White Wine Sangria is a lively, refreshing drink, perfect for summer entertaining. What’s the best wine to make sangria with?
Sangria is going to have 4 components – the wine, the fortified addition, the fruits and the sparkling component. There are 2 ways you can go with a white Sangria. Aromatic or Dry.
Either way, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the wine because you will be diluting it with other ingredients but it should be one that you would enjoy sipping on its own. It should also be unoaked.
An wine described as aromatic will have a pronounced nose with descriptions like floral, white flowers and/or stone fruits like peaches and apricots.
Of course a Spanish wine would make it the most traditional. Albariño is a lively, crisp, aromatic grape from Spain. In Portugal it is known as Alvarinho. Either would be a great base for sangria. Vinho Verde from Portugal would also be a great choice. Wines from Vinho Verde region are subtle aromatic blends and are often quite lively on the tongue -both qualities you area going for in sangria!
Choices from other parts of the world with aromatic style would be Viognier from Chile, Torrentes from Argentina, an off-dry Riesling or a Gewurztraminer.
With an aromatic wine take your cue from the wine’s description. If it talks about stone fruits then make your fruit choices be stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots, lychee.
The Spanish choice for dry would be from the Verdejo grape. You may not see this on the label but if it says it is from Rueda region chances are good it is Verdejo.
You may also go for a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling then again you will want to match the flavour profile of the wine. If the descriptions are things like crisp, green apple, lime or citrus then take your cue from those flavours for your fruits. Think Green apple, lemon and/or lime slice, perhaps orange slices for a bit of contrast.
The typical Sangria will also have a fortified spirit addition. You can choose a liqueur here to play up the flavour you want to enhance. For example if you are going with a citrus theme you may choose Gran Marnier to enhance the orange factor or Limoncello to play up the lemon.
On the aromatic side you may use Amaretto, like I did below, to enhance the stone fruits. Cointreau or Triple Sec would contrast the aromatics nicely as well.
You are shooting for some effervescence here so you can use a straight sparkling water like Club Soda. But you can also use your imagination to enhance rather than dilute your flavour. There are Orange and Grapefruit flavoured Perriers now that are subtle and refreshing.
To be read in a whisper…(you could use sparkling wine, like prosecco, but be careful since your sangria will be stronger than normal wine with the fortified addition… or use prosecco and skip the fortified…)
I don’t like my Sangria cloyingly sweet so I would not recommend a fizzy pop- your finished product will be too sweet.
The recipe below uses a Rueda wine, with stone fruits, Amaretto and Grapefruit flavoured Perrier. Ultimately though, there isn’t really a wrong answer there. Most fruits and liqueurs and sparkling water will blend nicely with any white wine (or rose for that matter).
Whatever combination you choose serve it with lots of ice and enjoy!