember wine festivals are a marathon not a sprint.
Leave the Booze at Home
Festivals have strict policies about bringing alcohol not sold at festivals into the event. You cannot bring alcohol to the festival. It is not an attempt for the organizers to sell more wine. It is the law. Your bags will be checked before you entered. Any alcohol found at bag check will be confiscated.
Happy festival hopping! For more tips, check out our earlier blog Tips to Navigating Maryland Wine Festivals Share with us in the comment section below, what is your favorite festival to attend. Here is your 2018 Maryland Wine Festival Complete Guide two page guide.
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