Ahhhh…here it is. The bittersweet end of summer. A summer full of memories; some good, some bad. Tomato garden failures and sweet surprises at the farmer’s market. Evenings in the backyard watching fireflies and of course, glasses of refreshing sangria shared with dear friends.
Today, I made a delicious, “End of Summer Sangria” to enjoy this Labor Day weekend. Beginning with a bottle of Spain’s finest Rioja, I tweaked the typical recipe to include more of my favorite citrus fruits and did not add additional sugar.
End of Summer Sangria
1 bottle Spanish wine such as Tempranillo or Rioja (I used Hacienda Lopez de Haro, Reserva 2009 from Bodega Classica– see review below!)
1 large orange, washed and sliced, peel intact
1 blood orange or grapefruit, washed and sliced, peel intact
1 lime and 1 lemon, same prep as above
1/3 c Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
1 16 oz bottle of lemon-lime flavored sparkling water
Combine fruit in a large pitcher and crush slightly to release the juices and oils from the peels. Add the wine, liqueur and combine. Refrigerate for an hour and then add the sparkling water, gently mixing and serve.
Meanwhile, I wanted to check out the wine separately that I used in the sangria. For being so reasonably priced, I found it to be a wonderful table wine. The Bodega Classica website has this to say about their Reserva wine.
- Varieties: Tempranillo and Graciano.
- Ageing: 10 months in French oak barrels used 1 to 3 times.
- Harvest: Hand picked during the second and third week of October.
- Vineyard: Old vineyards with very low production settled on poor land of Ebro’s terraces in the area of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja).
- Winemaking: Produced in 30.000 g vats. Fermentation at 28º. Maceration for 2 weeks.
- Alcohol content: 13,5% Vol
- Colour: Medium-high depth wine, ruby red colour with roof tile rim, which denotes its long barrel ageing and its peaceful bottle ageing.
- Nose: Powerful on the nose with primary aromas of ripe fruit accompanied by complex spicy and balsamic notes and a slight touch of vanilla.
- Palate: Balanced on the palate, it is a round and unctuous wine with ripe and sweet tannins, providing the wine with a long aftertaste: an elegant Rioja classic.
So, before you put away the beach chairs and flip flops, go ahead and indulge for a last dance with summer and enjoy some sangria!