You may have come across recipes where they insist on using the best quality wine merely for a teaspoon. While it might seem like those recipe creators are just channeling their love for top-quality ingredients, the reality might not necessarily agree, especially for something like sangria where wine is a main component. Take the example of Ramon Manglano, the wine director at a Michelin-starred restaurant, The Musket Room, located in Manhattan’s trendy NoLita neighborhood. Manglano advocates that there is no need to use expensive booze for your sangria.
Manglano’s advice on choosing a wine for sangria proved that one can go for a cheaper bottle. He further explained that adding mix-ins to the wine, one considerably alters the taste of the wine. In contrast to a recipe requiring just a teaspoon of wine where the rest could potentially be enjoyed separately, for sangria, you’re more likely to use the entire bottle, with no leftovers for solo enjoyment.
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So it’s settled. A sangria should use a cost-friendly wine. So, yes, both Aldi’s Winking Owl and Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck are potential picks. If planning for classic red sangria, consider merlot or pinot noir. Steer clear of cab sav or shiraz as they may be too high in tannins and might not taste their best when cold. If looking for something non-traditional, consider grenache or malbec.
For white sangria, the ever-popular pinot grigio would work quite well, as would the blanc sisters, chenin and sauvignon. A tart and fruity riesling would pair well with summery fruits such as strawberries, while a light-bodied rose could be used to add some pretty pink color. For an extra-festive take on sangria, you can give it a little bit of the bubbly (bonus points if you know which famous wrestler’s catchphrase this is) by using sparkling wine. You may choose to opt for a brut or Spanish Cava if you prefer a less sugary drink or plan to add additional sweeteners to the mix, but if you like things super-sweet, you could pick a less dry prosecco or spumante.
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