This fall Armando and I will celebrate 20 years together and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than this Fall Sangria full of seasonal fruits.
It’s almost impossible to believe that much time has passed since we met all those years ago in Napa Valley. It’s a rather romantic place to fall in love and even more so because when we first started dating in the fall of 2000, wine harvest was in full swing.
If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Napa, or any California wine region during harvest season, you will instantly recognize the fragrance. The intense aroma of fermenting wine grapes fills the air and everywhere you go seems steeped in the rustic smell of wine-in-the-making.
This being harvest season, I wanted to create an autumn sangria reminiscent of those early days in Napa Valley, full of fall fruits and that sweet aroma of grapes being turned into wine.
Make sure you sign up for our virtual September Cooking Class on September 10 when Aida Mollenkamp and I will be making our favorite Harvest Dinner Party recipes including this Sangria and other produce-forward dishes that pair perfectly with a glass of wine thanks to our friends at California Grown and the California Wines.
What is Sangria?
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying this fruity, colorful wine cocktail you are in for a real treat!
Sangria is originally from Spain and Portugal and is typically made with Spanish Rioja red wine and fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and lemons.
It occasionally has additional spirits and spices added like brandy, cinnamon, or clove. In addition to the wine, apple cider is sometimes added to sangria in the fall and club soda is frequently mixed in for it’s bubbles.
White or Red Wine
If you want to keep it authentic, you will use red wine but I think it really depends on what type of fruit you are using.
My friends at California Wines represent over 1000 wineries that would be happy to offer up a few suggestions if you wanted to be adventurous with your sangria and I couldn’t agree with them more.
In the summer when light, juicy fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and plums are in season I like to use a refreshing white or rosé wine.
For this Fall Sangria recipe I wanted to go with something more lusty and rich.
I went looking for a red wine that will hold its own with autumn fruits like red grapes, mission figs, and blackberries.
What Fruit Is Best?
Again, if you are a traditionalist, you will stick to the basic fruits of fresh apple and oranges, but really where’s the fun in that?
The joy of sangria is it adapts with the seasons, so while I will gladly tell you what I used, it is more of a suggestion than a hard, fast rule.
The most important thing when it comes to the fruit is that whatever you use, make sure it is the most luscious, ripe fruit you can find.
I personally love this combination of figs, petit champagne grapes, apples, and blackberries because it screams California and reminds me of that intoxicating aroma of wine harvest.
More Wine Cocktails
Sangria isn’t the only fall drink you can make with wine. Here are a few other favorites you can try with your next bottle of Pinot Grigio:
Apple Sangria With An Upgrade
It’s super easy to take your fall sangria beyond apples and cinnamon sticks. Just grab a bottle of your favorite California red and give it a whirl! When you try it, let me know! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so that we can see your stuff! Cheers!
- 2 cups red champagne grapes or Concord grapes (reserve a few for garnish)
- 1 cup fresh Mission figs, quartered (reserve a few for garnish)
- 1 Gravenstine or Honey Crisp apple, thinly sliced (reserve a few for garnish)
- 1 lime, sliced into wheels (reserve a few for garnish)
- 1 cup blackberries (reserve a few for garnish)
- 1 bottle California Merlot red wine
- 2 cups Italian grapefruit soda
- Ice, for serving
Muddle the fruit: Combine grapes, figs, apple slices, lime wheels, blackberries, and wine into a large pitcher. Using a long wooden spoon stir and press fruit into wine, breaking fruit up a bit with the back of the spoon. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Mix and Serve: Stir in grapefruit soda. Add ice to each wine glass, pour in sangria and top with the fruit you reserved to garnish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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