Did you know that Wednesday, December 20th has been designated as Sangria Day? Well, I didn’t know it either, until the savvy folks at Gregory White PR asked if I wanted in on a festive idea that’s perfect for holiday entertaining. Of course I said yes!
They have partnered with Bodega Ruca Malen from Argentina to create a fun, fruity, and time-saving party trick that’s sure to be a hit with your guests. Just start with a bottle of Aimé Ruca Malen base wine – white or red, your choice – and the possibilities are endless. What’s your Sangria Style?
Feeling adventurous, I claimed a sample bottle of each: the white, a sweet Moscato; the red, a blend of Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Soon after, visions of sangria and cocktails danced in my head . . . .
Lemon, Pear, and Rosemary Sangria with Aimé Sweet Moscato
For some reason I’ve been obsessed over the past few months with the flavor combination of lemon, pear, and rosemary. I used it to create a filling for a roasted pork loin, and have also used it to make a glaze for veal rib chops, each time with good results. But I guess I’m still experimenting with it because, when I thought about making a white sangria, this was the idea that stuck.
My petite pitcher holds a meager six cups of liquid, so I calibrated the recipe to make just enough to fill it. The sangria is quite sweet, but is balanced by the citrus flavors and the savory components added by the rosemary. Here’s what I did:
- Warm 2 cups of pear nectar in a saucepan with two sprigs of fresh rosemary. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Discard rosemary sprigs. Let rest until cool and refrigerate.
- Thinly slice one lemon and one green pear. Set aside.
- Add 2 cups chilled Aimé Ruca Malen Sweet Moscato to pitcher.
- Add the chilled pear nectar to the pitcher and stir.
- Add the pear and lemon slices and one large sprig of fresh rosemary to the pitcher.
- Pour into a tall glass and garnish with frozen green grapes and a small sprig of rosemary.
While I quite enjoyed the white sangria, I thought perhaps the flavors would lend themselves well to a cocktail with a little more bite. I poured some of the sangria (without the fruit) into a rocks glass with an ounce of Bombay Sapphire gin. A quick garnish of lemon and pear slices, a jaunty rosemary sprig, and voilà – an option for the gin aficionados in your crowd!
Santa’s Favorite Berry-Orange Sangria
The base for this red sangria was the Aimé Ruca Malen Red Blend, a dry wine with a ripe red fruit profile. I wanted to accentuate the berry flavors in the wine, as well as add some holiday brightness in the form of sweet and tangy Cara Cara Oranges. With orange-red flesh, they fall somewhere between traditional oranges and dark red blood oranges. It was my first time using them and I really liked that they added glints of gold to the sangria pitcher. Here’s what I did:
- Add 2 cups of chilled Aimé Ruca Malen Red Blend to the pitcher.
- Add 3 cups of chilled orange juice and stir.
- Add 1.5 cups of La Croix Cran-Raspberry natural sparkling water (or your preferred brand.)
- Add 10 halved blueberries, 10 halved raspberries, and 10 halved blackberries; stir.
- Add thin slices of one orange and 2 slices of orange peel; stir.
- Serve in a tall glass garnished with an orange slice. A few frozen red grapes can’t hurt either!
This turned out much lighter in texture and flavor than the white, which surprised me. And it was quite aromatic! My kitchen still smelled heavenly an hour afterward, when my husband came home and asked me what I was baking. That said, if you wanted to make this more of a heavy-hitter, I’d suggest adding a splash of orange-infused vodka.
About Aimé Ruca Malen
Aimé is the most recent addition to the Ruca Malen brand portfolio, and seeks to highlight the simple joys of sharing a glass of wine with friends and family; in other words, Aimé wines are inspired by genuine experiences and a zest for life. Each of the wines described in this post retails for $8.99 – perfect for the special moments of everyday life.
For more formal occasions, please look for Ruca Malen’s 2012 Kinien de Don Raúl Bordeaux-style red blend from Mendoza, or their 2015 Reserva Petit Verdot Mendoza. Both wines have received well-deserved attention from wine critics and publications and would be wonderful additions to a special holiday meal.
However you celebrate #SangriaDay, do it in style, in the company of people you love (or at least like!) And if you’ve been inspired to create a fantastic recipe, please do share it with me. Cheers!