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Notes from the vineyard

This weather has been amazing and to think that summer isn’t even here yet! The next couple of weeks will be filled with parties, graduations and weddings. Many people are looking for something different to serve at their parties. They love wine but after a busy (and extremely hot) summer, sometimes wine just doesn’t cut it. What does one do in an extreme case like this??? Turn to Sangria of course.

Sangria, or wine punch, is a great way to entertain large groups or just cool off by the pool. All you need is a punch bowl, some wine, some fruit, a carbonated drink and another liqueur. Sangria is sold in bottles today but homemade Sangria tends to be a lot more exciting and you have the option of adding/subtracting as much wine as you want. Also, my favorite part of making Sangria is that you can make the usual version with red wine or you can experiment with white wine (which is called Sangria Blanca). If you did a search on Sangria recipes, you would be overwhelmed with responses. This is why I like Sangria; there is no “one” recipe so you get to make your own as you go.

For those of you that need a quick easy recipe, let me give you a couple here.

Sangria 

1 pint each of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries

1 bottle of Candlelight Winery’s Merlot

3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 can Sprite or 7-Up

Wash fruit and cut strawberries into thin slices. Add all ingredients except for the Sprite into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours (you can also let it sit overnight). Just before serving, add the Sprite and ice cubes. Serves 3 – 6 people.

Sangria Blanca (White Sangria)

1 each peach, nectarine, strawberries

1 bottle of Candlelight Winery’s Illumination (Niagara)

½ cup of fruit Brandy

1 cup of fruit juice

1 can of Sprite or 7-Up

Wash fruit and cut into thin slices. Add all ingredients except for the Sprite into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours (you can also let it sit overnight). Just before serving, add the Sprite and ice cubes. Serves 3 – 6 people.

If you don’t have time to run out to the winery to pick up one of our wines, here are some tips on selecting another wine.

Use very fruity red or white wine such as Reisling, Pinot Grigio, Concord, Zinfandel.

Avoid tannic wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Make the fruit count. Fresh fruit is preferred but you can easily use frozen or canned.

Be sure to add a touch of fruity liqueur to the mix.

Make sure the Sangria is ice-cold when you serve it.

Relax and enjoy!

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery in Garrettsville. For more information on other wine topics, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com

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